Just as good things come to those who wait, things that take time and effort may also be worthwhile. Canning is no different; the process may take time and effort in the beginning, but once you get the hang of it, it is so well worth the time and effort put forth. In time you will become more efficient. I know I have. Here are some things to consider.
For those of us who have goats – and an abundance of goat milk – making and canning Cajeta is a great way to use some of that excess goat milk. When I made my first batch of Cajeta I wondered if canning it would cause it to obtain that nasty goaty taste you get from store bought goat milk products. The recipe made way too much to eat before it went bad so I decided what did I have to lose? If the Cajeta took on that nasty goaty taste I would feed it to the chickens – if not, I would have a wonderful caramel dip to eat with fresh apples. I love caramel but find it difficult to buy organic caramel locally.
So, I made my first batch and canned the excess. It took over a year before I ate up all the Cajeta that I canned – and guess what? No goaty taste! When I opened my last jar several months ago I was sad. The goats were not in milk yet and so I knew that was the last of the Cajeta for a while. Once they came into milk it seemed there was always something taking up my time and I was not able – until today – to spend the afternoon making a new batch of Cajeta. I made it a little lighter in color this time around and slightly softer than before but it still tastes good and it will be easier to get out of the canning jars.
I love looking in the canning, dehydrating, food saver section of the stores – especially during the canning season. With the recent increase in canning these past few years, numerous companies have introduced new products. Some are useful and others, well – they don’t live up to my expectations. For example, the jar tightener I bought last year that is used to tighten canning lids before you seal them. I found it was really hard to know just how tight the lid actually was and found I preferred tightening the lids by hand. I have not used it to loosen lids, but it might be useful for that.
Rose Petal Jelly Recipe
Cherry season is here and after making two cherry pies, I really needed a different way to use up my pie cherries. I didn’t feel I was getting enough of a harvest to can since I was getting between a pint and a half and two pints of pitted cherries every three days. This was the first “big” harvest from my tree – and I hope next year I will get enough cherries to preserve some for winter use, but for this year, those fresh tart cherries sure did go a long way and taste good!
Here is my recipe for five spice cherries. I used mine – this year – to make ice cream.