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Topic: Crushing my newbie canning status, and how!  (Read 1932 times)
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craftylittlemonkey
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« on: October 28, 2012 08:18:26 AM »

This pickled garlic is smiling because he knows how delicious he is Cheesy.

A neighbour dropped off a trunkload of produce from her lovely organic garden this year and there was just no way I was going to be able to eat it all up before it went bad so...

a friend and I got together and canned a batch of salsa. I didn't realized canning salt was so much saltier than regular so we had to add a LOT of cans of tomatoes to even out the flavour but it ended up delicious in the end.
Here's my share, she took hers home before I thought to take pics. In fact, that happened with nearly all the pictures, lol. It's such an intensive process, the camera is not something I think about until the next day when the jars have cooled and I'm standing there admiring all our hard work Cheesy.

3 of us got together at my neighbour's and she showed us the basics, then we met up for 20 days over 4 weeks and went canning CRAZY! We went through about 6 huge bushels of tomatoes altogether

and an awful lot of onions, peppers, and garlic. Lots of eggplant too but I can't eat that (upsets my stomach) so I didn't take any pictures of those jars. We made pickled pepper rings and green tomato salsa as well as green tomato chutney. I did plum butter too, that's delicious but lots of work for not much volume.
Here's a midnight batch (that's when my kids are out of the kitchen and I can actually work for more than 5 minutes at a time, ha ha) of pickles, carrots, beans, radishes, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and garlic.

Another batch of midnight pickles, beets and daikon radish, beans, garlic, and some roasted peppers we put up at the neighbour's house.

I also dried some of the tomatoes and skins in a dehydrator then pulverized those skins in a spice mill for instant dried tomato paste. I saw that online somewhere and thought it was pretty brilliant.


The last and most intense project was quince and apple compote. Nobody was available to help with that but it had to be done before the fruit flies took over my entire kitchen Tongue. A huge bushel of quince from the neighbour's tree and all the left over apples from our Scouting troup's apple day plus a ton of lemon, honey, ginger, and sugar. It took me from 9:30am to 2am the next morning. All I can say is good thing it's tasty AND somebody else can deal with that tree next year! It's really neat watching that golden fruit turn pink as it cooks though...

This is not even all of it, 1/4's been taken by one of the girls. Over 50 jars in total.

I was seriously sick of canning after this but have since started planning for beets, lol. And I'm looking around for a good pressure canner so I can put up jars that aren't vinegary or lemony. I'm an addict.
Just look at this cupboard... how could I not want to do this every year?

YUM!
The whole set on flickr if you want to see even more pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/craftylittlemonkey/sets/72157631861001759/
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012 08:23:27 AM by craftylittlemonkey » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012 08:21:45 AM »

Gorgeous!  Isn't it awesome putting food aside for your family?!
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craftylittlemonkey
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2012 08:33:39 AM »

It's pretty amazing learning an old essential skill. We lost a few jars of tomatoes so we don't quite have it right yet but between the 4 of us we're getting there. Great to have a group of people working together, that's for sure!
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2012 08:46:46 AM »

I added sauerkraut to my arsenal this year.   Smiley
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craftylittlemonkey
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2012 08:55:34 AM »

Me too! The 2 small jars on the bottom right of the cupboard are kraut. I always make fermented veggies in The Perfect Pickler but decided I'd like some of it preserved instead of having to keep it all in the fridge so I processed a bit of it, it turned out great! No vinegar or lemon needed, it's super sour just with it's own natural probiotics. I can re-enliven it too by stirring in a tablespoon of whey or a probiotic capsule and leaving it on the counter for a day or two (that can be done for anything, salsa, sauces, etc). I love kraut and fermented veggies. LOVE!
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2012 09:12:38 AM »

Mmmm, quince! I wonder if you could do a quince butter in the crock pot? Hmmm...the possibilities.

Excellent work! I got back into canning doing jellies and preserves and then this year, we really branched out into vegetables. I'm looking forward to my canned green beans in the middle of winter. Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2012 12:44:15 PM »

Wow. That's impressive. I've never heard of pickled garlic.
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craftylittlemonkey
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012 11:50:02 AM »

Oh Michelleandbean it's SO delicious! You can flavour them all sorts of ways, I added chili flakes to a few jars, peppercorns and bay leaf, pickling spices, you could use whole cloves or fresh or dried whole chilies, curry, whatever you like. The you just take the cloves out of the jar and mash them into delicious garlic paste with a fork right on your plate! Such a lovely condiment, I could eat it with everything! Num num num num num Cheesy.
You do have to take care to can garlic right though, spoiled garlic = botulism. Follow a tried and true recipe for sure. It's easy though, hard to muck it up.
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012 10:14:36 AM »

So jealous! Not of your veggies, but your energy. This is the most amazing post I've ever seen on here.  Canning is an expensive hobby to start, so I will eat the fresh veggies when they are available and then crave them all winter.
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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012 10:56:26 AM »

Beautifully done friend!
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