I am writing this post with a very heavy heart with fires burning out of control in the Napa Valley. Over 220,000 acres have burned so far in the multiple fires in the North Bay! As of now, my property is still OK, but the fire is surrounding us. Many communities have been devastated.
Just before the fires began, I spent Saturday canning with my daughter Griffin and two of her friends who are great cooks and wanted to learn to can or "put up" fruit and vegetables as we called it in Minnesota.
I spent the morning washing and sterilizing the pint jars and then set them on a sheet pan in a 200 degree oven to keep them warm.
I use a large pasta pot for my water bath, but you can use any pot you have. The water should be boiling before you put the jars into it.
We spent a full day of great conversation, great meals (these girls can cook!) and canned 109 pints and quarts. We made Strawberry Jam, Cherry Jam, Persimmon Jam, Pear Butter and Marinara Sauce. It was a team effort and the most efficient day of canning that I have ever had.
We made Persimmon Jam for the first time. I had already peeled, chopped and froze Fuyu Persimmons, so we just had to thaw the fruit to get started.
4 cups of Fuyu Persimmons
2 cups sugar
6 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add all the ingredients together in a stock pot and slowly cook the mix stirring frequently to avoid burning for about 40 to 50 minutes until you get the consistency you want.
An easy way to test to see if the jam is set is to drop a spoonful on a cold plate. The jam is ready if it doesn't run.
When set, allow the jam to sit for 5 minutes before filling warm clean jars. You can either refrigerate or can. If canning, Persimmon Jam needs about 8 minutes in the water bath to seal.
I had posted the recipes for marinara sauce, pear butter, apple butter and strawberry jam last year, so I only included the persimmon jam in this post. If you want any other recipes, let me know.
It was a perfect day!
Unfortunately, I left most of the preserves at our house in Napa. Hopefully, I will be able to share them if our property escapes the flames.
My prayers go out to all the people who are suffering loss and displacement. I also want to thank the brave fire, police and first responder teams, as well as the many volunteers helping in the effort to put out the fires and care for the victims.
God Bless America!