Time for the 2014 canning roundup! It felt like I canned a ton of stuff this year, but putting it all out on the table…it doesn’t look like as much as I was expecting. Granted, this is just one specimen from each type of thing I canned and for some things there were many, many jars. (Like 19 jars of strawberry jam. *ahem*)
But first, the garden. I grew a lot of produce last year. I think perhaps it was my best year ever, or at least close to it. I didn’t keep track of everything, but I did weigh the larger harvests, with a few exceptions – I ate a lot of tomatoes straight from my garden at work and I didn’t keep track of any of the carrots or cucumbers or anything leafy. (And I had a lot of carrots – yay!) But, of the things I did keep track of – dum da da dum! – the grand total came to 73 lbs 4 oz of produce.
I grew 49 lbs 15 oz of tomatoes in three different types – 17 lbs 10 oz of slicers, 12 lbs 12 oz of cherry tomatoes and 19 lbs 9 oz of paste tomatoes. (Though I must admit it seemed like more…)
I also had a bumper crop of tomatillos this year – 15 lbs 4 oz and then at least that again, which I ended up giving away because I just didn’t need them. We also had 6 lbs 1 oz of green beans and would have probably had much more had there not been a snake living in my green bean vines, somewhat scaring me away from digging out all the hidden beans. And, lastly, 2 lbs of jalapenos, which, for Maine, doesn’t seem too bad.
But now! On to the canning!
Much of what I canned I grew. Lots of tomatoes, salsa, salsa verde, pickled jalapenos, dilly beans. Another large portion was local – we picked our own strawberries, blueberries and apples, for example. Some stuff (remember those cherries?) was not remotely local, but was delicious, nonetheless!
2014 canning total!
- low sugar strawberry jam – 17 8oz jars, 2 4oz jars
- cherry lime jam – 5 8oz jars, 1 4oz jar
- holiday cherries (sweet pickled cherries with spices) – 6 8oz jars
- cherry bounce – 1/2 gallon
- vanilla peaches – 1 quart, 1 pint
- cherry butter – 2 pints
- low sugar raspberry jam – 4 8oz jars, 2 12oz jars, 1 4oz jar
- Rotel-style tomatoes – 3 pints
- pickled jalapenos – 4 pints
- tomato salsa – 5 pints
- low sugar blueberry maple jam – 5 8oz jars, 1 4oz jar
- crushed tomatoes – 2 quarts, 1 pint
- dilly beans, some spicy – 7 pints
- salsa verde/enchilada sauce – 12 pints
- blueberry pie filling – 4 quarts (only one sealed, the rest I had to freeze…boo!)
- applesauce, some spiced – 7 quarts
- apple butter – 2 pints, 2 12oz jars
Aren’t they pretty?
I primarily use three books for my canning recipes – Food in Jars, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and Canning for a New Generation. I also refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation website for basic recipes like pie filling, crushed tomatoes and applesauce, mainly to refresh my memory regarding proper headspace and processing times. But I’ve been at this long enough that I feel comfortable winging it, to a certain degree. By now, I’ve got a pretty good grasp on what’s safe and what isn’t and where I can improvise and where I shouldn’t. You’ll also see that I do most of my jams as low sugar jams – they taste so much fresher and more delicious to me that way, without being burdened by massive amounts of sugar. For those, I use Pomona’s Pectin and the basic recipes that come with it.
Looking forward to seeing what I’ll have the opportunity to preserve in 2015!