Yesterday I did some canning. We were getting low on the homemade jam we made back in January, and since I recently found frozen strawberries on sale for $1 lb, it was a good time to make a batch to replenish our jam supplies! We used ten pounds of strawberries and 2 cans of juice concentrate, which came out to 14 half pints and 4 pints of jam. It looks a little liquidy, but last time I made it, it also looked like that and it then solidified over time. Hopefully this will do the same – I’ve read that it takes about a week for jam to set. If it doesn’t, we’ll use it as a thick syrup instead of a jam, and that will be fine, too.
Then I canned cherries. I bought 20 pounds on Friday when I saw the organic cherries were cheaper than non organic sale priced cherries, but we ate some and took some to our hosts for Shabbos, so we didn’t end up canning more than 12 pounds. We were recently enjoying the cherries I canned last summer and now’s a perfect time to replenish the pantry so we can continue to enjoy cherries when fresh prices aren’t at the seasonal low we’re enjoying right now. Dh has been having them fairly regularly for breakfast, and I figured we must be just about finished with the cherries I canned last summer.
Today I was planning my next bulk order and in order to buy what I needed most, did an inventory of what I have on hand. Usually I send the kids to the basement to bring up whatever I need, which is why I don’t have a good idea from seeing it regularly myself. Imagine my surprise that we still have 14 quarts of canned cherries (plus one 1/2 pint)! I don’t mind, it’s just that I would have expected that we finished them off! I also noticed we still have eight + quarts of the pears we picked for free last year. That’s especially nice since we’ve been keeping an eye on the same neighbor’s pear trees and there’s no sign of any fruit this year. It just illustrates that you can’t assume what you have one year is what you will have another, and there’s a value in setting aside or preserving during the abundant times so it will tide you over during the lean times!