Preserving Summer (just like Grandma did)
Many of us grew up with our grandmas and mothers canning the harvest of the garden to be enjoyed all through the winter. Even though we can buy everything at the grocery store, it’s still a wonderful tradition for many and a money saver. Here are some of our favorites that are worth the work!
RECIPE & PHOTO BY MELISSA SPELTS
This is my favorite thing to bottle and have in our pantry. It is so easy to just pull out a jar of the stewed tomatoes, purée them (mix in a blender or food processor), add some seasoning, and you will have the perfect tomato soup in which to dip a grill cheese sandwich or some crackers. You can add a jar of these to your favorite spaghetti sauce or taco soup. I love how versatile they are.
1 to 2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 yellow onion (diced)
To prepare the tomatoes
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully drop whole tomatoes in the boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately remove and place in an ice bath. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, pull skins off with your hands. Core and cut into large chunks.
Stew Tomatoes and Vegetables
Add tomatoes, celery, and onions to a pot and boil for 10 minutes.
In another pot, boil water and put canning lids and rings in to sterilize. I put the glass jars in the dish washer and pull them out when they are still hot.
Using a funnel, ladle the stewed tomatoes into warm jars. Leave a half inch of space above the tomatoes in the jar.
Wipe the rim of the jar clean with a damp rag. Add a warm lid, twisting the ring until just finger-tight.
Using a jar lifter, lower each jar into the your canning pot of water. Once pot is full, make sure you have 2 inches of water above your jars. Make sure the water isn’t too hot so the jars do not shatter.
Bring the water to a boil and set your timer for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the pot for 5 minutes.
As you pull your jars out, place on a towel and let sit for 24 hours. Shelf life is 1 year, as long as the lid doesn’t pop.
Click the links below for more awesome canning recipes!