Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Today is the day to can cherries. I think they're at their peak where I live and the prices have dropped. I went to the farmers market on Saturday and asked the farmer to bring me two flats today and she negotiated the price due to the quantity.

I'm going to can cherry jam, three types of infused cherries in Armagnac, Grand Marnier and Cognac plus cherry pie filling.

Next week I want to can some cantaloupe jam. I need to dig up my recipe for it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Basque Chicken

I'm making Basque Chicken this evening. A friend gave me a farm raised chicken yesterday and I gardened most of the day, so it was an easy solution that I can cook while I'm writing this blog.

I can Sauce Basquaise about every other year, so I'm due to can it again this summer. When you don't have it canned, there is dinner a recipe at the Basque Chicken webpage.

I got the recipe from a Basque chef from San Sebastian. A lot of the home cooks in the Basque region of France add sugar, but I prefer it without. It can also be served on the side with a baked chicken or with a grilled or poached fish.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Canning Cherries and Apricots

This is a reminder that it's time to start thinking about canning cherries! Cherries are in season and the prices get attractive when they are most abundant at the height of the season. I usually can them at the end of May or the beginning of June.

A week or two after canning cherries, you might think about canning apricots. They typically follow cherries by a couple of weeks.

Recipes for canning cherries and apricots can be found at the fruits menu of

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Problems with Stove tops and Waterbath Canners.

A user e-mailed me with the following question today:

I would like to purchase your bathwater canner but it says that it is not recommended for the kind of stove I have. Any suggestions as to what I can do besides buying a new stove?

Some flat surfaced cook-tops don't conduct heat evenly or aren't perfectly flat. This can make the temperature in the waterbath canner fluctuate.

To resolve this, I recommended she try one of the coiled single electric burners that are at this link, or a propane burner or cook stand. One of those large pots and burners that were used for deep frying turkeys will work well too, but they need a canning rack or fine pebbles at the bottom.

I have one of the propane burners for my waterbath canner that I only use outside for security purposes. Propane burns a lot hotter than natural gas, so the water heats up a lot faster. If you are canning a large batch, you might set up a couple of them.