Canning and Preserving · Tomatoes



That’s how that corner of my kitchen looked this morning.

Yesterday I made two different great big batches of tomato salsa.  Both were from the Ball Complete Book of Canning – my usual launching pad for canning projects.  On the left, 23 pints and one half pint of Spicy Salsa (I quadrupled the recipe in the book because we liked this one last year), and to the right, 21 jars of what Ball calls Zesty Salsa and what we are calling Dragon Fire Salsa. 

Actually, Bill referred to it as Dragon Fumes, I think, when he tasted it last night.  But “fumes” just makes me think of putting gas in the car, and so I changed it. 

All the salsa was canned using the hot water bath – or, more accurately – the boiling water bath method.  I went three rounds with each salsa.  Finally got in bed at 11:15.  I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing on my days off, but apparently THIS is what I do.  Relax?  Not so much.  Maybe later today.

Right now I have a few moments to type because I’ve had the last 5 quarts of spaghetti sauce with meat, or meat sauce, or whatever you want to call it, in the pressure canner.  The timer for that finally went off and now I’m waiting for the canner to depressurize so I can open it up and see if the jars survived their ordeal.

I’ll add them to the jars of meat sauce I canned the other day, and I’ll have eleven.  Yay!

Pressure canning reminded me, today, of what it’s like to have a newborn, sort of.  That sputtering noise the little weight gauge makes when the pressure’s correct…I find myself constantly listening, making sure it’s not sputtering too long or too often or, heaven forbid, not often enough.  It’s like that new mother feeling when the baby is asleep IN THE OTHER ROOM.  Is he breathing?  Was that a cry?  (Holding breath and listening to the monitor….)  Yes, he’s breathing!  (Great sigh of relief for one second until it starts over.)

Okay, it’s not EXACTLY like having a newborn.  I wouldn’t pick up and hug my pressure canner.  At least…not while it was still really really hot….

What else is going on here….

I do like ellipses……..……

Oh, yes, and in addition to the jars in the canner, I’ve got a great big vat of meatless tomato sauce bubbling on the stove.  I’ll can that next – water bath version – and then I think I might be done for today.  I was thinking of making and canning apple pie filling, mostly because I’ve never done it and we’ve got some great apples we picked the other day…but I think it’ll depend on how long the tomato sauce takes.  I have a feeling there will be a lot of jars.

Oh!  And this is a new one – I’m just about out of pint jars, 8 oz jars, and I’ve got ONE empty 4 oz jar left.  I’ve got enough quart jars for today and beyond, but that’s IT.  In fact, yesterday I had to buy two cases of pint jars so I’d have enough for all the salsa.  Part of me wants to rush out and replenish the other sizes of jars, you know, JUST IN CASE THERE’S A CANNING EMERGENCY, but I am resisting.

Oh, and Julia’s home from school today.  Not feeling well – sniffly and, well, she woke up with “rusty boogers.”  If that isn’t cause to stay home, I don’t know what is. 

Actually it’s been nice having her around.  She helped me out by writing Spicy Salsa and Dragon Fire Salsa and the date on all those jars.  And she’s pretty entertaining.  Kept saying something about “now I’ll sign their heads!” as she wrote on all the salsa jars.  That, or racing to the tissue box mid-sneeze.  Yes, she washed her hands frequently.  And didn’t sneeze ON the jars.

Right now she’s “taking a nap,” which seems to mean “singing and playing” in her room. 

I don’t think she’s all that sick, really. 

But we all need an occasional day to sing and play in our rooms.

One thought on “Canathon

  1. Do you have a pressure canning for dummies post somewhere? I have an old (really old– belonged to my great grandmother) pressure canner and I’m afraid of it.

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