Saturday, September 8, 2012

Canning for the 1st Time

I have managed to get through 20+ years without having the experience of canning anything. My families generations ago lived on farms and certainly did colossal amounts of canning. This was just one "primitive" skill that my mother and grandmother never passed to me (or perhaps my mom never even did it).

The idea came to me when a friend told me all of the delicious sounding things she has canned from her garden just this year. The only thing my garden has this year are four giant tomato plants and one volunteer cucumber that came back from last year.

I don't have a huge amount of tomatoes and the cucumbers are only growing one or two a month. This means in order to can, I will need to purchase my produce from a source other than my own yard. My husband insists that one of the main points of canning is to do so with your own ingredients, but I think it will be an experience worth while anyway.

I have my sights set on three separate items to can my first attempt at the process. The first will be tomato sauce from a recipe I got from the Ball website Ball Canning. I am hoping this sauce will be able to double as spaghetti sauce when seasonings and meat are added.

I am also going to try canning my homemade applesauce that I already made in the crock pot. My only purpose for this is that it won't spoil as quickly so I'm following my own recipe as posted in a previous post but adding lemon to it because I'm assuming that will help preserve it.

The last recipe I am going to make I tried prepared by someone else. It is called Jalapeno Jelly. Sounds odd, I know but it is put on top of a warmed brick of cream cheese and served with crackers. It gives the cream cheese a bit of spice that is very good.

I am choosing to invest in Ball products because they seem to have a wide availability across many stores and they have a great website with tips, hints, and recipes. Plus, replacement parts will be easier to come by than an off brand might be down the road.

For all of my recipes, I am going to try lemon juice instead of citric acid. If the lemon juice doesn't work out I will do some research into whether buying a pre-made product will be worth it.

I would also like to add, these are photos of people who knew what they were doing when they canned. If I'm brave enough I will photograph my results as well!


Tomato Sauce:
 Tomato Sauce Canning Recipe
 Tomatoes, cored (2 1/2 pounds per pint)
Ball® Citric Acid or bottled lemon juice (1 tbs. per pint)
Salt (optional) (1/2 tsp per pint)
Dried herbs (optional) (about 1/2 tsp per pint)

Jalapeno Jelly (2 1/2 pints or 5 half pints)
Jalapeno Jelly Canning Recipe
12 oz jalapeƱo peppers (about 12 med)
2 cups cider vinegar, divided
6 cups sugar
2 3-oz pouches of Ball® RealFruit™ Liquid Pectin
Green food coloring, optional
5 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

Applesauce Canning Recipe
12 lbs apples, peeled, cored, quartered, treated to prevent browning* and drained (about 36 medium)
3 cups granulated sugar, optional
4 Tbsp lemon juice
8 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

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