This was my first real preserving project of the 2011…and it’s a perfect example of something I used to think of as an unhappy contradiction: small batch preserving. For a long time I thought that preservation meant you had to make quarts upon quarts – that was just the way recipes were scaled. And what was the point of preserving something in smaller quantities – isn’t the point to get enough to last all year?
But I can now truly attest to the fact that small batch preservation is a worthwhile endeavor. Let’s review it’s many benefits, shall we?
-Sometimes, produce worth preserving only comes to you in small quantities. It was a bad year for peaches, or your garden produced less green beans than you’d hoped. Or perhaps it was an unexpected gift (such as the grocery sack full of garlic scapes I received earlier this year). Either way…just a lil bit of the good stuff shouldn’t stop your urge to can.
-Unless you’re canning a multi-purpose item (such as corn or tomatoes), you may not need 12 pints of product. Obviously, canned goods make excellent gifts, but since I’m not a jam eater, I’m usually canning fruit to use in baking projects later in the year…so there’s no reason to fill my cabinets with too much stuff.
-Cabinet space. I’ve only canned 5 things so far this year, and I’m already storing canned goods in mysterious cupboards all around my apartment. Not that I don’t enjoy the quirky perk of guests finding pickles next to the spare towels, but I can’t let this get totally out of control. Canning in lesser quantities allows me to store more variety without using up all my space…which I love.
Which brings me to the tasty recipe. This stuff is good. Its thick and sweet and tart and good for so many things…piped in between two cookies, slathered on top of cheesecake, on a warm piece of toast, or off of the spoon.