First of all, thanks to the new friends who came over to visit and help me from Dallas Sustainable Living and Organic Gardening , a MeetUp group.
You are awesome. For a couple of hours, everyone pitted apricots, cut up broccoli, and chopped rhubarb into one-inch slices.
I started heating some of the apricots with lemon juice, then we agreed to add only half the amount of sugar in the recipe. (according to the Ball Canning Recipe book, (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005SK6Y1Q/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=1535523722&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0778801314&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1WSJGKJR0GGFD219YQJ2)
After it cooked down to soft fruit in a syrup, we used a wide-mouth funnel to fill up half-pint canning jars. I took them out of a warming oven where they had been sterilized. We wiped the edge of each jar with a damp cloth to remove any fruit or syrup.
The lids had been heating to boiling in a small pot on the stove to sterilize them. Using the magnet from the Canning Kit, I lifted each one out and placed it on a jar. Then I screwed the rings on, just to finger tight.
About an hour before anyone arrived, I had started heating the water in the canner, a very large pot with a canning rack to keep any jars from touching the bottom of the pot.
Finally, it started boiling. Using the jar tongs, I placed each half-pint jar in the canner so that none of them were touching. I had filled the canner so full, I had to scoop out some of the water to make room for all the filled jars. They still had to be covered by at least an inch of water.
While it came back up to boiling, we talked about Aquaponics. One of the folks there does talks and demonstrations about Aquaponic systems at the Keller Public Library. (You can see the times on Dallas Sustainable Living on www.MeetUp.com.)
Then, while the canner boiled for the required fifteen minutes to process the fruit, I gave everyone a tour of my permaculture yard – the perennial water-wise front yard, the Texas Wildscape (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/wildlife_diversity/wildscapes/wildscape_certification.phtml), and the states and stages of my raised garden beds and fruit trees in the backyard.
We came back inside, used the jar tongs to remove the half-pints and visited some more while they cooled. When they were cool enough, everyone got to take one home.
I am canning the rest during this week.
It is so much fun to teach and learn in community. Thanks for all the amazing help!
© 2013 Kathryn Hardage