Stocking up on a range of food items gave me some choices of what to do with my mound of winter squash that i got at some GREAT deals!
I have 4 pie pumpkins 3 are a traditional look a like mini jack-o-lantern type the 4th is a warty scarred ugly yet very pretty type pumpkin (I'm sure that doesn't make a lot of sense) that i believe the gentlemen said was winter harvest or something of the sort.. its a 7 pound pumpkin compared to the others which are about 3.
My first pie pumpkin I made into a puree stuck into a glass jar and froze (this will be the base for our Thanksgiving made from scratch pumpkin pie, the 2nd pie pumpkin became a Orange-Pumpkin Jam.. 3rd and forth do not yet have a purpose but will and they store VERY well :)
Onto my Orange-Pumpkin Jam which resulted in my FIRST canning experience.
Knowing I wanted to can but not having the normal fruits to work with I started searching the internet stumbling upon a recipe for pumpkin jam.. sadly pumpkin cannot be canned in its straight form as it has NO acidity*. So then I started thinking what do i have that has a high acid content.. lemons and oranges...
So I searched some more..
Combining the 2 I could create a Orange-Pumpkin Jam that some say is super yummy.
There were mixed reviews about water bath canning this so I called up my expert canner.. That's my momma!!!
A quick look in her canning book said yes as long as pumpkin is mixed with high acid items like lemons, oranges, pineapples it can in fact be canned! YAY
I pulled out all my canning items that had been untouched since I got them last Christmas and set them up on the counter. I was walked through the canning process by my mom helping me learn how to properly prepare the jars, and lids.. remove jars from water ladle in jam.. fetch lids from water seal and start processing..
I had moments of cursing as my jars tipped, bumped into each other, fell over, etc
but the real intense part was waiting for the jars to pop.. I poured myself some Strawberry Riesling wine and sat down to wait.. 5 minutes.. nothing.... 10 minutes.. Nothing... 15 minutes.. still nothing.. no pop, no whoosh, no nothing (yes I am aware that I used improper grammar).. Feeling defeated I was talking with my mom.. inspecting and finally pushing down on lids they did NOT move at all.. no budge, no bubble, no movement at all.. THAT MEANS THEY SEALED!!!
The original recipe I was modifying called to water bath for 10 minutes after reading the Ball book we thought maybe 15 was better.. it seems that that extra bathing time resulted in the final 5 minute sitting after processing to seal the jars.
Im waiting for them to cool to do the final check.. opening 1 jar to use on some fresh bread I had picked up at the Sweetwater Farmers Market today.. If its hard to open and makes that whoosh sounds when opened we were correct and they sealed :)
YAY! I am now a canner!!! WOOOOOOOOOO
*Please note some people do can straight pumpkin in a pressure canner, there is conflicting advice on if this is a safe practice