Sunday, November 4, 2012

Canning on a beautiful fall day.....

Ok, today I'm actually back with a couple of recipes.  I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time "talking" about these recipes, because I'm flat out beat right now, but I will get the pictures posted and the recipes published. 

Got my canner going sterilizing some jars and quickly boiling some tomatoes that my fiance' grew in his garden so they would be easy to peel. 
This is the Walla Walla onion my man grew in his garden.  About 1/2 cup of that will be going into the chutney. 
And here are all the magical ingredients:
I found this recipe at An Oregon Cottage and cut it in half based on the amount of tomatoes I had left. 
2 lbs of tomatoes peeled and chopped - I had a variety of Roma's and plum tomatoes.  The Roma's were perfect for this because they're so meaty and not so watery. 
1/8 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup copped onion
3/8 cup of brown sugar
3/8 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 tbs pickling salt
1/2 lime zested and juiced
1/2 tsp pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped white raisins
Combine all of the above ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat.  Lower heat and cook at a low simmer for 1 and a half to 2 hours, until thickened.  Stir often to avoid scorching or sticking. 
Ladle into 1/2 pint canning jars leaving 1/4 inch head space and boil in a hot water canner for 10 minutes. 
This is what it looked like after about 1/2 hour.  It smelled AMAZING!

This is what it looked like before jarring it.  The smell was so intense and mouth watering.  The taste?  Wow!  If we have a good tomato season next year, all the tomatoes are going to this recipe and I'm never eating ketchup again!  That's how good this is!  As the author from The Oregon Cottage says, this is adult ketchup - and it's delicious! 

So while the chutney was simmering away and I was cleaning, doing laundry and walking the dog in between I started in on this:
14 lbs of apples.  These came from my ex husbands tree.  You may have seen me post on here about them before.  They're HUGE and very juicy.  They may look a bit beat up, but they very good apples.  I'm grateful he was kind enough to share these with me this year. 
So I got into my meditative apple peeling mode and kept going until my hand cramped up too much to go anymore. 
And made it through 7 lbs of apples.  I was thinking about saving the peels and make juice for jelly later, but knew I would be biting off more then I could chew, so I let go of that notion and stayed focused on the applesauce.  This recipe isn't so structured.  My guide is, as always, my favorite canning book, Putting Food By by Janet Greene, Ruth Hertzberg and Beatrice Vaughan. 
They recommend putting about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan and filling the pan with peeled and quartered or cut into eights apple slices until they are no more then 2 inches from the top.  Their only recommendation on spices is what ever sounds good to you.  So I put in 4 tsp of vanilla, sprinkled generously with cinnamon, and grated about 1/8 of a tsp of fresh nutmeg on them.  They do recommend a sweetener and I put in a cup of a mixture of brown and white sugar.  I would have done all brown, but was out and was not about to make a trip to the store at this point. 
Then this is boiled down until the apples are soft.  This doesn't take long at all.  There were a lot of apples here so it took 10 minutes at the most.  A smaller batch could take 3 to 5 minutes. 
At this point my house smelled wonderful!  So much like fall. 
My final product before canning.  I like my applesauce chunky, because that's the way mom did it.  It takes me back to my childhood, but at this point you could run it through a strainer, a french mill or a cuisinart to make it smooth.  You want to reheat it before you jar it though.

Place it into hot sterilized pint jars ( it took 9 pint jars for 7 lbs of apples) and process in a hot water bath canner for 20 minutes. 

This is my final bounty for the night, minus a couple of jars that are still being processed in the canner. It wasn't big enough to hold all of them at once. 

9 pints of comforting applesauce from a local tree and 1 and 1/4 pints of tomato chutney made with home grown tomatoes and a home grown walla walla onion.  Food tastes so much better when it comes from close to home. 
I can't wait to grill up some lamb burgers and put some of that chutney on them - Oooo, and pork chops and applesauce are going to be soooo good! 

Now, to figure out what to do with the other 7 lbs of apples.......

No comments: