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Canning Adventures

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It all started with this jam.  This strawberry-rhubarb-orange jam.  It was the first time I had ever truly ‘canned’ something… as in go through the whole water-bath process, and then listen for those precious ‘pings’ as the lids sealed.  :)

Sidenote: I realize where the term ‘canning’ came from, but I still find it weird to say cans when these are jars!  

Anyway… jam. yum. 

But this just opened up a whole new world, especially with a growing garden and this book:

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So, to date, I’ve canned:

10 half-pints of strawberry-rhubarb-orange jam

14 quarts of pickles (not pictured)

20 pints of marinara

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7 pints of rotel-style tomatoes

6 pints of pepperoncinis

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and I finished off the last of my pint jars this morning with 14 pints of applesauce (6 cinnamon, 8 regular)

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Whew!  I think next on the list will be sliced pickled jalapenos.  We have the last of the peppers we grew picked from the garden and laid out to finish ripening and then we’ll do that.  You have to have pickled jalapenos on hand at all times.  Ya know, for nachos, and tacos, and bean dip… and nachos.  :)

Oh, and did I mention that all the tomatoes and peppers came from our garden too?  Next year I think I want to grow some beets… I LOVE pickled beets!  

What’s your favorite canned or jarred items?  Anything I should think about planting for next year?  I think we are going to start a whole bunch of plants early from seed in our warm back room by the fire!

And now I’m going to go eat a bowl of that applesauce, because I’ve been up since 4am finishing that process, and thankfully thought ahead to leave myself some out of the jars to eat for breakfast!


  • Kari - You inspire me Sam! I have a fridge FULL of Eastern Washington apples and the kids have been begging for applesauce. Help! How do I start? Don’t have a clue. :)10.23.2014 – 8:32amReplyCancel

    • admin - Kari, I’m not Sam but here are the brief instructions: cook apples, smash them. So many variations on how to do each step! We both like to leave the peels on during cooking for extra nutrition and flavor; Sam stick-blenders hers in, I use my food mill to smash them out. You’ll definitely want to core the apples thoroughly first, but you can leave them in quarters or cut them in small chunks to cook them — the smaller pieces cook down faster. Once I ran them through the slicer on my food processor! You can use a crock pot or a thick-bottomed pan on the stove; stove’s faster but you have to figure out the right burner setting. Resist the urge to add water to start — not necessary! If you peel the apples beforehand, the applesauce will almost make itself given enough time, but even a hand mixer or potato masher smooths things out. I love chunky applesauce though! –Gail10.23.2014 – 10:30amReplyCancel

      • Kari - Thanks Gail! I think I can this. :) Do you add sugar?10.23.2014 – 12:27pm

      • admin - I never do — I’m one of those people who think everyone should get used to the taste of food unadorned, but that’s an opinion not a law ;) I would suggest not adding sugar until the end; cinnamon either. Both can become far too concentrated a flavor as the apples cook down. You’ll lose almost half, maybe more, of the volume of the apples by the end. You can do this!!!10.23.2014 – 1:50pm

      • Kari - Thanks Gail! I have the apples in the dutch oven on the stove as we speak. :) No sugar or cinnamon. I will let you know how it goes. Thank you!!10.23.2014 – 2:16pm

      • admin - Yay Kari! This is Sam now… I’ve done it both ways. This time I did add a little brown sugar and agave… not very much, but that is why my applesauce looks dark. Oh, and I usually add a little lemon juice too. Enjoy your applesauce!! :)10.23.2014 – 2:24pm

  • admin - Note from Gail — The lemon juice is supposed to help prevent that browning (oxidation) but when you make applesauce the slow way like we do, you’re going to have dark applesauce no matter what. It actually is naturally sweeter that way!10.23.2014 – 2:34pmReplyCancel

    • Kari - I did it! I made 1 jar of applesauce. I had planned to make more but didn’t realize in the beginning how much the apples would cook down. After my first batch, I thought I would peel the apples next time but then I tasted it. YUM! So then I decided when I make the next batch I will just chop the apple into smaller pieces which will make smaller pieces of skin. I think I will also maybe add a pinch of brown sugar. ;) Thanks! Now to figure out canning. I would love to make salsa and can it. Right now we make it and eat it. :)10.23.2014 – 9:34pmReplyCancel

  • admin - WhooooHooooo!!! Enjoy your applesauce, Kari! –g10.23.2014 – 10:32pmReplyCancel

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