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Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

Cherries Three Ways

Thanks to our friends at the Washington State Fruit Commission, we’ve got cherries on the brain — and on the stove, and in jars.  For the second year in a row, we’ve been gifted with bing cherries like nobody’s business.  In celebration, we’ll be dishing up the myriad ways you can preserve cherries all week long.  Washington state is cherry country, and this year’s crop of Bings is bodacious, as CAA member Brook Hurst Stephens described them.  Our first cherry dispatch comes from CAA social media maven Shannon Kelly.

Past and present, I’ve got cherries on the brain, in the oven and on the stove.

 

From the cupboard

Last month, I found two half-pint wide mouth jars of preserved cherries dated July 2010 tucked away in the depths of my pantry and immediately thought of all of my Canvolutionary friends and our ever evolving mission to “use up what we put up”. For me, canned goodness is only as good as the moment you pop that top and dig into the delicious out-of-season pickle or preserve. It is a delightful precursor to summer in a rain-soaked spring.

Over the past 11 months, I had used my cherries packed in syrup for desserts and as a sauce over ice cream. It was time to do something different. The remaining two cans were transformed in less than an hour from sweet to savory.

Here’s how I did it: In a pot, combine two half-pint cans of cherries in sugar syrup with two garlic cloves (halved with the green part removed), one bay leaf, about a teaspoon of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Reduces slowly on extra low while stirring to avoid burning. Once the mixture is reduced by half, add up to ½ cup of chicken stock (you can substitute vegetable stock too).  Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf. Salt to taste.  Serve with your favorite grilled meat (we did chicken on the Green Egg).

From the farm

Just as I’d cleaned out my pantry, the Washington State Fruit Commission gifted Canning Across America with another round of cherries and I was back at the canning kettle. In honor of Cherry-palooza 2011, I transformed my three bags into Brandied Cherries while placing the remaining pound of the fruit in the oven on low heat (140 degrees for 3-4 hours or until dry).

I’ll use the dried cherries in salads or as an accompaniment on a cheese plate until I can’t resist the urge to dip back into my cupboard. That’s the problem with putting up canned foods –  it’s hard to wait to share the bounty (but so worth it to enjoy a taste of summer in February).

CAA Contributor Shannon Kelly is a trend illustrator, cultural anthropologist, brand strategist, gastronomic devotee and social media enthusiast. She founded In Your Head consultancy to transform her knowledge of marketing, innovation and merchandising into strategies for retail, food & lifestyle industries. Her love of pickling and new media has earned her the title of marketing/tech guru for Canning Across America. Shannon tweets about the intersection of food, fashion and culture @trendscaping and always cans wearing stylish shoes.

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Mark Your Calendars: Can-A-Rama 2010

Shuksan strawberry jam. Photo: Myra Kohn

Dear Canvolutionaries,

A year ago, you joined us in solidarity, coast to coast, to resurrect the lost art of “putting up” food. With the growing season underway in most parts of the country, we are ramping up for Year Two of the Canvolution and hope you’ll join us at the canning kettle once again!

To that end, we’re thrilled to announce Can-a-Rama 2010, a simultaneous show of cans around the country, with home canners bellying up to the stoves and preserving their favorite seasonal goodies. We invite you to join us the weekend of July 24 & 25, by hosting a canning party in your own community, as we will be doing in cities and towns across America.

But that’s not all, folks! Once you get the canning bug, you kinda can’t stop, as many CAA members can tell you. In fact, some canners recently shared that sometimes they get so busy canning they forget to stop, pop open a jar and the time to enjoy the “fruits” of their labor. That’s why we’ll host the first-ever Eat Up What You Put Up, a celebration of our bounty in jars! Save the date for the weekend of October 15-16; like the Can-a-Rama, we encourage you to host gatherings in your own communities to sample your canning handiwork and to share with your fellow canners.

Giveaway
And like last year, we’ve got goodies to give away, thanks to the generosity of Jarden Home Brands. If you’re planning to host a canning party or teaching someone the ropes of canning and preserving in the coming weeks, here’s a chance to win a free gift from Jarden.

E-mail us with your contact info and you’ll be entered to win: A canning coupon, a copy of the Ball Blue Book® Guide to Preserving or a Ball® Canning Discovery TM Kit (canning rack with an integrated jar-lifter, a set of 3 pint jars, lids and bands, a beginner’s guide to canning and a recipe booklet; retail value: $11.50).

To enter, send an e-mail to: canningpartiesATcanningacrossamerica.com

Please include in your e-mail: Your name, street address, city, state, zip code, and a few words about the party you’re planning, including the date of your party.

To help inspire others, we will use your first name and last name initial, as well as city/state on our canning events page. If you do not wish to be mentioned on the Canning Across America web site, please let us know. We invite you to share a few words describing your event to include on our Web site.

Deadline for entering: July 20, 2010. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

Note: Coupons, books and kits are available on a limited, first-come, first-served basis. Your name, address and e-mail will be kept confidential and used only to mail your free gift. Offer is available to U.S. addresses only.

Getting Your Canning Party Started
* Invite your friends via Facebook, Evite or Pingg (we like these services because they track RSVPs).

* Register with Canning Across America so we can all share in the canning fun.

* Use our free online resource library full of how-to tips, articles and recipes to create your event.

Viva la Canvolution!

Love,

Kim O’Donnel

LogoW_Ribbon_NoShadow This giveaway is made possible by the generosity of Jarden Home Brands, makers of Ball ® Branded Fresh Preserving Products.

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We Are Having a Giveaway!

Are you hosting a canning party or planning to teach someone the ropes of canning and preserving in coming weeks? E-mail us with your contact info and we’ll send you a free copy of the Ball Blue Book® Guide to Preserving:
Ball Blue Book Cover_1

as well as a coupon for canning supplies:

Ball Fresh Preserving Kit_final

To enter, please send an email to book.canvolution(at)gmail.com

Please include in your e-mail:
Your name, street address, city, state, zip code, and a few words about the party you’re planning, including the date of your party.

Deadline for entering: August 12, 2009

You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

Note: Books are available on a limited, first-come, first-served basis. Your name, address and e-mail will be kept confidential and used only to mail your free book and coupon. Offer is available to U.S. addresses only.

To help inspire others, we may use your first name and last name initial, as well as city/state on our canning events page. If you do not wish to be mentioned on the Canning Across America web site, please let us know.

We invite you to share a few words describing your event if you’d like us to include it on our Web site.

LogoW_Ribbon_NoShadow This giveaway is made possible by the generosity of Jarden Home Brands, makers of Ball ® Branded Fresh Preserving Products. Please visit them for more canning supplies, books, and ideas! Thank you!

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