Hi! I have been lost for a minute, but I promise I'm here. We have been running our fruit stand this summer and have been harvesting our crops on our farm (actually, we just finished harvesting the grain for the year!)
Anyway, I wanted to share my lastest adventure in canning! I am so excited about it, too. I made my own fruit cocktail! I heard of a lady making her own a few years ago and have thought about it ever since. Why not? Why can't we make our own fruit cocktail? I only wonder about the grapes, but everything else processes for the same amount of time in my handbook.
Ready? Here is what I used, with the specific varieties grown in my favorite orchard in Caldwell, Idaho: white (canning) peaches (summersweet), yellow peaches (I think I used the last of my flamecrests), nectarines (honey royales), and bartlett pears and a few green grapes that I had in the fridge. (If anyone knows of a reason I shouldn't use grapes, please let me know.)
I took a half of a fruit per jar and had plenty. (For example, I needed 7 jars and used 4 peaches - half per jar, make sense? It worked out pretty close to what I needed.) I blanched and skinned the peaches - both white and yellow peaches, chunked them up, and threw them in a jar on top of the grapes. Do you know you can bottle nectarines and you don't have to skin them? Well, I skinned these - just like peaches - boiling them in water for 20 seconds, first, then to cold water and slip the skins. I mostly did it for looks in the jar. Then I peeled, chunked, and added the pears and then poured the sugary syrup over the top, topped the jars, and processed my jars in a water bath - just like I would for pints of peaches.
We tried some on Sunday, just to see what the jars and the fruit were like. They look a little mushy, but they really weren't when we tried the fruit. It was really a nice combination - and everything was ripe - unlike most of the store\-fruit cocktail I usually use.
Although, I think I have to try quart jars next time! It was a hit! And I'm so pleased with myself for doing it.
What do you think?