Food Preservation for a Warp Speed Life!

My life is too busy.  I am a hamster on a wheel and can’t seem to get off.  I have a life, and so do all of my children.  We have not had a day since last summer where someone (or many someones) didn’t have to be somewhere, including me.  Planning your day in fifteen minute increments is not a way to live!  Trying to find the time to preserve all of the bounty we grew this year has been impossible.

Strawberries and blueberries were on sale this summer—so I purchased lots of them and placed them in the freezer.  A friend gave me rhubarb before strawberries were in season—so I froze them.  The night before we went on vacation, we picked 40 pounds of tomatoes from the garden, so I froze them.  Of course we haven’t had any since!  Go figure.  It’s been a banner summer for heat—not a great time to can food in the house.

blog 8Where is this leading you think?  I am canning now.  I took the strawberries and rhubarb out of the freezer—and made my favorite jam.  The fruit was already cleaned—so I just had to measure—so quick!  I am going to make salsa soon.  It’s 70 degrees outside—so I have the house open, and canning doesn’t heat up the house.   It’s a win-win situation.  I would have rather done it all this summer—but my produce NEVER ripens at the same time.  When I want to make salsa—my peppers and cilantro are ready—but my tomatoes are green.  This takes the timing out of the situation.  And the frantic canning at midnight.  This is NEVER a good idea!

Next year, consider freezing until you can deal with your produce.  It makes my life a little easier to deal with, and I hope it does yours too!

Traditional Salsa

Makes about 4 (16 oz) pints or 8 (8 oz) half pints

You will need:

7 cups diced seeded peeled cored tomatoes (about 5 lb or 15 medium)
6 green onions, sliced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp lime juice
4 drops hot pepper sauce
2 Tbsp minced cilantro
2 tsp salt
4 (16 oz) pint or 8 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars w/lids and bands

Directions:

  1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
  2. COMBINE all ingredients in a large saucepan.
  3. HEAT to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. LADLE hot salsa in to hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
  5. PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

QUICK TIP
When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.

Half Recipe

Makes about 2 (16 oz) pints or 4 (8 oz) half pints

You will need:

3-1/2 cups diced seeded peeled cored tomatoes (about 2-1/2 lb or 8 medium)
3 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 drops hot pepper sauce
1 Tbsp minced cilantro
1 tsp salt
2 (16 oz) pint or 4 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

Directions:

  1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
  2. COMBINE all ingredients in a large saucepan.
  3. HEAT to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. LADLE hot salsa in to hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.
  5. PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

QUICK TIPblog 4
When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.

Recipe from Ball Canning http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipe.aspx?r=31

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Yield: about 6 half-pints

2 cups crushed strawberries

4 cups chopped rhubarb (about 4 stalks)

1 package powdered pectin

¼ cup lemon juice

5 ½ cups sugar

Combine strawberries, rhubarb, powdered pectin and lemon juice in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add sugar, stirring until dissolved.   Return to a rolling boil.  Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Skim foam if necessary.  Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.  This is for and altitude of 1000 feet.  Recipe from The Ball Blue Book 2009.

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