Posted on 3 Comments

Canning Prep List: Quick Reference

Let’s talk about what we need to prepare for all our canning adventures. Canning food is a long process that is very detail oriented. Surprisingly for someone who has ADD, me, I get it and it just works. Don’t ask! Ok focus, so here we we’ll get down and dirty on all the goods you need for almost every canning project. This is a quick list and reference check for your canning sessions before you start.

If y’all want a more in-depth post about what you need an why head on over here.

Quick Reference list:

1. Depending on your project get your correct canner going first thing. That means, fill with appropriate amount of water and start heating that bad boy up.
2. Bring out all your utensils. 
3. Get all your jars, lids and rings. Have them already washed, sanitized and ready to go. (Remember, when using the water bath canner, your jars must be sanitized before use. When using a pressure canner, they just need to be washed. The canner will sanitize them through the process.)

4. Get a paper towel ready to go.
5. Get a bowl and put your lids in.

6. Lube up your lid, if using a pressure canner. I find using coconut oil doesn’t leave my canner sticky.
7. Get a towel ready on the counter where the filled jars will stay for a full 24 hours.
8. Start some music up.
9. Put on a fun apron.
10. Have fun.

That’s it y’all! I wish you luck and fun on your canning session.

Happy Canning!

Posted on Leave a comment

Canning:Jalapeños

image

Jalapeño, don’t mind if I do. Let’s can up some delicious jalapeños people. Many recipes for canning jalapeños include sugar, which helps balance the hotness of the pepper and the acidity of the vinegar. This recipe does not include it, my husband doesn’t like sweet, even a hint of it, when it come to his peppers. Or anything really. This canning project is super easy. As with all canning projects get yourself ready (read here) Let’s roll.

First thing first, get your water bath canner boiling on the stove. That bad boy takes some time to get going. In this project I only used 8 oz jars. So you don’t have to fill up your canner all the way if you are using that size, just enough to cover it about two inches.

Wash those peppers up yo. Now at this point it is probably a wise idea to grab some gloves and glove up. Unless you want to live on the edge and say, “F” it I am a rebel. Then be my guest and chance it away. Oh by chance it away I mean last the entire project in a hot sweaty kitchen cutting jalapeños and not touching your face the whole time.

image

Next, we want to slice them and throw them in a bowl of room temperature water. Letting them soak for about ten minutes helps get some of the seeds off. You are not getting all of them off, just the ones that fall off easily.

In a pot get yourself together, 4 cups of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil. Don’t do this until you are ready to pour into jars and put in canner. The longer it boils the faster it dissipates. When you start your vinegar mixture, ladle some boiling water from your canner over your lids. This softens them up for the sealing process. This is the point where you want to drop your jars into the boiling water bath canner and sterilize your jars for ten minutes.

How ever many jars you are canning get a clove of garlic for each. I didn’t mince the garlic, although you are more than welcome to. After I opened the cloves I just smashed them a bit to get the juices a flowing and dropped them in the jars.

image

Place your funnel on your jars and scoop the jalapeños in. Next ladle the vinegar salt mixture in leaving a 1/4 inch of head space. Place your seals on and your rings only finger tight.

Drop those puppies in the canner and process for about 10 minutes. Your time starts when the water goes back up to boiling.

Ta da! You just canned yo self some jalapeños.

image

Now what to do with these little mouth watering pickled peppers?

You can:

Put them on hot dogs

In quesadillas

Chop them up put them in your eggs or omelette

Lay them on top of nachos

Any meal you want a little pucker to, throw some of those bad boys in.

Happy canning!

Posted on 2 Comments

Canning: Tomato Sauce

image

Wanna can up some tomato sauce? I know I do!

Hmmmm homegrown tomato sauce, yes please. This canning project can be processed in a water bath. Tomatoes are usually a high acid food, which makes them safe for a water bath method of canning. However, not all tomatoes have the same acidity so you want to include 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Now, you may think oh I can just use fresh lemon juice from a real lemon.

Unfortunately you can’t, the lemon juice that comes in a jar ensure it contains the proper amount of acidity. When it comes to fresh lemons, you can’t be sure that those lemons were picked and ripened to the correct acidity.

By adding the lemon juice you are increasing the acidity, making it safe for canning. You can also use citric acid to increase the acidity. Depending on the food you are canning, lemon juice can add a flavoring so that’s where you will have to decide which you will use. This tomatoe sauce is your basic tomato sauce no seasoning at all. If you want to spice it up, knock yourself out.

The canning process is the same. Let’s get to it!

What y’all want to do is:

***Don’t forget to follow your quick reference guide to help make your canning session flow smoothly.

As always wash your tomatoes. Then get your water bath canner filled with water and start that bad boy on the stove. It takes quite some time to get that water boiling so you want to start it first thing. Keeping the lid on the pot brings the water to a boil a little faster.

image

You want to cut your tomatoes length wise and scoop out with a spoon all the seeds into a jar, you can save those seeds for next years garden if you really wanted to. Here is a post on harvesting those seeds, if you want to take a detour.

Ok focus, after spooning all the seeds out cut the core out by making a small little V.

image

image

Next, we are going to blanch these little suckers, so you are going to get some filtered water boiling and a bowl of ice water ready. Once your water is boiling, throw in enough tomatoes to fill the pot a good amount but not over flowing, work in batches. Once you throw them in set a timer for three minutes. Once your timer goes off scoop them out of the boiling water and dump them straight in the ice water until they cool.

Get all your tomatoes done.

image

Get a fresh pot on your stove; cleaning as you go is a life saver just an FYI. Take your tomato and peel the skin off and throw them in your clean pot. Start heating it up homie. You are going to want to mash them up or even toss them in the blender for a quick spin and throw it back in your pot. Whatever tickles your fancy. I like to blend it. Cook your sauce until it cooks downs quite a bit and thickens up.

image

For the water bath process you need to sanitize your jars. At this point your water should be boiling so toss your jars in the boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure you do this when you are ready to fill your jars. They need to be hot when you fill them. At this point you want to ladle some boil water over your sealing lids. This softens the seal getting them ready to properly seal up the goodness you are sweating over.

Put a funnel over your jar and put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or citric acid for pint size jars and 2 tablespoons for quarts. Now pour your sauce in your jars. Slap a lid on them and a ring, only finger tight though!

Here’s the fun part, take your jar tongs and drop them, not literally please, into the boiling water. Make sure the water stays boiling, if it cools down when you put your jars in just bring it back to a boil. Start your timer pints for 40 minutes quarts for 60.

Boom, bang, bam you be done yo! Take your jars out and place them on a towel on your counter and leave to sit for a full 24 hours. If you’re lucky you’ll get to hear the little PING that tells you, you just canned up some tomato sauce.

Job well done.

image.jpeg

How to use your canned tomato sauce…

Just like you would with any other can of tomato sauce, but instead, bust open one of your jars to make this delicious spaghetti sauce.

Happy Canning!

Posted on Leave a comment

Preserving Cayenne Peppers

Preserving cayenne pepper

We are making cayenne pepper flakes people.

Little red skinny peppers of hot fury. So grab some gloves and join me. It’s a super easy process.

When harvesting your peppers, you kind of want to wait until they are bright red and shriveled a little. That word is kind of weird to use but you don’t want to pick them right away, give them some time to morph into their hotness.

image

After harvesting you want to wash them the night before so that they are completely dry the next morning. Lay the dry peppers  on a cookie sheet lined with foil. They cannot touch each other, if they do, they won’t completely dry out.

Turn your oven to the lowest setting, mine is 200 degrees. And cook for as long as it takes to dry them out. These took 6 hours but my husband says I burnt them, oops, so just keep checking on them. Pinch them every now and then to see if they break easily. You’ll know when they are done.

image

Once dried out, place in a food processor and grind until they are little pepper flakes. And you are done my friends. ***A little tip though, try not to take a deep inhale when grinding this stuff. It goes right up your nose with no problem what so ever!

***And I just have one more piece of advice, do not say “F wearing gloves, I got this,” then forget that you are working with hot peppers and decide to wipe your ENTIRE face with your hands because it’s 100 degrees out and you are sweating like a hog. Yes, that is a run on sentence, I know.

Enjoy you little jar of ass burning goodness!

image

Happy cayenne peppering!