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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Adventures in Canning

As the vending season, at least for me, is winding down, the garden is ripening and it's time to look to the canning stuff.  I have some jars left from last year and I have the jar tongs, but I need a canning pot.  Last year I borrowed my Mom's and she wanted it back.  Off to Ace hardware for a new one and some lids.

A friend sent me some beautiful tomatoes, cucumbers, two summer squashes and a large zucchini.  I'll never be able to eat these myself before they go bad (the Beloved doesn't eat vegetables).  So, time to start the canning.  

Tomatoes, I use these for a bunch of things.  Everything from Indian food to chili.  So, I think I'm doing most of my tomatoes, I also have some in my garden, in their own juices.  This is easy.  A quick blanching to make peeling easier, quartering them up, or in the case of the huge one, eighthing  it up.  A couple of tablespoons of lemon juice in the quart jar and one in the half quart jar.  Tomatoes in the sterilized jars and in the water bath for one hour and 25 minutes.  That's done.

For as long as I can remember growing up, there were always "refrigerator pickles" in the summer.  They tasted very much like half sour pickles.  Here is how they are made.  In a jar, I used two quart jars, pour enough kosher salt to well cover the bottom of the jar.  Throw a small handfull, maybe a teaspoon or two, of mustard seed in and a good amount of garlic, maybe a clove or two well diced.  Fill the jar about half way with water and shake to combine.  Add the cucumbers that you have cut into spears.  Really pack them in there.  Add more water if needed to cover the spears.  Shake and put into fridge.  Shake occasionally, letting them "cure" for about a week or so.  YUMM

That's all there is to it.  Next are zucchini and summer squash pickles. 

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