A retired Connecticut Yankee chronicles her attempts at veggie gardening and frugal living
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Let the Canning Begin
I don't have a pressure canner so my canning is limited to what can be done safely in a water bath, primarily tomatoes, pickles, fruits, jams and jellies. Tomatoes are the big one with us because we use loads of them in our cooking. Last week I thought I had enough to make a small batch of about 5 pints so I got out all my equipment and went to work. I got three pints. And one of them didn't seal.
Finally I did get enough tomatoes to can a batch of nine pints of tomatoes which is a decent start when you factor in the two previous pints. Last year I was able to can about 60 pints and still had 10 leftover from the previous year. Now I have 20 left, so if I can get about 30 done this year I know I'll have enough to get us through the year.
Yesterday I picked my woefully small red cabbages and made them into German sweet and sour red cabbage which my family likes as a side with roast pork and other German favorites. I had a hard time finding a canning recipe for it and searched the internet for the one I used. I'd prefer to use a recipe from a tried and true source, but unfortunately the closest I could find in the Ball Blue Book called for way more cabbage than I had. So I ended up using a recipe from a different source. It seems to me it has plenty of vinegar in it and I upped the sugar to suit our taste, so it should be safe. I try to grow red cabbage every year and I have to say it is not easy to grow a nice large head of it. The plants grow plenty of outer leaves which are very tough, but the heads they form are inevitably the size of tennis balls or less. Regular cabbage does so much better for me! I'm still looking for the answer to that mystery.
You will notice in the background of each picture that I have a lot of clutter in my kitchen. That is quite typical and something I'd like to conquer in the same way I'd like to conquer growing a decent sized head of red cabbage. Well, maybe not in the same way, because I get a whole lot more enthusiastic about growing vegetables than I do about decluttering the house! Anyway, let the canning begin!