Sunday, October 11, 2009

Easy Canning Recipes~If I Can Can You Can Can!

No I don't mean that Can-can {nothing so exciting as that}!

I contemplated giving you a garden update but now that my garden has been covered in snow I believe it is a little late and pointless! Despite the poor weather conditions this year we had a decent harvest: About 20 pounds of potatoes, bags and bags of green and yellow beans which are now clogging our freezer, and enough cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers to do a bit of canning!
Now, I am far from the domestic goddess type. I was always of the impression that I would be the professional or academic too busy working to bake, cook, and heaven forbid can! But three children later I have learned to adapt. Having lived in the arctic for 8 years I was able to avoid something as down-home domestic as canning but that all changed when I started truly gardening in our new southern home. Last year I was struck with the dilemma of being overwhelmed by fresh vegetables. Knowing they would not last long I had to find a way to use and preserve them thus the idea of canning flourished.

I needed some very simple canning recipes! A neighbour of mine provided me with a simple Krispy Pickles recipe for my cucumbers and my mom had a wonderful Chili sauce recipe which I always remembered enjoying as a garnish with roast beef or sausages! For those who are a bit unsure what to do with their garden overflow and are not already adept at the domestic arts these recipes are for you!

NOTE: Remember you must always sterilize your canning jars before use. I tend to turn them upside down in water in a deep skillet on the stove. The boiling water steams the jars. Remember heat is the key to sealing the jars. Make sure you put your recipes in the jars hot! The special canning lids will seal as the jars start to cool.

Mom's Chili Sauce
{the amounts can be altered and played with}

8-10 Onions
1 Large fruit basket of Tomatoes
1 1/2 cups vinegar
4 cups brown sugar {or more}
3 stalks celery
2 green sweet peppers
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. allspice
2 tsp black pepper
Handful of salt

1. Soak the tomatoes in boiling water first to remove the skins. I use my sink or a large basin to soak the tomatoes and just boil water in my kettle to pour over them. The skins will split and can be removed easily after this.

2. Grind the celery, onions, and peppers {I used my food processor}.

3. Mix all ingredients in a very large stock pot on the stove and cook for 2 hours or more until a bit thick and dark red {mine was actually a little more green last year because I used some yellow tomatoes as well}. While cooking the chili sauce use a potato masher now and then to break up the tomatoes.

4. Pour your hot chili sauce into sterilized canning jars and cover with seal and lid ring. leave the jars on your counter top until you know they are sealed. They will seal as they cool. You will hear a popping sound and the seal lid will have indented in the center.

5. Store in a cool place in your home.

Krispy Pickles
{taste like sweet mixed pickles}

5 medium cucumbers, sliced
3 medium onions, sliced
1/4 cup salt

Put salt on the cucumbers and onions and let stand for 3 hours then wash and drain.

Make the Brine:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 tsp mustard seed

Heat these brine ingredients in a saucepan.
Pour the brine over the vegetables in a stock pot and reheat just to boiling {but do not let them boil}.
Pour into jars and seal!

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