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Sugary orange love in a jar


I have always wanted to try canning. My mom has made jellies, jams and pickles for as long as I can remember, so my cupboard is brimming with empty mason jars and lid bands. Yesterday I made my first foray into mummifying fresh food with a batch of spiced pumpkin butter. I got the recipe at Hedonia.

I made a huge mess. Huuuuge. Possibly the biggest mess I've ever made preparing a single food. Forcing ten pounds of fairly tough, fibrous cooked pumpkin through the millimeter-wide holes of a hand-crank food mill tends to splatter stringy blobs of pumpkin everywhere.

In other words, it was a lot of work.

The verdict? The stuff I sampled coming out of the pot tasted a little too much like pumpkin pie spice and not enough like the local, organic sugar pumpkin I schlepped from the farmer's market. Still pretty tasty, though.

Even though I would not consider this first attempt a raging success, it makes me very happy to have a dozen neat, sealed jars of something I made that will last until long after the fresh pumpkins are gone. I'm excited to try something else. Maybe I can find a recipe to approximate the apricot-fig chutney I so happily buy for $9 per jar.

Pumpkin buttah

October 25, 2006 9:52 AM


I could be wrong, but I have this image of a house filled with multi-hued mason jars preserving every possible fruit/vegetable/spice combination. It's probably a good thing that your hiatus is fairly limited. Otherwise, you'd have to find a much bigger house.

... and I'm guessing that using canned pumpkin would defeat the purpose?

You'll probably have to wait until June for apricot/fig combos, but I'm sure you could make some fabulous apple or orange things that go into pretty little jars.

[Man, I love mason jars.]

Kudos! I promise that the more you do it, the easier it gets and the less mess you will make. That is not to say, however, that it ever is less than a lot of work and a lot of mess. Just less.