One of the reasons that everyone I know asks me questions like “Do you ever sleep” is because I always seem to be doing something canning related when I get home from my full time job. But that very recently went into overdrive with an influx of store orders, Christmas gift basket requests and preparing my own Christmas gifts. And then it went into double overdrive when I took a sample of my cranberry sauce to my local butcher shop for them to try and they LOVED it and ordered 200 jars.
Now if you are at all familiar with preserving, you know that the average preserving recipe yields between 4-7 jars. So even if we leaned a little to the side of a higher yield and assumed we would get 6 jars per batch that would mean I needed to make 33 batches in a little over a week in order to meet this order. Suffering from the inability to clone myself, meant that I had to look at alternate solutions and that is when my butcher took me into the basement and introduced me to Jack, Jill and Sparky and a slow smile spread across my face and a small amount of fear entered my heart.
You see Jack, Jill and Sparky are tilting steam kettles and I have been dying to get my hands on one of these so I could begin to seriously start batching up my recipes.
This past Saturday, with 50lb of cranberries, over 20 bags of sugar, a carton of oranges and enough boxes of pectin that the cashier at Highland Farms looked at me with a curious expression on her face, I walked up to Jill and Sparky and began my first ever LARGE batch.
After consulting a preserver I met in Portland, I knew what had to be done and all that was left was doing it.
I am happy to report that this week I will delivering 180 jars to the Butcher Shop on Kingston Road. So if you are in the area – get them while they last!