Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall in love with pears!

Its been a crazy fall. Can it really be the 17th today? This weekend has gone by so fast. Everyone I know is fighting colds and allergies. The dust in the air is thick from the corn and beans being combined. It doesn't help any. Our youngest has been fighting a bad cold and wakes during the night with a coughing fit that lasts about an hour. The sun doesn't want to shine until after 7am and it makes it very difficult to pull ourselves out of bed. But winter will soon be upon us and there is so much to get done before that happens. Thank goodness the weather remains beautiful and that helps our motivation level.

This weekend I spent catching up on my canning. If you couldn't have guessed from the title of my post, I've been canning pears - all weekend. Yesterday I canned two batches of regular pears and today, I canned cinnamon pears.

We put in 2 pears trees at home here last year. These pears however were from another farm. The tree was absolutely loaded this year. I wish I had time to do more...but I think this is gonna have to do.

I start by making a syrup for the fruit. I like to make an extra light syrup so I taste more fruit then I do sugar. 1 cup sugar per 1 quart of water. For cinnamon pears I add 2 sticks of cinnamon(per quart of syrup) and a couple drops of red food coloring.

I know adding the food coloring goes against my "all natural - no preservative" philosophy BUT
it makes such a pretty presentation and I consider cinnamon pears a treat and I didn't add that much. So, we make an exception.

After peeling the pears I drop them into a solution to keep them from darkening. The solution is 2TBSPs each of salt and vinegar to a quart of water.

After they soak in the solution for no more then 20minutes, I drain it off and rinse the fruit well.

Then I fill the jars and can as usual, using the hot syrup to cover the fruit. I use the water bath method and process pints for 20minutes, quarts for 25 minutes.

The finished jars - don't they look so pretty?
The cinnamon pears are to the left with the lovely pink blush.

Nothing goes to waste either...all the peels and cores are a real treat

For the chickens!

I also managed to find the time to make some Hot Pepper Jam

This summer was my first year making this and I love eating it with cream cheese and crackers.
Sooo Good! Now, I admit, the peppers used in this batch weren't from my garden- I bought them at the store. You see, I made a batch earlier in the summer and was anxiously waiting and anticipating while the next peppers grew in size and were ripe to pick. I knew they were there-  I saw them on the plants. I went out early that Friday morning and couldn't believe my eyes. They were gone. Yup - Plant and all. I knew what had gotten them. It was my 18 year old son. He got mower happy. - Sigh - nevertheless, I have taste tested this batch and I am happy to say- it is just as good as the first! He will however be reimbursing me for the cost of the peppers.

We also managed to get my new green house brought home and off the trailer this weekend.
Friends of ours no longer needed it and offered it to me. God has truly bless me with wonderful friends, family and life.

Well, blogger continues to freeze up on me  - so I guess that's its.

~Count your blessings!
~ Kathy

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