Someday I'll work up the courage to try "real" canning. By which I mean, using a pressure canner, rather than just a hot water bath to safely heat and seal my jars. After all, water bath canning limits you to canning higher-acid foods, since it isn't able to reach the intense temperatures that a pressure canner can. I've pressure canned salsa and a few other odds and ends before, but only with my Mom present. She has a dandy old pressure canner, which I happen to be terrified to use alone.
Firstly, because there is a right way and a wrong way to use a pressure canner. I have an inordinate amount of fear that I will miss a step and somehow manage to blow up my kitchen. After footing the bill from my car accident, I'm not sure that my insurance agent would be super keen to learn of my dabbling with super heated liquids encased in immanently breakable glass jars either.
Secondly, I'm not a huge fan of mopping my ceiling. My husband's beer brewing mishaps have seen well to that.
So, I'm primarily a jam kinda gal. In fact, my very good friend Jen and I have a yearly summer canning fest that we've dubbed the Jam-o-Rama.
This year, Jen got a great deal on a case of beautiful, locally grown peaches, so we're making three kinds of peach jam/preserves - Spiced Peach, Raspberry Peach and Earl Grey infused Peach. This jam-o-rama is definitely an all day affair, but sooo worth the trouble.
Our jammin' lasted a full 10+ hours this year, and resulted in a total of 78 jars of gorgeous, delicious jam.
After four years of hardcore jammin', we gals finally seem to know what we're about. I daresay that "The Earl" is our best effort yet. Alas, because this was our first time trying our heavily modified/improvised recipe, we only made a double batch (as opposed to our usual, quadruple), and therefore ended up with just 9 half pints each. We'll definitely make a bigger batch next year, but after peeling and chopping 30 pounds of fuzzy golden orbs, I think we're all peached out for now.
Still on my to-do list: Blueberry, Hawthorn and Apple and maybe blackberry. We'll see how long this wave of enthusiasm lasts. ;)