Canning Summer

Fig-jam-

My next door neighbor has a huge fig tree in her front yard and right now it is dripping with ripe fruit.  She was kind enough to share some with us last week, and we made the most delicious fig preserves EVER (if I do say so myself).

I am relatively new to jam- and preserve-making, in fact, I’m new to canning food in general, but I’m working on it.  It’s a new project I really enjoy, and those jars of preserved food all lined up in the pantry look so lovely.

Making the preserves was SO simple, and the result was delicious.  And the coolest part is that the kids and I picked the figs ourselves and a few hours later were eating the jam (on crackers with goat cheese–delicious!).

To make the preserves, I used 4 cups of washed and cut figs, 1 lemon, and slightly less than a cup of sugar.  I washed the figs and just did a rough chop, then added the zest of a lemon.  Next, I sliced up the lemon (into bar slices–fairly thin, left the rind on), threw that in, and added about a cup of sugar. 

I simmered it all on the stovetop (without boiling) for an hour or so.  It got juicy and broke down and I just stirred every so often to make sure it wasn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot.  I actually cooked dinner on the other burner while the jam was doing it’s thing.  About halfway through it looked like this:

When it was done and nice and jammy-looking, I just poured it into mason jars.  I didn’t even process the jars (to make them seal) because I knew we would probably eat it pretty quickly.  And that was it!  It is soooo delicious–we’ve eaten it on scones, on crackers, even on pancakes, with goat cheese, with cheddar, by itself…and everyone loved it. 

I am really, really excited about doing more of this.  I want to make salsa, tomato sauce, more jams.  I want the kids to be involved in seeing where the food came from and making it into something we can eat all winter when fresh produce is more expensive and not as yummy.  I want a pretty pantry with bright colored jars all lined up that I made!
Next project: G and I are going to try to make pickles this weekend!  Wish me luck, and if you have pickle-making tips, please share them!

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2 thoughts on “Canning Summer

  1. Melissa Joyce

    I keep forgetting to mention this– during the canning class we took last month, the instructor gave us a great tip I have been meaning to pass along! In most canning tutorials/lessons they advise you to flip the filled jars over on to their covers after filling. This is actually a no-no! The white plastic-y film on the inside of the lid MAY NOT be BPA free. It has not been proven either way, but the only way to be sure is to buy BPA free lids (apparently a new product) or do not flip so no food comes in contact! 🙂 Just wanted to pass along my knowledge!

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