18 September, 2015
I am no canning expert but over the past few years I have been dabbling in it. It first started when I saw a recipe for pepper jelly in Gourmet magazine. It tasted just like the Harry and David one and I couldn’t resist making it! After that I started making applesauce and now I am hooked. I am still a newbie but there is a lot of information out there on safe canning and there are plenty of tested recipes to follow. I recommend starting with the Ball Blue Book, Ball recipes or The National Center For Home Preservation. There are Facebook groups and lots of blogs all dedicated to safe canning. There is even an online self study to make sure you feel comfortable with safe canning practices.
Canning does take some time and work but the final product is so much better then commercially canned food that it is worth it. Try canning something that you know you will eat and that is worth your time. Today I am cooking down tomatoes that I picked from Freedom Food Farm. I will put them through my food mill and have kitchen ready tomatoes to make a great sauce. These tomatoes will still taste like summer tomatoes even in January so it is worth it to me!
I use a large roasting pan to increase the surface area allowing for more rapid evaporation of the juice. It takes some time but my house smells great and all I need to do right now is stir the pans every 30 minutes or so. Here is the recipe I used to can them.