On Saturday, I attended a Canvolution party, hosted by Stephanie of Confituras and Kate of Hip Girls Guide to Homemaking. This Canvolution party was part of a nationwide effort to get people canning. As you know, if you read this blog with any regularity, I am currently in the midst of a full blown addiction to canning, so when I received the invitation, my response was an immediate heck yes! There were a total of eight gals in attendance, which was the perfect number of folks to get the work done without being overly crowded in the kitchen and breakfast work areas.
First on the agenda – peach preserves. We put the first of the jars into the pot for sterilizing, and commenced peeling the peaches.
At the same time, we brought the chopped sage to a boil in white wine, for the Sage, Wine Mustard recipe.
Once drained, we put the mustard seeds into the wine to steep for two hours and set it aside. The peeled and chopped peaches were combined with sugar, then on the stove to begin reducing.
Once to this stage, we turned to the okra for the spicy pickled okra recipe.
Okra tends to float to the top of the jar, once the pickling liquid is poured in, leaving a gap at the bottom of the jar. While not problematic, it is not really the most aesthetically pleasing situation. So, Kate and Stephanie suggested we pierce each okra with a knife, to see if this would prevent the floating problem. Everyone commenced making three to four little slices in each piece of okra.
We then peeled garlic, and sliced serrano peppers, which would be included with the okra. Once the first of the jars were sterilized, we started stuffing them tightly with the okra.
Once Stephanie determined the peach preserves had reached their desired consistency, we took turns ladling them into jars, and then making sure to get any air pockets out.
There was a constant rotation of jars in the boiling water, first to sterilize, then to process. I think the first out were the jars of okra, then the peach preserves. There was actually a break in the constant activity, when we were between filling and processing jars, so we had a snack and some tea until time to get busy again.
Since the mustard took the longest, it was the last to be put into jars and processed.
At the end of the afternoon, we each got to take a jar of each of the three things we had made.
This was a really fun way to spend the afternoon, with friends, (some new to me) working and cooking together, learning from those more experienced, and with some delicious loot to take away at the end. We split the cost of the ingredients, which came to $14.00 each.
With regard to the okra poking experiment, I think it may have helped a little.