Last weekend I had my friends Jenifer & Leslie over for a Canning Party! It was a LOT of fun and a LOT of work. Oof! I hadn’t felt that exhausted since the weekend at the HomefriesU retreat. I took some pictures on my cellphone throughout the day so you could see what we were up to…
Where do we begin? Flowers!
Having company over is the PERFECT excuse to buy flowers. It always adds a nice little element to the day.
Leslie also brought me a bunch of the most amazing tulips. Thank you, Les!
I took inventory of my jars to be sterilized… Pears for Pear Butter? Check!
I prepared some nibbles for the occasion. Food is a highly important element to canning.
I made mixed nuts the night before and tried the new fig jam from Trader Joe’s (excellent!).
I also put out some arugula and a sourdough baguette. Scrumptious.
This was our TO DO LIST.
First step. Sterilizing. There’s something so therapeutic about boiling jars & lids. I like doing this, but I’m not good at lifting them out of the boiling water. Boiling water & Tracy don’t mix. Maybe I’ll master it one day…
Before Leslie & Jenifer got to my house I whipped up a batch of Cardamom Pear Butter.
When they arrived, Leslie got cracking on the sterilization process. There were a ton of jars to process.
Here’s my friend Jenifer! She’s hard at work. She’s also super vigilant about keeping things clean. Love that!
Jenifer had tomato duty! Get a load of those tomatoes. Insane, right??
After all the tomatoes were washed, Jen scored the bottom of each one.
The tomatoes went into boiling water, an ice bath, and then we peeled off the skins.
Jen whipped up some lemon juice for the tomatoes. They need acid! The dill was for the beans.
We’ll get to that soon!
Tada! Tomatoes are ready to get processed.
Jenifer brought her pressure canner. It felt like Breaking Bad up in my kitchen!
Here’s a little action shot. Consultation in progress! Leslie & Jen discuss sterilization.
And then onto the dilly beans…
Leslie made up her own concoction.
Fresh dill, hot pepper, juniper berries, lemon slices, garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns with a salt & vinegar brine.
We added a pinch of sugar into the pickling liquid just for balance.
Pickling in process. Tada! Dilly Beans. Then they went into boiling water for processing.
I made a jar of my own but they were refrigerator dilly beans. They’re SUPER good.
In a little corner of my kitchen I made a batch of vanilla extract… It’s living in my pantry right now.
I can’t wait to crack into it!
After over 5 hours of work, this is what I came away with. You should see the Jen & Leslie’s loot. Goodness!
I can‘t wait to do it again!