Growing my own vegetables and preserving some of the harvest go hand in hand. A good harvest means I'm able to share fresh produce with friends and family, too. Fresh tomatoes are especially appreciated.
This year I planted my garden much later than usual. It looks like there will be fewer vegetables to harvest. I planted three hills of cucumbers and all I see is one. The remaining seeds didn't germinate or the tiny seedlings were eaten by something as soon as they saw daylight. It remains a mystery. I'm still hoping to get enough tomatoes to can a few quarts. Sure hope we don't get an early frost.
Canning isn't so very difficult, but it can be time consuming. Most canners would agree that the time is well worth the effort.
An up to date book on food preservation is a way to ensure you'll end up with a product that is safe to eat and delicious, as well. Visit the library, book store or surf the internet. You will find information and links to many publications.
"Putting food by" allows you to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor all year long.
Great on a burger
CRISP HAMBURGER SLICES (4 qts.)
8 onion slices
4 cloves garlic
4 heads of dill
2 tsp. mustard seed
Into each quart jar place 2 onion slices, 1 clove garlic, 1 head of dill and 1/2 tsp. mustard seed. Add cucumber slices on top.
2 cups water
4 cups vinegar
2-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canning salt
Combine in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Pour over cucumbers in jars. Seal as instructed in canning book. Process in a boiling water bath, 10 min.
Easy to prepare; just takes time
16 cups tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped)
2 cups chopped green pepper
2 cups diced onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 jalapenos, diced fine (remove seeds)
5 T. canning salt
2 T. black pepper (or less)
5 T. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
3 T. sugar
1-1/4 cups cider vinegar
Place ingredients in stockpot. Simmer over med-low heat for about 3-1/2 hours, stirring every now and then. Ladle into hot sterilized jars; seal. Process in a hot water bath for 20 min. Yield: 9 pints.
Tastes good anytime
TOMATO SOUP SUPREME
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups water
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 T. uncooked reg. rice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
In a large saucepan, simmer (covered) for about 45 min.
2-1/2 cups chopped cabbage
2 med. potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until veg. are done; about 30 min.
2 tsp. flour
2 tsp. melted butter
Add to soup, stirring to blend. Simmer 10 to 15 min. more. Remove from heat.
Note: Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. I added seasoned salt and more pepper. Serves 4-5.
My sister, Judy, shares this recipe
PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. white corn syrup
2 T. water
2 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups chocolate chips
Cream together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add corn syrup, water and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased pan or may use air-bake pan covered with parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 12 to 15 min. Yield: 2 dozen
NOTE: May use a med. size cookie scoop which will result in more cookies. The smaller cookies take less time to bake; about 10 min.
Food for Thought: We all go back to the soil eventually, but the gardener does it while he's still alive.