Thursday, September 13, 2012

Put em' up! (summer canning)

Finally I have some beautiful preserves to show you as a result of some summer canning!

I kicked off the canning season by pickling okra.....this was a first for me. The first batch didn't taste how we wanted it to, I think because we used apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar. No worries though, we have lots more okra pods coming off the plants and I made more batches :) Our okra is actually still going strong!

The second thing I tried my hand at was making a tomato-based marinara sauce from tomatoes that were going bad or already had bad spots. The sauce included onions, garlic and lots of herbs in addition to the pureed tomatoes. It smelled divine going into the jars for canning. I'm excited to try this fresh sauce during the wintertime!

Once our beans and cucumbers finally started coming in steadily (the first month or two they were plagued by critter attacks), I pickled some and preserved them with dill and garlic in a beautiful brine. Yum Yum Yum!

These refrigerator pickles don't require any processing- they are crisp and have a great bite to them. As you can see we have been nibbling them before I could get a proper photo :)

Last but not least, my friend and I had a canning party and put our preserving skills to work. We got up early, gathered our supplies, went to the farmer's market for the extra veggies we couldn't grow in our gardens and canned the rest of the day! We made a fun event out of it with snacks and good wine slipped in between canning the tomatoes, salsa and pickle relish recipes :)

These are literally the fruits of our labor:

tomatoes, salsa, and sweet relish made from canning party

canned fresh roma tomatoes

preserved sweet relish

My pantry is fully stocked with beautiful jars- more than it ever has been before. Canning is so much easier that I thought once you get the hang of it. I can't wait to do even more preserving before the season is over.

 What have you been 'putting up' lately? 

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  1. Beautifully presented too! They'd each make a wonderful holiday gift.

    1. Thanks :) I'm hoping by Christmas if we still have enough left I can give some out as gifts....But I have may have to make more!

  2. I was so intimidated by canning, but once I tried it, I couldn't believe how easy it was! I love how beautiful canned goods look stacked away for cooler weather. Yours look delicious and so pretty with the fabric!

    1. I completely agree...I love looking in my pantry now! I thought the fabric added a nice touch and if I give them as gifts I will tie them with twine or a pretty ribbon. I will say though that a water bath is so much simpler to me than using the pressure canner. I'm already trying to think of things I can preserve for the fall....

  3. Those jars look so cute! We are canning all this weekend. Grape juice, grape jam, applesause, salsa, and hot sauce! Phew! I love it though. It's fun to look at the colors of past seasons lined on your shelf! Happy canning!:)

  4. Canning is kind of a lost art, isn't it? Good for you for keeping it alive. You all would be in great shape if there was any major disruption in the food supply. Eggs and lots of canned goods!

    1. Camille, I would hope we are in decent shape but that is something I am working on- to be more prepared. I also just love tryin to grow as much of my own food as possible and living a more self-sufficient lifestyle. It is scary though how much we are still dependent on major industry for most things we eat.