Don’t remember if I have mentioned but we have decided that our next try at becoming debt-free, self-sufficient is to try to develop homesteading. We need to acquire some skills before we dive into it like canning, making yarn, preserving food, learning to cut up animals, learning to try to conserve resources and food to be more off the grid.
Today we have attempted canning.
We have a new plantation of home-grown habanero peppers on our window, and that is where the habanero ingredient came from. Then I had some nectarines and peaches leftover from my weekly organic delivery that started to sort of go bad a bit in the fridge and were too old to eat raw. Two other ingredients for the jam were sugar and lemon juice.
According to the recipe I have macerated about 4-5 cups of stone fruit overnight with 1 cup of sugar.
In the afternoon we started figuring out the canning technique.
First we washed all the lids and jars in soapy hot water. Then worked on making the jam. The jam boiled for about 20 minutes until the fruits softened. Then I added 2 tbsps of lemon juice and a habanero pepper. Then I left the jam to boil for another 30 minutes or so and added a bit of water as well. I also added a bit more sugar as it seemed too hot.
While the jam was getting ready we sterilized the cans and the lids. Then turned out that it was only enough for 1 can, which we filled, leaving 1/4 of an inch empty in the can. Then we put the jar in the canner for 10 minutes. After taking the jar out of the canner and leaving it for about 1 hour we noticed that the lid had some give, tried to open it and found that the lid did not seal properly. As there was only one can to start with anyways we just left it in the fridge to eat.
I had it on a small Melba toast from Trader Joe’s with Daiya cream cheese and it was amazing. A real treat, you can’t get that in stores anywhere ever. The only trouble is that the canning didn’t work for now, but we’ll try again, maybe tomorrow. I think that we didn’t keep the jars in the water enough. You need to make sure there is enough space left in the jar. Put the jar in the water and wait for it to start boiling then start counting 10 minutes. When 10 minutes pass, turn off the heat, leave the jars in for another 5 minutes. Once the jars are out of the canner, leave them untouched for about 24 hours, and only then check the lid. I think we’ll try to do that next time and I will try to report to say whether it worked or not. Canning is easy and not easy, I think there are a lot of steps and sometimes when people explain the steps they don’t explain every little detail and then people who are inexperienced get confused and can’t find answers to questions.
So, canning – still to learn; yarn weaving – check, but needs to be improved, jam making – check – easy.
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