Hot and steamy

That’s what it’s been like in my kitchen for the past two weeks as I have gone mad with canning and putting away food for the winter. I don’t know exactly what came over me, well there was that one 40 pound box of organic apples at the Saturday market that I just couldn’t pass up for $20, I guess that was the start of it all. Sarah was talking about her applesauce and I figured, hey that sounds easy. I really haven’t gotten out the canning supplies since my pickle debacle of 2009 (oh, did I forget to mention how those turned out? like mush mostly, though the relish was good). I told myself I would stay away from pickles this time and started with apples. Of course once I got out my ball book of home preserving I was a goner.

The kitchen has been in a constant state of madness. A good madness I think.

Bj snapped this of me even though he was so over it before I even really started. Notice the applesauce cooling in the background and I’ve already gone onto something else.

Beware the peppers!

A second batch of applesauce, this time made with liberty apples. Not sure exactly what I did wrong here, but somehow it turned out very very thick, so I think it may become fruit leather or something.

I talked Bj into making me another shelf in this unit he built for our basement storage room. I love to organize stuff so I was pretty excited to get the jars labeled and put away since I’m done for the season (probably, maybe, I mean unless there is a really good deal on pears…).

I used my silhouette’s print and cut feature on some old random label sheets (like these). I’ve been scared of the print and cut feature, but I don’t know why it was really easy to set up. The print out includes three registration marks the machine reads to correctly cut. Oh in the background you can see some of my ziplocs (I wish I would have figured out they were this cheap on amazon much earlier!). I have also been freezing a whole lot!

Yummy, yummy food for winter! And mostly for myself here is a list of what I made this year:
Peaches (ball – med syrup/cold pack) – 6 quarts, 5 pints
Apple pie filling (ball – liberty apples) – 7 pints
Unsweetened applesauce (ball & Sarah’s post – had to use ball for acid and processing times) – 10 quarts, 5 pints, 1 half pint
Thick liberty applesauce (ball) – 8 pints
Pickled lemon cucumbers (ball) – 3 pints
Whole peeled tomatoes in water (ball) – 8 quarts, 4 pints
Whole peeled crushed tomatoes (Food in Jars) – 2 quarts, 12 pints
Pizza sauce (ball) – 6 pints, 3 half pints
Dill Slices (ball) – 12 pints (I know! They better be good, I used pickle crisp this time)
Chipotle apple BBQ sauce (Family Feedbag, forgot the sugar but it was still good) – 3 pints, 6 half pints (and more that my mother in law took, she helped me a ton one weekend)
Tomatillo Salsa (ball) – 12 half pints
Salsa (ball) – 4 quarts, 6 pints, 6 half pints
Antipasto (ball) – 2 pints, 3 half pints
And I also made a lot of freezer stuff. Tomato sauce (like this), corn (blanched and cut off the cob), carrots from my garden (peeled and sliced), zucchini “noodles”, and some cherry tomatoes (frozen on a sheet then popped into jars). I would have frozen more stuff, but despite my attempt to organize our storage freezer I maxed us out (I also have lots of fruit in there from the summer, and Bj has a whole drawer of fish from Alaska).
I think this was exactly the kind of thing I needed to throw myself into. I’m so happy to have all that lovely food down there. Now I’m just hoping I can get us used to “shopping” down there instead of at the store for these things. And if you have a good recipe using peeled tomatoes let me know, I think I’ve cooked with them maybe once in my life.

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  1. Holy crimany! You’re a canning queen! And what a cute picture of you in your kitchen 🙂 An idea for peeled tomatoes: you can add them to any veggie soup. Just cut them up a bit before putting them in the pot. And spaghetti sauce! Yum! Are you eating that at all? I know you stopped HATING it after Tuesday came into the picture 🙂

  2. WHEW! that is some serious canning + freezing! no wonder you disappeared – your kitchen swallowed you up! 😉
    question on the carrots (because i’m sure i’ll forget to ask you tomorrow): did you blanch them first like you do corn? or just raw? i need to do that to mine too. i’m giving them two more weeks in the ground (they are still so tiny) – then i’m pulling them all! figured they’d be good for soups and stuff this winter.
    and mark my words. next year is the year of canning for me. i’ve already told my mom she’s coming over to give me lessons 😉

  3. Wow! You have been busy. Looks like you are ready for winter. I have a great and easy recipe for Marinara Sauce. Chop 3 garlic cloves and soften in 2oz of good olive oil. Add 2 cups of whole peeled tomatoes that you have hand crushed. Add salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of sugar or to taste. Add 5-7 calamata olives (seeds removed). Cook down to dry out a lot of the juice. Add 10 large basil leaves that you have sliced at the end and let flavors blend. Toss cooked angle hair pasta directly in sauce (cook down some more to remove more liquid.) Top with fresh grated parm. cheese. We love the recipe. I hope you and your family do as well. Enjoy!

  4. Ceara,
    I know, it is so weird that I can eat cooked tomatoes now. I am slowly trying more things. I love spaghetti sauce now! Who would have thought?!?!

  5. You make me feel lazy! All I’ve been doing is pinning stuff and I sewed 1 pair of baby pants. LOL. I need to make applesauce…But I figure that will happen later this month. And not attempting canning. I’ll come over and “help” you can next year (ie you teach me how 😉

  6. Sarah,
    I did a little research on it and for what I want to do (use it for soups, stews, stirfrys), I decided not to blanch it. I don’t think they would be good for a pretty looking carrot, but I think the taste will be fine. I did clean them very well and peeled them (which I normally wouldn’t do). If I were you though I would leave the carrots in the ground as long as possible. The you can pull them as you need them. If they are still small I think you can keep them in there for a while.

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