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Friday, September 3, 2010

Anti-recipe 7 - Continued adventures in canning...

So I am canning again.

Crazy huh? I am just asking for torture. And a messy kitchen. But I can’t help myself. Mainly because I found out I did my last sauce wrong (added zucchini and then didn’t add lemon juice) and I hate, HATE being bad at things. So I went to the farmers market yesterday and grabbed up as many bags as would fit in babydear’s stroller and here I am.

So this time I did things a little differently.

I cubed up several pounds of tomatoes and put them in small ziplock bags in the freezer. No peeling and hot water and etc this time. I will use these to dump into the crockpot for chili and stews etc. in the dead of winter, remembering a better time when my frozen-wasteland-of-a-state was beautiful and green.

Then I took the rest of the tomatoes and washed, cubed, and pureed in the blender. I chucked it all in the big sauce pot and let it cook, adding a bit of chopped fresh basil and salt.

I am now boiling my jars.

This time I WILL add the lemon juice.

Apparently it is Very Bad and Very Irresponsible to have done otherwise. Although, I read in a nifty blog my father sent me about end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it survival that one can boil tomatoes that were canned by water bath prior to use as a preventative just-in-case measure to ensure no ickies are in your tomatoes.

Now it may be Very Irresponsible of me to suggest this. Obviously if you suspect botulism, don’t boil, just THROW IT AWAY. Botulism presents as bulging jars, cracked seals, etc. Read here for more signs. I have never in my life seen a jar that was thus contaminated. And my mother canned (via water bath mostly) for my entire childhood.

I have high hopes for this sauce.

Oops. Just went to put sauce in jars. It only filled 1 and ½ quart size jars. So, I got some pint size jars (stolen from my mother over the years) and am now boiling them. I will USE THE RINGS AND LIDS FROM THE NEW JARS, NOT THE OLD ONES. This is also Very Important whilst canning. Not to reuse lids. EVER.

The sauce is now cooling on the counter. It looks tasty. Like real sauce. Go me.

As far as the other zucchini-tainted-non-lemon-juiced batch?

My husband insists he will eat it.

My mom tells me just use it up first.

I might just opt for a jar of Preggo though.

In other canning news:

The pickles shared by my old friend Mary Beth from the Duggar family website turned out great. I mean, I haven’t eaten them yet but they sure look like pickles!

They were super easy to do. Slice up cucumbers into spears. Add three cloves of garlic per jar. Throw in some dill seed. Mix up a concoction of vinegar and water and boil it. Place jars in oven at 250 (yes filled with pickles) until really really hot. Take out of oven. Put in vinegar mixture to fill jar up to rim. Boil rings and lids. Put lids and rings on jars. Let sit on the counter until they seal (POP!). Look here for official directions.

Next up: Canning applesauce. So fricking easy….(fingers crossed)


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