Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pears and Cucumbers

We finally picked the pears yesterday and ended up with 2 full grocery store bags.  It's been nothing but pears and cucumbers around here.  This morning's canning experience did result in us using all of the pears, but we still have a bowl full of cucumbers and like last weekend, there's more coming.  I've been scouring books and the internet for interesting cucumber canning recipes and I'm at a loss----I can't find anything else that looks interesting.  I thought about some sort of sweet chutney with cucumber, but I can't find anything that looks good and I'm not savvy enough to think up my own recipe.
 
 
Anyhow, it took us from 9 am until 4:30 pm today to can the things you see in the picture.  If the tomatoes we have in the garden ripen this week, we'll have another all day affair next weekend.
 
From left to right (click on the name and you'll go to the link of the recipe I used):
 
Pear Salsa  I did not use fresh cilantro and only had blueberry honey on  hand.  It tasted fine, but not a whole lot of liquid.  We ended up with 6 half pints and 1 pint
 
Pear Honey  I followed the recipe exactly as written.  It calls for 8 cups of sugar, which I thought was excessive, but J told me I had to follow the recipe as written.  In the end, it did taste okay; I think it has a grapefruit like taste.  We ended up with 12 half pints and 1 quart (in the picture, there are two darker colored jars in the far right grouping, they should have been in the pear honey area).
 
Cucumber Salsa  I tried to follow this recipe as written, but I thought it was too heavy with the vinegar.  I had to add a few things (granulated garlic, granulated onion, cumin and hatch roasted red chiles) to tone down the vinegary taste, but I think the additions worked.  We ended up with 3 quarts.
 
Cucumber Relish  I ended up doubling this recipe as we had picked another ton of cucumbers yesterday.  I'm not a relish fan, but this ended up tasting sweet so I do like it.  J isn't a fan of sweet relish, but we have so much, he better start being one.  One deviation I did make was adding a few extra jalapenos.  We picked a bunch from the garden this morning and since J does like spice, I figured they wouldn't hurt anything.  This made 5 pints and 1 quart--enough to last forever.
 
Vanilla Maple Pear Butter  I followed this one as written as well.  If you click on the link, it's about half-way down the page.  We ended up with 2 quarts and 1 half-pint, but one of the quarts did not seal so it's in the fridge.  We intended not to use quarts for this as I think it will take months for J and I to go through that size of jar, but I didn't read the recipe of the pear honey fully and only realized how much it made after it was ready to go into the jars.  By this time all we had left to use were the quart size. 



And before I forget,  yesterday's sales were a bust.  I picked up nothing and came home with my $20.  There were a ton of shoppers and a bunch of junk.  Hopefully next weekend is better.

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