The Mild ‘Canning of The Cherries’ Fiasco

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I have loved Maraschino cherries since I was a very small girl in South GA… I mean, I would throw myself in the floor and pitch a royal fit if I asked for some and I was refused (I was kind of a brat…iggles) .
Now as an adult and a homesteader I decided to can my own sweet cherries in a light simple syrup. The process seemed simple enough; I had done water bath  canning before, things like peppers and jellies, how hard could this be? Ha!

These were the steps I used:
1) I washed the cherries and removed the stems.
2) I left the pits in (They fall right out after they are processed and it is kinda fun to spit the pits 🙂 )
3) I sterilized all the jars and lids in boiling water
4) I made the simple syrup using 3:1 ratio; 3 cups water to 1 cup sugar
5) Put the cherries into the clean sterilized jars and added the syrup leaving 1/4 inch head space.
6) Wiped the rims clean and added the lids
7) Placed then gently into a hot water bath and let it come to a boil and timed it for 25 min.
8) Removed from water bath

I did seven pints of cherries like this 4/3 jars at a time. I could not wait to hear that “PING” of the lids sealing. As I am removing the jars from the pot I am noticing a luscious red liquid streaming down all but one of the jars. They were leaking! All that time and “effort” and I could not let them cool and put them on a shelf for later use , not to mention not hearing all of them go “PING” …In my research as to why this would happen I found some people saying, “as long as they seal they are okay”, but I’m not one to take that chance. I want a clean seal!
So I kept researching and found that I might need to leave 1/2 inch head space and leave the jars in the water bath for about 5 minutes after I turn off the stove; this is supposed to secure the lids in there place and allows the fruit and syrup time to stop boiling before they are removed from the pot. So, I will definitely do these two things next time.
I put 4 pints of cherries in the refrigerator, gave 3 away to family, and I have already devoured 2 of those pints that were in the refrigerator all by myself… they are delish!
Oh, and DO NOT throw out the syrup after the cherries have been eaten; it is great in a soda, over ice-cream, or maybe a splash in your favorite adult beverage.
Happy canning…
Shalom

“Bambi”

We have two mama does that like to hide out in the woods around our house. A few weeks ago we were able to get a glimpse of their offspring; low and behold it turned out to be two sets of twins. We were thrilled to get this news (Kinda like family waiting on news of a new birth).
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Lately, the babies have been spreading there figurative wings and are beginning to show themselves to us a little more often. Yesterday I happened to be at the right place at the right moment to snap a quick blurry pic of one of them before he pounced through the woods. You can see him here checking me out as I was checking him out (So sweet). I snapped the pic, the tail went up, and off he went.
It is such fun to watch them play, grow (As they are beginning to lose their spots), and learn how to survive. I know they will begin to move further out the older they get and eventually we will see them play around the house no more.
This was a sweet moment in time for me.