Posts Tagged ‘Canning’

All Things Apple

October 11, 2009

Photo by the Magical Emily Wat

Yesterday was a great day. We spent the day with lots and lots of apples: First at an orchard where we picked them, and later at home when we turned them into tasty tasty treats.

Our friends with much better cameras than ours got some really great shots at the orchard – thanks Emily and Ankle! The orchard was great fun – something we hope to make an annual tradition. We last went two years ago and while we really enjoyed it, we found ourselves inundated with massive amounts of apples.. far too many to eat or even make into pies. Now that we’re into canning, we decided to invite everyone back to our place after to pool our apple hauls and make apple butter and apple preserves. We also tried  our hand at making some hard cider. More on that in a month or so, when we know if it worked out!

Thanks to everyone who participated – the apple butter in particular is amazingly tasty – and made for a really yummy breakfast.

Mowlgi’s Tomato Sauce

September 29, 2009
A small fraction of our tomatoes.

A small fraction of our tomatoes.

A bit more canning lately to use up the last of our garden tomatoes. We sadly pulled up our tomato plants on Sunday… they were just looking far too sad though they did produce a lot of really yummy (though small) tomatoes this year.

We ended up making a full batch of 6 x 500mL jars of salsa (with the awesome label), and a small batch of tomato sauce. Bernardin said the recipe below would make 6 x 500mL jars, but we only got three and a bit. Of course, it was likely partially our fault, as we let it boil a bit too much. It was a bit sad to see a full 10lbs of tomatoes only make three jars, but at least it’s tasty tasty sauce, which made an amazing pizza base.

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Señor Miller’s Homegrown Tomato Salsa

September 10, 2009
Señor Miller's Homegrown Tomato Salsa

Señor Miller

First, let me preface this post by saying that no matter how awesome this salsa recipe turns out, the highlight of the post will always be the last photo at the end of the post. Adam and I are totally and unapologetically dorks, and the photo at the end of this post proves that beyond all else. So there.

Now, onto salsa and the homegrown tomatoes.

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Mowgli’s Own: A huge haul of pickles!

August 31, 2009
Mowgli's Own Garlicy Dill Pickles

Mowgli's Own Garlicy Dill Pickles

Ever wonder what happens when you ask for a special deal on pickling cucumbers at a farmer’s market at the end of the day? What happens is they offer you all that they have left for $20, and your partner immediately jumps in and says “SURE!”. Little do you know you’ve just bought yourself 30.5lbs of cucumbers (at a damn good price, of course) and 6+ hours of labour* the following day. But in the end, you get:

26 x 1 L jars

4 x 500 mL jars

1 x 750 mL jars

And enough pickles to last you at least a year, and lots of nice gifts for friends and family in coming months. Here’s to hoping this batch is just as tasty as our last!

More pictures will likely be linked to later, as our amazing photographer friend Emily joined us for our insane day of pickling, and took some really great photos documenting the process.

Curious what 28.75 L of pickles looks like?

28.75 L of pickles!

28.75 L of pickles!

*I don’t think it would normally take that long, but our pot for water bath canning only fits 4 of the liter size jars at once… so lots and lots of batches were necessary.

Pickles revisited

August 29, 2009

Remember how I said earlier that we would soon blog more as we were itching to get back into the kitchen?

Today at St Lawrence Market we bought 30lbs of pickling cucumbers. 30lbs! We bought them out as and end of day special, so all that for $20! Only 66 cents per pound. We have lots more pickles in our future!

More tomorrow…

Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce

August 7, 2009
Mmmmm, peaches

Mmmmm, peaches

Peaches are in season! We got two baskets full at the grocery store on a whim with the intent on canning, and today was the day.  We’d actually hoped to make two recipes, but started a bit too late so we only got through one: Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce.

We’ll probably let the flavours meld for a bit before we really dig in, but on the first taste test I think I can say it’s yummy. It’s got a nice kick, and all sorts of  interesting flavours going on. Mmmm.

A few quick questions for fellow canners (if any happen to stop by):

  1. Anyone else find many recipes overestimate the amount you’ll end up with? The recipe below says it makes about 8 x 250 mL jars. We used 500 mL instead, assuming that would mean we’d get 4. Nope – we got 3, and then threw in another 125 mL for the remainder. So in all, the recipe fell 375mL short – and that’s pretty typical for this cookbook (The Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving – which seems like a good starter book). Anyone else find this too? Are other cookbooks more reliable for quantities?
  2. We have a giant pot we use for our water bath canning:
  3. Giant pot on the stove

    Giant pot on the stove

    Trouble is, it still doesn’t seem quite big enough! Even just using the 500 mL jars, it always boils over. The inch or so needed for the rack at the bottom, plus the jars themselves, plus the extra water to cover fills it up right to the top – so when it boils… it often boils over. Is there a better pot we should use? Could we leave out the bottom rack, or will the jars break?

And finally – the recipe:

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Homemade Pickles!

July 20, 2009
Homemade Pickles, attempt 1

Homemade pickles, attempt 1.

When we first got into canning, the very first thing Adam wanted to make was pickles. So when we came across a big basket full of cucumbers at St. Lawrence Market last weekend (5.5lbs for $7, not too bad), we decided to take the plunge.

It’s a long process – step 2 begins 12-18 hours after step 1, so you need to have things timed properly. This weekend we decided we’d make it work on Sunday – and did step 1 as soon as we woke up (late) on Sunday morning, and still found ourselves finishing the process after 11 p.m… Next time I think we should aim for a Saturday.

Anyway – the process really isn’t very difficult, and besides my major flub that I think I corrected decently well, I think we did an ok job. We’re going to leave it a few weeks (or as long as we can stand) before we open them, but here’s the process:

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