I've done two canning projects the last two weekends and I am itching to do more! Last weekend we went cherry picking and I made jam. I've made jam before but I used pectin and this year I wanted to try it without. It was a little tougher with the cherries since they are low in pectin, but I added lemon juice, lemon zest and a handful of dried cranberries. It worked since it set up, although it took a bit longer than I anticipated. It turned out great and little j was licking the test plate.
Today at the farmers' market we came across pickling cucumbers so we bought 3.5 pounds and I made bread and butter pickles. I'd never made pickles before, so it was a new process, but pretty easy. One thing I realized is that I didn't pack the jars tight enough. I don't think it is a major issue, but it's something to be mindful of.
We are headed to Oregon next week and I was thinking about my grandmother's pickle crock. I loved making pickles when I was a girl and I would love to get the crock and show little j the process. Bread and butter pickles are quick pickles and have few steps. But really good sweet or dill pickles take time, and the results are oh so good!