Holiday Presents

What a great holiday season! Like many I’m enjoying some time off work, spending time with friends and family and, of course, indulging in delicious food & drink.

Every holiday season comes with the joy of giving and receiving lovely gifts and I’ve been lucky as always with lots of great stuff.

What did I spy under the tree this year but a big, round, oddly-wrapped package which revealed itself to be a gigantic boiling water canner. That’s right, I now have my very own canning equipment, or at least a vital component thereof.

Whoah. This is serious.

Now I have been using my grandma’s canning equipment and I don’t want to dis my grandma’s boiling water canner. Once we swept out the cobwebs it worked perfectly. Sure it had some sedimentary residue, some rust and was a bit tippy, but it worked great, really.

This excellent and thoughtful gift from my parents paired with the comprehensive Ball handbook of canning and preserving will surely signal the beginning of a whole new era in my canning career.

Expect some pretty awesome preserves out of the Covert camp next year. This poor workman will surely not be able to blame her tools (Ak! Will have to come up with another scapegoat for jellies that won’t jell and other problems. Any ideas?)


Saints Preserve Us

Sometimes I get all excited about an idea and I have to do it right away. That’s kind if how I got this year when thinking about doing some canning and preserving.

Luckily my Mum is patient, knowledgable and has been dealing with me for 30-ahem-mumble-mumble years and knows what to do when I say “let’s make preserves this weekend, ok, great! Fun! I’m ready, let’s go!”

Last year we make roughly a ton of green tomato chutney courtesy of the tomatoes that never ripened in my front yard. It was delicious and fun to make.

When I say fun, I should probably admit that Mum did most of the heavy lifting in terms of the let’s-make-sure-everyone-we-give-this-to-doesn’t-die-of-botulism side of things. I specialize in the enthusiasm, chopping, and stirring departments.

With our overwhelming garden successes this year it was hard to pick the best candidate for preserving. Sorry, what I meant to say there was that the only thing we had remotely enough of to do anything with was jalapeño peppers.

There is only so much salsa a person can make and so with our pile of jalapenos (under 1 lb.) we decided against filling them with cream cheese and wrapping them in bacon which is what we did last year and made some jalapeño jelly.

And after a hot hour in the kitchen over boiling pots of liquid on the hottest weekend in the last few we have 5 spectacular jars of a sweet and spicy concoction. The jars have a lovely light green colour with flecks of darker green suspended throughout.

And it’s all the more sweet because not only did we can it ourselves but we grew the peppers too.

If anyone had a bumper jalapeño crop I’ll make another batch 🙂