Lemon garlic pickles, spicy bread and butter pickles, brandied peaches, sour cherry-walnut conserve, cherry sauce (with rum), and canned cherries, with pickled summer squash in front.
Now is as good a time as any to report on the canning I did this summer. I had big plans to make cherry jam, or even cherry preserves, however my stubborn refusal to (a) follow a recipe or (b) use pectin landed us only with jars and jars of variations on cherry sauce (something like 13 half-pints in all). I am sure that if we ever make pancakes or eat ice cream it will be delicious, and we have a many year supply now on hand. I did follow a Ball recipe and made 7 half-pints of sour cherry-walnut conserve, which turned out more sour and more grainy than I’d imagined. I’m not sure I like it; I’ll let you know where I stand when we make it through the remaining jars.
Besides the cherry experiments, pickles were my main focus. Using produce from our CSA and the farmers’ market, I made several types of pickles: 7 pints of lemon garlic cucumber pickles, which included sliced red pepper and are canned with a whole garlic clove and lemon slice in each jar; 6 pints of spicy bread and butter pickles, with less sugar and more red pepper flakes than the traditional recipe; 2.5 pints of pickled summer squash, a sweet pickle that’s combined with sliced onions; and 2 quarts of lime-mint cucumber pickles, which are a freezer pickle that I am very much looking forward to thawing this winter. All of the recipes, most of which were from The Joy of Pickling, turned out well; we particularly enjoyed the lemon-garlic pickles, and once I became used to the kick of the bread and butter pickles I ate them regularly on sandwiches. I’m looking forward to using them all (in combination with the pickled beets) for a pickle platter at our holiday party.
Just before we went away on vacation, I also made a batch of brandied peaches using the New York Times recipe. Despite some issues with generating way more liquid than needed, they were delicious and we are hoarding the remaining three pints for the dreary days of winter. We’re forecasted to have a cold wet season here this year, so the alcoholically preserved fruit concoctions should be quite the ticket.