Canning season has begun at my house, although I was trying to hold off until later in the month to really get into things. It dawned on me the other day though when I reached into the cupboard and found one last, lonely jar of jam that berry season would be gone if I waited too long. Since then, I have put up a couple small pints of raspberry preserves from some ever-bearing plants at the Urban Farm. I have also made enough small batches of blackberry preserves to refill the jam shelf.

I have been playing around with various marinara recipes, but I haven’t found one I am in love with yet. Last year, I used the recipe from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and was very pleased. But it’s time to mix it up and find something new, perhaps something not as sweet. Got any ideas?

And then there are all the pears dropping all over Eugene. Of course there will need to be more pear chutney because that is the answer to all cravings for me. But this year I also want to master pear butter and maybe some other new things. I am planning to make pear cider with a friend in the next few days, so a post will come soon on that little experiment.

The harvest is all around us and it can be hard to find little pockets of time to preserve it all. But a little extra work now will really save us this winter when we can’t remember what the sun looks like, let alone what a bowl of fresh berries tastes like!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson