The pears, I'll prepare in two ways. Pear sauce, which is great to bake with during the holiday season (I substitute the oil with either pear sauce or apple sauce and the baked goodies come out so yummy and less fat and stuff!) I sometimes even use the pear sauce for making pancakes or waffles on Sunday mornings - adds some great flavor! The second way I will process the pears is by making and canning juice. My sister-in-law, Monika turned me onto this idea - and I love it! I will start on the juice next weekend - I need to wait for more pears to fall. Today, I used the crock pot to make the pear sauce instead of the stovetop. It makes it a lot easier and since I don't have two large pots, this takes care of it all since I have two crock pots.
For the plums, I cooked them down in the crock pot with some red wine, cinnamon and cloves. I then pressed them through a sieve to remove any pits that may have snuck in and also to remove the skins. I then reduced the sauce on the stove top after I added some Agave (instead of sugar) and then put them in jars! The sauce still is a little bitter to me, but I figure when I cook with it in the future, I can adjust it to fit what I'm cooking with it. I may have added a little too much cloves to, but I'll take it as a learning experience.
I never thought I would be the kind of gal to can food. It scared me. What if something I made made me or someone else sick! I could never live with myself, however I couldn't let my fears get in my way and I couldn't let all this food go to waste, especially now with this economy!
However, the hours I spend in the kitchen washing, cutting, prepping and cooking the best sound in the world after all that work is the "POP" of the lids sealing as I sit back with a glass of wine and stare at the sink full of dirty dishes I created. Today - the dishes can wait until the morning!
Happy canning season to you!