Thursday, August 11, 2011

Some More Canning

Late yesterday afternoon, Phaedra wandered through the kitchen and muttered behind my back, "I hate canning!" I laughed and explained the difference between being tired of something and hating something. I'll tell you, by late afternoon, I was tired of canning, too.

I finally got the first batch of tomatoes canned. I made them into marinara, and there was a three-day-long journey to completing that. Those twenty-some-odd pounds of tomatoes that I shuffled around for three days made only six quarts of marinara. And then, due to user error, two of the jars did not seal. I did use the Tattler lids, but I did not give them the extra tightening the instructions mention. Otherwise, those lids have worked just fine.

I canned 20 more pounds of peaches. The children helped me. If you can peaches, do blanch them to peel them. I did one batch without blanching, because blanching just seemed like too much of a bother. The next time, Jason was helping, so we blanched them. It was worlds easier. So, yesterday, I also blanched them. A side benefit is that the skin sloughs off so easily, even Sylvie can help peel peaches without worrying about damaging fruit. I did this batch in slices, mostly in pint jars. I figure these will be snack sized jars for the kids to share.

The sad thing was, I broke two jars of peaches in the canner. Also user error.

I canned some rhubarb jam. It's kind of unattractive, because I use the whole stalk, not just the red part. But it tastes fantastic.

I canned some salsa verde. It was very tasty and a little zippy fresh. I've found that the salsas tend to be milder after canning, so this one might just be a bright flavor and not so spicy. It still tastes good. I like it especially because so many of the ingredients came from our garden. I planted more herbs this year, and the salsa and marinara reflect my growing repertoire.

And lastly, I have a product to warn people against. Ball has something called  dissolvable labels, which I bought so I could tell the difference between salsa verde, pickle relish, and rhubarb jam. Sadly, the sticky part of the label did not stay with the paper part. When I peeled the label from the backing, the paper came away and the sticky part remained on the backing. Very irritating.

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