Thursday, September 13, 2012

Put em' up! (summer canning)

Finally I have some beautiful preserves to show you as a result of some summer canning!

I kicked off the canning season by pickling okra.....this was a first for me. The first batch didn't taste how we wanted it to, I think because we used apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar. No worries though, we have lots more okra pods coming off the plants and I made more batches :) Our okra is actually still going strong!

The second thing I tried my hand at was making a tomato-based marinara sauce from tomatoes that were going bad or already had bad spots. The sauce included onions, garlic and lots of herbs in addition to the pureed tomatoes. It smelled divine going into the jars for canning. I'm excited to try this fresh sauce during the wintertime!

Once our beans and cucumbers finally started coming in steadily (the first month or two they were plagued by critter attacks), I pickled some and preserved them with dill and garlic in a beautiful brine. Yum Yum Yum!

These refrigerator pickles don't require any processing- they are crisp and have a great bite to them. As you can see we have been nibbling them before I could get a proper photo :)

Last but not least, my friend and I had a canning party and put our preserving skills to work. We got up early, gathered our supplies, went to the farmer's market for the extra veggies we couldn't grow in our gardens and canned the rest of the day! We made a fun event out of it with snacks and good wine slipped in between canning the tomatoes, salsa and pickle relish recipes :)

These are literally the fruits of our labor:

tomatoes, salsa, and sweet relish made from canning party

canned fresh roma tomatoes

preserved sweet relish

My pantry is fully stocked with beautiful jars- more than it ever has been before. Canning is so much easier that I thought once you get the hang of it. I can't wait to do even more preserving before the season is over.

 What have you been 'putting up' lately? 

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