It's definitely summer and the local fruits and veggies are beginning to show up in abundance. I like to store lots of them for the winter months while they are 'in season' and fresh. Much of the fruit and veggies we can get locally I freeze, dehydrate, or can. I've already got about 50 pounds of strawberries in the freezer and dried, some cherries, and blueberries too. In the next few weeks I'll get about 100 lb of tomatoes and peaches canned. I ran out of tomatoes about a month ago. I can hardly wait for them to begin ripening.
Got together with Rachel and Allison yesterday for a full day of canning cherries and fun in the kitchen. We canned about 60 pounds of Washington Bing and Rainier cherries. Rachel whipped up some cherry lavender jam using dried Stevia for a sweetener. She also pureed some fresh raspberries and blueberries and added a bit of lemon zest to be used in ice creams and sauces. No sweetener was added to the raspberry and blueberry puré. That way they can be used tart or sweetened later. The cherries don't have any added sugar either, just a bit of stevia in some water with lemon juice and a bit of red wine.
How many cooks can you fit in a 'single wide' kitchen? We did great considering the space we worked in. Special thanks goes to Scott, he was a great cherry washer, cherry stoner, stem plucker and photographer.