I’ve been a canning fool. This post will not be a How To Can post though. I assume you have very little desire to read about the intricacies of how to can, and to be perfectly honest, I have no desire to write that. There are experts who have written about it in books and online. Google it and you will find a million posts, all better than I would write.
So, why even bring it up then? Because I finally took the plunge this year and started canning things.
I was scared.
I was nervous.
I didn’t want to spend hours and hours in a hot kitchen. But, I have a small freezer and I knew, given the size of my garden, that I would need to can things. If not, I’d end up wasting or giving away a lot of food.
I don’t mind giving food away, and I’ve given a fair bit to friends, neighbors, colleagues, and family. But the wasting thing? Not gonna happen on my watch.
So, I canned. And then canned some more. I canned on weekend afternoons. I canned on early Sunday mornings. I canned well into the evening hours.
I canned a lot. So I guess what I am trying to tell you, is prepare for pictures, y’all.
Here’s what I’ve canned.
It started with the Vanilla Cantaloupe Jelly. As easy as that was though, all the subsequent jams I’ve made are all freezer jams. They are just still too easy to freeze, and I generally make very small batches that it isn’t worth the time to go throught the whole canning process.
But I’ll be talking about jamming soon enough. Patience, kids.
Pickles happened. Lots of them.
Some were canned, but about half of them I quick pickled. This was just about a month ago, and I have 1/2 of one of the small jars left, but I’ve not yet dipped into the canned pickles. All in due time.
Then there were Dilly Beans.
I got these from my neighbor and some from my garden. I just canned a few pints and a couple quarts. I’ve tried one so far and YES YES YES.
There will be more beans next year, count on it.
Then, I started to get a little fancier. I used actual recipes.
Green Tomato Chutney was the first. I know I said I don’t can tomatoes, but what I meant was that I don’t can plain tomatoes. Salsas, chutneys, and sauces don’t count.
This was fantastic and I definitely need to get you all the recipe. But I’m too lazy to do that now. I will though. Promise. Soon. Soonish.
And lastly, just this past Sunday, I canned 5 pints of Curried Tomato Sauce.
I used this recipe, actually following it almost exactly!
I used ripe red tomatoes (the recipe calls for green tomatoes and I wasn’t sure if that meant green ripe or green unripe, but I had a surplus of ripe tomatoes, so I went with those), no butter (because….butter? really?), stevia instead of brown sugar, and I added 2 T of clear jel to the mix because I am impatient and it wasn’t thickening fast enough for my liking.
This stuff is GOOD. I gave a friend one of the jars and I can already tell you that I’ll be making more But, it’s more like salsa, I think, than sauce. Although, salsa is just spanish for sauce, so they are the same thing. But here in America, it seems we’ve adopted the word salsa to mean a particular kind of sauce.
Except that this isn’t a Mexican or Southwest flavored sauce. Or salsa. Or…what?
I’ve just confused myself.
Have you done any canning? Do you the difference between sauce and salsa? Do you like chutney? Do you have any great looking canning recipes? Links to recipes are strongly encouraged! I’m not done harvesting yet…..and I have no more room in my freezer!