Happy Tuesday! For today, I will be listing my favorite foods to preserve by canning. If you check out my YouTube channel, you will find a video of our canning shelves in the basement to give you an idea of what we have done in the past.
As the canning season progresses, recipes for many of these canned items will be posted on my blog and linked back to this post.
Last summer, I learned a harsh lesson. Hot pepper oil burns skin! I was slicing banana peppers, which I thought would not hurt me, and when I went to wash the dishes, the hot water opened my pores and all the oils from the peppers seeped into my skin. It burned like mad! So, after that, I put on two pairs of latex gloves to prevent the oils from getting onto my skin.
I find vegetable chopping to be soothing. I like to hand chop everything I put into salsa. It may take a long time, but I find that it is worth the work!
Every year, a friend of mine grows neck pumpkins. And for the past two years, she has given me one. Two years ago, rather than pureeing and freezing the pumpkin, I decided to attempt to can it. My husband and I had recently purchased a pressure canner, making it safer to process foods with low acidity. There was a recipe for canned pumpkin in the canning book. So, I decided to give it a try, and it turned out well!
The thing I found most interesting about the whole process was that the recipe book called for canning chunks of pumpkin, not puree. When I opened the first jar to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, I thought I would have to use an immersion blender to puree the pumpkin. There was no need! The pumpkin chunks were so soft that the mixer turned them into a puree!
3. Tomato Sauce
Each year, my mom and I make different variations of tomato sauce. We make a pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, and plain tomato sauce. We usually take a weekend and cook tomatoes down, which takes quite a while to get them to the correct thickness!
Canning peaches has always been a family effort. My mom has a propane stove that gets set up outside. We put the water bath canner out there because there is not enough room on her inside stove for everything! Someone is in charge of blanching the peaches, someone is in charge of peeling the peaches, someone fills the jars with peaches, and then someone finishes the jars with syrup and lids and takes the rack of jars out to the canner. It is quite the efficient assembly line!
It is really nice to have a jar of peaches handy in case we run out of fresh fruit in the house, or to mix with Greek yogurt to eat as a snack at work.
5. Zucchini Relish
My aunt has made zucchini relish for a long time. A few years ago, she entered a jar in our county fair, and it won a prize! So now, whenever she gets it out for family gatherings, we call it the “prize winning zucchini relish!” I do not know that my recipe is the same as hers, but again, this is something I really enjoy making. My husband enjoys eating it, too! And, we always plant way too many zucchini plants, so this is a great way to use up a lot of zucchini.
I hand chop all of the vegetables that go into the mixture. Like the salsa, it takes a while to do, but it is relaxing and worth the effort!
6. French Onion Soup
This year, we had so many onions left over that I decided to try to can my husband’s favorite soup. I found an amazing recipe, made a few little tweaks, and ended up with a few quarts of really tasty soup! I never thought I would like French onion soup, but the broth is so rich, it is not too salty, and the onions are sweet and soft.
7. Green Beans
Green beans have always been my favorite canned vegetable. I realize that canned veggies are not as healthy as fresh, but sometimes, I just need something quick to grab off the shelf for dinner! And if I do use something canned, I would rather know where it comes from and how it was grown and processed.
Again, this post is going to become more helpful as the summer wears on, as I will be posting more individual canning adventures and recipes and linking them back to this blog post.
Thank you for reading! What do you enjoy canning and preserving? It seems that everyone has their favorites, and I would love to hear about yours! Please feel free to comment on this post and share with us!
Also, if you are on Instagram (@herruralhighness) or Twitter (@RuralHighness) you can share your favorite canned goods using #7favs7days.
Hope you come back tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. EST for another Seven Favorites, Seven Days post!