Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A canning night

A productive evening - tonight we finally got to the canning we've been meaning to do for a while. We aren't quite as overrun as we were last year - I think we're getting fewer tomatoes from the garden, for whatever reason, and Ria is making a significant dent in the abundance of fruit - but there were still a few things that had to be dealt with.

#1 crabapples
I'm not crazy about jams and jellies, and we have lots downstairs, so I decided to make last week's crab apples into something else. A friend told me about her grandmother's pickled crab apples, which sounded good, so this is the recipe I tried: (I halved the syrup recipe.) We got two 500 ml jars out of it - and they look so pretty!

#2 plums
I had lots of syrup left over from the crabapples. Last year we made spiced plums that were fantastic, and the syrup for the crabapples was close enough that I decided to use the rest of it on the quart of plums from the fruit share. But this is the real recipe, if you want to try your hand at them. (They're pretty strong on their own, but they're really tasty with ice cream.) As you can tell, it was a British recipe I inherited/found (I have no idea of the source now) - someday I'll translate into cups. The pits are a bit annoying but not as annoying as trying to take them all out.

Spiced plums
4 quarts plums
3 lbs sugar
1 pint vinegar
1 T cinnamon
1 T cloves
1 T allspice
Make a syrup from the vinegar, sugar and spices. Boil 5 minutes. Prick each plum with a fork and pour syrup over fruit. Cover and allow to stand three days. Skim out plums; boil syrup 5 minutes. Add plums and heat to boiling; ladle into hot sterilized jars; can 20 minutes.

#3 salsa
Tomatoes were starting to take over the counters and fridge, as always seems to happen, so Kenneth and I also made salsa tonight. We'll simmer it all day tomorrow and then can it tomorrow night. The recipe is Kenneth's mother's recipe, slightly modified to our own tastes.

10 cups chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
1 small can of mild green chillies
3-6 jalapeno peppers, finely diced (suit heat to your own taste)
1 large tin (370 ml) of tomato paste
3/4 cup vinegar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 T coarse salt (pickling or kosher)
2 t paprika
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch cilantro/coriander

Mix everything together except a couple of the jalapenos; bring to a boil uncovered; simmer at least 1 1/2 hours (longer is better). Taste and add jalapenos to taste. Can 20 minutes.

The salsa sounds like a lot of chopping, but we have a hand-turned food processor/chopper, so it goes pretty quickly. I'm sure it would be even faster with an electric food processor.

I'd love to hear your canning recipes!


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