While this wasn’t my first season to try canning stuff, it was the first time I’ve made anything other than jam. (Well, that I put into jars. I mean, I’ve made plenty of stuff for the freezer, obviously.) What did I end up making? Sadly, not sauerkraut, although that’s definitely something I’ll be trying again, hopefully with less grossing out of The Boy. (On that note, Gena, love your book, your instructions for sauerkraut, however, are not as good as they could be for the clueless beginner. Thankfully, I have the internets; now, if only I’d consulted them sooner.) But let’s focus on the positives for this fall:
It’s not an impressive stash, really, but I’m proud of myself for branching out and trying new things, and I’m surprised (a little) at how much I’m looking forward to trying these. The Boy, who walked past as I was taking the picture remarked that he was surprised and impressed that I had so much food canned. Apparently small-batch canning works, ladies: your man will never suspect the hoarding of veggies you’re plotting, as long as you do it a couple pints at a time.
Although I’d had my nose in many a canning book for most of August and September, one was by far and away the winner. (Again, The Boy? If you’re looking for a Christmas present…) Better still, she’s apparently coming out with a mushroom book sometime in 2011 too!
Anyway, so as a table of contents for the above picture, this year, I made…
- 4 pints of spiced apples (from Eugenia Bone’s Well-Preserved)
- 3 pints of marinated red peppers (also from Well-preserved)
- 3 half-pints of salsa (two “runny onion”, one delicious tomato; both sort of made up)
- 3.5 pints of tomatillo sauce (Well-preserved)
- and ~1 half-pint of oven-dried tomatoes (not pictured; whoops)
Of those, I’m most excited to try the marinated red pepper (seriously), and I’m surprised to find that I’m really not worried about food poisoning from any of them really, except maybe the onion salsa. Maybe.
I didn’t get around to apple-picking, thus no applesauce, although I was thinking of making some (maybe a pint, if that much) over the weekend. I also didn’t make any of the grape preserves/jelly I’d been thinking of, but there’s still plenty of time for me to whip up some lime or lemon curd (mmm…) over the winter, too!
So, if nothing else, next year, I’ll have a better idea of what worked, what didn’t, and what I need to make way more of. Which might even include sauerkraut! Just kidding. When I was talking with The Boy about it this morning, he interjected with “You don’t even like sauerkraut!” to which I pointed out that I’d never tried it cooked. New experiences are broadening, people.