Sunday, November 23, 2008

Adventures In Canning

As part of the home made Christmas gifts that Alex and I will be giving this year, we decided to try to make and can our own salsa.

I'd never canned before, so didn't realize how much is actually involved! In all honesty it felt a bit like a science experiment. It was a fun thing to learn, though, canning. It was probably all the sterilizing and making sure everything was the right temperature that made it feel like a science experiment. Well, that and the giant odd shaped tongs and magnet wand that were involved.

I suppose the extreme attention given to sterilizing is a good thing. Nobody wants to give, or get, botulism for Christmas.

Alex and I had the jars, and my parents let me borrow all their little canning tools which made things much easier. They gave me a run down of the process and I headed home with all my stuff ready to cook and can the afternoon away.

As most first time attempts go, it probably took us 3 times as long to do the sterilizing and canning bits than it probably should have. But hey, 100% success rate on the vaccum seals was worth the extra time to get it right!

My friend Erin came over and said she would be more than happy to be a little salsa slave for the afternoon, so we did all the chopping and cooking, and sterilizing of equipment in boiling water. (She totally earned herself a jar of salsa) Then she headed home for the evening and Alex helped me fill the jars with the salsa and prep them for the vacuum sealing.

I'll put together a little how-to with lessons learned later. For now, here's wishing everyone a happy Sunday.

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Sara said...

botulism for Christmas . . . with these tough economic times, some may resort to that type of gift giving. jk.

Way to go on the canning. I was shocked when I first learned how intricate the process was. I have yet to attempt it.

mindy said...

I love these "amy homemade" posts :) I have a recipe from my 4-H days for "fruit juice jelly"...pretty easy and you can mix up your own flavor combos. I can dig it up if you ever have any interest. Same canning headaches but less chopping hah

Amy Kingman said...

Sara - Anytime you're up for it I'd be happy to give you a rundown. The few little canning tools really make things easier!

Mindy - Yeah, when I put together the canning tutorial, I'll include some lessons learned. The first of which will be use a food processor to chop the salsa! :)

Fruit juice jelly sounds interesting! Definitely send. My mom let me borrow the Ball Jar recipe and how to can book and it's full of fun stuff I'd love to try some day.