Hurry Up and Get Canning!
The first day of autumn is but 10 days away, which means the opportunities for home canning and preserving are diminishing by the minute. If you’ve been putting off “putting up” like I have, there’s no more time to waste! This weekend, I hope to devise a plan and get real busy real fast next week with my canning partner Kate if she’s game.
Last year, we canned peaches and made berry jam, and this year, I’m going to suggest pickled cauliflower (as seen in the September issue of Saveur and a big ol' batch of tomato sauce, using Barbara Kingsolver’s (“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”) recipe (details below). Looks like we might have help; I just received an e-mail from fellow food blogger Leslie Hatfield, of Eat Well Guide, who’s in Seattle visiting family. She says she’s ready to lend a hand; wonder if that would give us time to try canning our own tuna. Wouldn’t that be the coolest?
Now I’m tempted to declare the next ten days as the Mighty Appetite “Can Your Heart Away” extravaganza. You guys can share your tips, recipes and canning reports, and if you’ve got pics, I’ll put’em up, too. Intrigued and want to know more about the science of canning? Check out this handy backgrounder brought to you by the National Center for Home Food Preservation and then head over to epicurious, which has compiled a nifty interactive canning guide with recipes and the lowdown on setting up your canning rig. It’s a goodie.
In the midst of contemplating buckets of marinara sauce, I found this recent
San Francisco Chronicle interview with Kingsolver about canning tomatoes.
Now I must sign off – I’ve got a few canning calls to make – and 30 pounds of tomatoes to track down. Have a delicious weekend!
Family Secret Tomato Sauce
From “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver
If you’re canning, stick closely to this recipe; adding additional fresh vegetables will change the pH so it’s unsafe for water-bath canning. If you’re freezing, then it’s fine to throw in peppers, mushrooms fresh garlic, whatever you want.
Makes 6-7 quarts.
10 quarts tomato puree (from about 30 pounds tomatoes)
4 large onions, chopped
1 cup dried basil
½ cup honey
4 tablespoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons ground dried lemon peel
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons garlic powder (or more, to taste0
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Soften onions in a heavy three-gallon kettle – add a small amount of water if necessary but no oil if you are canning (very important!). Add pureed tomatoes and all seasonings, bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, until sauce has thickened to your liking. Stir frequently, especially toward the end, to avoid burning. Meanwhile, heat water in canner bath, sterilize jars in boiling water or dishwasher and pour boiling water over jar lids.
Bottled lemon juice or citric acid is not optional!
Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice OR ½ teaspoon citric acid to each quart jar (halve that amount for pint jars). This ensures that the sauce will be safely acidic. When sauce is ready, ladle into jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Cap jars, lower gently into canner and boil for 35 minutes. Remove, cool, check all seals, label and store for winter.
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