Canning Saga Continues – Giardiniera, Strawberry Jam, and Peach Preserves


Now that I’ve started canning – I’m finding it hard to stop.

Giardiniera

3 1-pint canning jars, sterilized
1 celery stalk, small dice
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 small cauliflower, cut into little florets
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 large red bell pepper, small dice
3 jalapeño peppers, small dice or thin rounds
6 garlic cloves, peeled and whole, 2 per jar
3/4  teaspoons black peppercorns, 1/4 tsp per jar
3 oregano sprigs, or 1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 1/3 cups white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

First, I peeled and cut all my vegetables

Next, I loaded my jars with the garlic and peppercorns

Next I piled on the vegetables, trying to evenly divide the jalapenos, and then throwing the other vegetables into the jars kind of hodge podge. I topped each with a oregano sprig from my herb garden.

Then I brought my salt, water, and vinegar to a boil and poured it over the veggies leaving about 1/2″ room at the top. I topped each jar with a tablespoon of olive oil.

I then sealed and boiled the jars in a pot where the water came at least 2 inches up the sides for 10 minutes.

Done.  Wait 3 weeks to enjoy.

If you can't delay your gratification for 3 weeks, you can try it at 2, I've heard. I'll let it sit that extra week because I love ripping hot giardiniera, and I don't want to mess with the vegetables' alchemical romance going on in there.

I know.  Why the hell have I been paying $5 for a small jar of this stuff?

And for this stuff too?

Strawberry Jam

2 – 3 pint jars, depending on how thick you like your jam
2 pints of strawberries
3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
pinch of salt

Slice the strawberries

Put them in a high-sided pot.

I'm sure you know what strawberries in a pot look like, but sheesh, aren't they pretty?

Mash ’em.  If you want some texture in your finished jam, then lightly mash ’em.  If you like your jam smooth, go to town.

I like some texture

Cook the strawberries by themselves on medium low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Prep lemon juice and sugar.  Fresh squeezed is best, but, you know, no judgement.

The additional advantage to fresh squeezed (besides, obviously, freshness) is that you can use the nubbin which I always cut off the top of the lemon to make it easier to squeeze. This nubbin-that-could sits in the jam while it’s cooking and releases its pectin and all that pectin’s awesome gelling power into your jam.  If you like that sort of thing.  Remove nubbin before canning.

Once the strawberries have been cooking for 10 minutes, add the sugar and lemon juice, stir, and let cook on a low boil for @ 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot and burns.  Continue until the resulting “liquid” falls in a single stream from your spoon.  If you want to know for sure what the thickness will be once it’s cooled, turn off the heat (for the moment), take a spoonful, put it on a plate, pop it in the freezer for 3 minutes.  If it’s the consistency you like, stop.  If not, back on the burner.  Repeat until happy.

Skim any white froth that has accumulated at the top.

Ladle into jars leaving 1/2″ at the top.  Seal jars and put them in a pot where boiling water comes at least 2″ up the sides of the jars for 10 minutes.

These are pretty much ready to enjoy now, but I’m putting mine away for winter, when I’ll be dreaming longingly for strawberries with only the palest flavorless shadows of berries to console me.

And since we’re tail-ending the peach season, I made some peach preserves as well, in much the same way.

Peach Preserves

1 – 2 pint jars, depending on how thick you like your jam
2 lbs of peaches
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
pinch of salt

Put a pot of water on to boil.  Make an x in the bottom of your peaches with a paring knife.

Boil peaches for @ 30 seconds.  If the peel does not come right off, put them back in the boiling water for another 20-30 seconds.

Once they’re all peeled, cut them in half by running the knife along the north/south “equator” of the fruit, twist, and remove the pit.

Small dice, add to bowl with sugar.

Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Let sit for 1/2 hour until the liquid starts to be drawn out of the peaches. If you can no longer feel granules in the liquid, it’s ready to go.

Put half of the peaches into a high sided pot and mash them with a potato masher.  Add the rest of the peaches. Add the lemon juice and lemon nubbin, if you have it.

Cook on medium low, stirring frequently, until the liquid falls from the spoon in a steady stream, about 30-40 minutes. Once you’re happy with the thickness, ladle the peaches into jars and seal by, say it with me, boiling them in a pot with the water coming up at least 2″ up the sides of the jar.

I almost can’t wait for winter.

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One thought on “Canning Saga Continues – Giardiniera, Strawberry Jam, and Peach Preserves

  1. I can wait for winter however, I can’t wait to taste these! Seems like they would go well on your awesome bread or even pizza!

    Keep up the good cook!

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