We went to Sky Top Orchard this year to pick our own apples.
It was a beautiful sunny (and chilly) fall morning.
Needless to say we had a blast!
We collected a beautiful basket of Ida Reds. 
And home we took them for some canning fun.
This was my first year canning with apples.
The hardest part is peeling them all.
The longest part is cooking them down.
But the outcome…
Delicious applesauce!!!
Awesome apple butter!!!!
Yes, we WILL do this again next year,
for the fun, the smiles, the laughter, the memories
and the yumminess!

Blackberry Jam

Fresh from the Charlotte Farmer’s Market Saturday.
Every time we make jam
it gets easier and more delicious!
The strawberry was yum,
but the blackberry is incredible!!!
5 cups crushed blackberries
1 pkg powdered pectin
7 cups of sugar
(yes, you read that right. 7!)
If you’ve never canned and always wanted to,
I highly recommend it!
I’ve always wanted to and now I am so glad I am doing it.
Just wondering what in the world took me so long.

Strawberry Jam

Here we go, our first canning experience.
Brian and I spent a saturday afternoon together making strawberry jam.
It was so much fun and turned out delicious!!!
We mixed all the ingredients for the jam itself, following directions to the tee…
after all, this was our first endeavor.
Once the jam was mixed, 
we cooked it down as well as had the water canner on the stove heating up, ready to go.  
We also had the jars in the dishwasher, clean and hot.  
The bands were washed and sitting ready, 
and the lids were simmering in a small saucepan.  
We were having too much fun!!!
Wasn’t the most pretty site, but smelled yummy!
Once the jam was ready, 
we pulled out a jar one by one and filled it up to specifications.
We made a mess, but had so much fun doing it.
I was like a little kid in a candy store,
giddy with excitement!
After measuring the head space and getting rid of as many air bubbles as we could,
we took the lids out of the hot water and put them on the jars…
Gently, but firmly, screwed on the bands…
and placed them in the hot canner.
hehehehe… the processing begins!
and (as my son goes around quoting the movie, Cars)
We made our first batch of Strawberry Jam!!!
So it all went very well.
Our only find, was that the strawberries separated a bit from the liquid.
The bottoms of our jars were gel.
From what I read, we did not get enough air bubbles out of the jam before processing.
Anyone run across this while canning?
Your advice is welcome!!!
The jam was yummy no matter.  We simply stirred up the jar real good before we ate it.  
We are looking forward to our next batch.
Hopefully soon.
Hopefully blackberry jam!!!!
hehehehehehehehe, giggle, giggle!

Adventures in Canning

For Mother’s Day this year my family got me a water canner.
A very cool gift as I have been wanting to learn to can for a while now.
I made Apple Butter once with my mother-in-law
and fell in love with it.
So, the adventure begins.
Granted, I am a mother of a 3 year old and a 6 month old, 
so we’ll see how often I actually get to can!
But I am so very excited about it.
As I travel on this adventure, 
please feel free to share
 your experiences, advice, recipes or anything else you would like
about your canning adventures.
Here we go!  
Thanks, my family!!!!
May we enjoy some sweet and savory goodness.