Friday, September 17, 2010

Fun With Food

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you know that I've been having fun learning how to put up food. I've been making jam for years, but have always wanted to try other things, specifically tomatoes. When a friend asked if I was interested in taking a canning class in late August, I was there. At the class, we made jam with no added pectin, salsa, and canned whole tomatoes. Doing the tomatoes was just the boost I needed to start on my own.

I've belonged to a CSA (Springdale Farm) for about 5 years, and every year, we get lots of cucumbers. I don't really like cucumbers. This year, we also got dill once in a while, and in the weekly newsletter, they sent a recipe for refrigerator pickles. Both Calvin and David like pickles, so I gave it a try. They declared it a success! Next year I might try a cooked recipe that is canned.

I made basil-garlic tomato sauce (from the Ball Blue Book) using tomatoes from my garden, CSA, and the farmer's market. I needed 20# of tomatoes, and when I told the farmer I was making sauce, she offered me a price break if I would take the 'ugly' brandywines. Yay! The sauce took forever to reduce, but it was worth it, and I now have 9 pints sitting on my shelves.

I also put up tomatoes for the first time. These are Clint Eastwood Rowdy Reds, from my garden. I managed to keep the late blight mostly at bay this year.

Outpost had a truckload sale last Saturday, and one of the specials was an 18# box of organic peaches for $20. I bought one and put up 13.5 pints of sliced peaches in a light syrup. Unfortunately I dropped one pint on the floor. I learned that I should always wear shoes when canning (I was fine, but it was close!).

I have to say, I love that I can take this...

...and end up with 7 quarter pints of really really good ketchup.


Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

How cool is this? I'm loving all the pics and wishing I lived closer so I could try these out in person!!!

Look at me inviting myself over! *LOL*

Gwen said...

Hi! Thanks for explaining the difference between basting and stay stitching. All this time I've been using the same stitch length (long) to serve both functions! Yikes! Well, now I know to use a smaller stitch when I stay stitch - better late than never, I guess! ;)

dmarie said...

I have the Ball book too but can't seem to find the nerve to actually can something. I end up freezing everything I "can" because I'm afraid my canning didn't work perfectly. I'll look for a class...thanks for the idea! your canned goods are beautiful.