Canned Pumpkin Butter (226th new thing).

December 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

I bought a canning kit off the internet awhile ago, figuring it was certainly something new and different that I could try.  After my luck with beets the day before, I looked online for easy canning recipes, something that didn’t warrant a trip to the farmer’s market. I googled, “beginning easy canning recipe” and pumpkin butter came up at the top of the list. Seasonal and made with few ingredients, most of which I had in the cupboard. It didn’t require a whole pumpkin, just canned pumpkin puree, which was certainly a tip in its favor. It seemed weird to take something from a can, add some spices, and stick it in a jar, but on a cold October evening in Georgia, it seemed like a golden idea.

Of course, I had chosen a recipe that didn’t actually require boiling the jars for which the kit was made. I was not to be deterred. I mixed the pumpkin solution and microwaved as instructed, and then scooped the concoction into one of the jars. I removed the air bubbles, screwed the lid on “finger tight,” and wiped the side of the glass. I set the lone jar into the plastic basket that was to go into the pot of simmering water and grabbed the green plastic holder that fit around the basket.

Except that the holder was warped from the box it came in. So I followed the instructions to return the plastic to its original shape by setting in simmering water for a minute.

It didn’t fit in my pot. I put half in for a few seconds and then the other side, trying to shape the warm plastic. I squeezed too hard and the ring that allows you to lift and lower the plastic basket snapped.

I swore at the device, riling up my dog and boyfriend in the process. I needed to be alone to figure out this simple task. I had sudden flashbacks to sewing an easy skirt. I breathed deeply, calming myself down. I would improvise.

I tried to squeeze the broken plastic ring around the basket and lower it and the lone jar sitting inside down into the scalding water, but the pot was too small. I forced it all in, realizing in the process there was no way the water would come above the jar an entire inch. At best the levels of the lid and boiling water would be even. I swore some more.

While I hopefully/ hopelessly left the jar in its water bath, I scooped the remaining pumpkin butter into two smaller jars I had saved for just such an occasion. At least I would get something out of the evening. I put one in the fridge and one in the freezer (for a longer shelf life) and returned to my Ball canning jar.

Removing the thing was even more difficult, and necessitated Patrick lifting the green plastic basket with two outward facing forks until I could grab the top of the jar with an oven mitt. It worked, sort of, except for the fact that the jar was never properly sealed (or so I thought). The button in the middle did not pop down until half an hour later as the contents within cooled. I questioned whether or not it would be safe for a long period of time in the pantry, and vowed to consume the sweet spread long before anything bad could happen (like botulism).

Anyone want pumpkin butter?

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