Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Canning Round-Up

CNN tells me that it's National Canning Day! What a great time to do a round-up of all the canning Jeff and I have done this season. 

We began canning last summer, starting in early June with two kinds of pickles. We planned two projects for a weekend, doing one each day because it was so time-consuming. Just a year and a half later, we've found ourselves tackling three and four projects on a single Saturday morning. Clearly, our confidence has improved. We no longer need to consult instructions for some of our most frequent canning projects - I think I canned whole tomatoes on eight separate occasions this year. I've got the process down pat. In all this time, not a single jar has failed to seal for us - a huge victory in my book. We've also never had a jar go bad (knock on wood!). This year, however, we did manage to break three quart jars - two in a row last Saturday morning. There's a lesson to be learned there - if you bash a jar against the rim of the sink, even if there is no visible damage, there's probably an internal flaw that will manifest itself later (like when you're adding cold tomatoes to the heated glass). Note to self: be more careful in the future.

We have definitely been busy bees this season. I was away through July and half of August, so our canning got a late start, but once I was back in the country we were at it pretty hard nearly every weekend. Our final tally is as follows:

Classic Grape Jam: 6 half-pints
Cantaloupe Vanilla Jam: 4 4 oz jars
Pear Sauce: 2 pints, 3 half-pints and 2 4 oz jars
Heirloom Tomato Salsa: 5 pints and 8 half-pints (plus several more we've already eaten!)
Dilly Beans: 2 pints
Roasted Red Pepper Ketchup: 9 4 oz jars
Roasted Tomato and Corn Salsa: 4 half-pints
Apple Butter: 1 pint, 3 half-pints and 2 4 oz jars
Chopped Tomatoes: 3 quarts
Whole Tomatoes: 12 quarts and 3 pints
Green Tomato Pickles: 4 pints and 1 half-pint
Apple Cranberry Jam: 4 pints and 12 half-pints

I am quite impressed and pleased at the hoard of jars hiding in our basement. Hopefully we've chosen our recipes wisely, making things that will actually be consumed throughout the winter. We also should get quite a few Christmas gifts out of our stash - if you're on our list, maybe slip us some suggestions now!

Unless we develop a pressing need for more applesauce, I think our canning season is over. While I do enjoy doing this every weekend, I'm looking forward to some lazier Saturdays in the future - hopefully eating jam and salsa rather than making it. At least, until we start again next summer!

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