Canning Craze

Tomato Sauce & Puree

Tomato Sauce & Puree

Earlier this summer our office staff member, Sarah K. gave me a book on pickling and canning for my birthday.  I thought it was so thoughtful.  At our office cookout a few weeks prior we showed off our bountiful vegetable garden and I gave everyone a handful of cucumbers on their way out.  We probably had over 100 cucumbers this summer, and what on earth to do with them?  Pickle!

 I pulled out my pickling book and picked up some jars at the store and gave it a whirl.  I tried dill and sweet bread and butter. The dill were definitely a little easier to make, however, I have a huge sweet tooth so the bread and butter are more for me.  We made a whole shelf full of pickle jars.  If they turn out well all of our relatives will be getting them for Christmas!  It is time consuming but it also gave me a rewarding feeling of being resourceful and not wasteful of the nutritious crops made by the sun and the soil. 

Pickles, Apple Sauce, Ketchup

Pickles, Apple Sauce, Ketchup

In addition to pickles we also made ketchup, tomato sauce, tomato puree, and apple sauce.  The tomatoes came in part from our garden and also from Flying J Farm (organic).  The apples were hand pick by Jack, Greg and I at Windy Hill Apple Farm in Newark.  They too are organic!  We also harvested and froze broccoli, beets, and carrots from our garden.

 The basics of Canning:

  1.  Puree or prepare your food according to the recipe
  2. Prepare jars if necessary by boiling the jars and lids in advance
  3. Place the food in jars with 0.5-1.0 inches of headspace (space at the top of the jar) and cap them with the lids
  4. Boil for 15-30 min. depending on the acidity of the food
  5. Let cool, check lids for a good seal and store in a cool dry place

 Lessons learned

Next year I will probably not make ketchup – it took a tremendous amount of tomatoes and time for a very small amount of ketchup.  I will also plant more canning tomatoes.

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