Author Topic: Canning, freezing, and preserving  (Read 1398 times)

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Offline mcritch

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Canning, freezing, and preserving
« on: August 11, 2013, 10:34:44 pm »
so far we've canned well over 100 jars of tomatoes, sauces, relishes, apple butter, jams, and other stuff.  we've frozen gallons of strawberries and tons of corn, peas, and other veggies and several loafs of zucchini bread.

anyone got a unique recipe or 2?  thought i'd share one here

one of my favorite things to can is something called Lutenitsa.  It's a staple in Bulgarian kitchens, and is pretty easy to make

6 lbs of peeled tomatoes
3 lbs of roasted red peppers, skins removed (i used large sweet banana peppers, but any will work)
2 lbs of roasted eggplants, skins removed

if you plop the eggplants and peppers on a grill the skins peel off really easy.

you basically just blitz these in a food processor, add to a large pot with about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of salt, and 3/4 cup of light oil (sunflower is what they use, but light olive or vegetable oil would work).

cook it down by about 1/3 (it should be thick - if it's runny keep cooking!!), pack in jars with 1/2" headspace and process in a water bath for 25min. 

there are about 10000000 variations of this recipe but this is how my friend's mom made it when we were there.

they eat it on all sorts of stuff, but traditionally they spread it on bread.  we think it's pretty damn good as a spread on  instead of mustard/mayo on a sandwich or burgers.  it's also excellent on grilled meats!  we've also put it on chicken, topped it with feta cheese, and baked it in the oven.  some people use it in pasta.  not bad in some beans either.

if you leave out the tomatoes, double the amount of peppers and throw in some garlic you have something called Ajvar.  you can add some hot chilies to the mix if you prefer it spicy.

and now for pics!

peppers roasting:


roasted peppers (oh man the smell!!!!)


finished Lutenitsa


some of our canned goods


zucchini bread
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    Offline EY8s

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    Re: Canning, freezing, and preserving
    « Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 11:37:01 pm »
    cool stuff Matt!
    I've been wanting to get into canning for the past year but haven't yet.
    had a bumper crop of tomatoes so far this year (beefsteak and german queen heirlooms, and better boy hybrids - celebrity and big boys decent but not as much) and I always have plenty of banana, red, yellow and orange bells going until first frost.  I could actually enjoy this stuff throughout the year.
    guess I need to get on it!  ;D

    my eggplants didn't do much - they were shaded too much by the Jumanji sized heirloom vines this year.

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    Offline mcritch

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    Re: Canning, freezing, and preserving
    « Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 07:40:41 pm »
    Canning tomatoes is easy! Peel em, cram them in hot, sterile jars, and plop them in the canner.  You really need a pressure canner (according to both the US and Canadian Governments and the Ball Blue Book) to ensure the safety of tomatoes as they are borderline acidic enough.  I add a tiny bit of citric acid to mine (mostly Better Boys this year) just in case.  Lots of folks just use a water bath without problems but I have a pressure canner - the tiny risk of botulism isnt worth it with a kid in the house.  Also, a pressure canner cuts processing time at least in half.  I use the water bath for most everything else (relish, jellies, jams, etc...).  I have 2 gas rings (fish cookers) on the back porch that we use when canning.  Those big burners heat water WAY faster than my stove and all the heat, steam, etc...is kept in the great outdoors instead of heating up my house.

    I'm glad your garden is doing well.  The weather in Arkansas this year is nuts.  We had snows in late march and frosts in april, then it rained all of may, most of july, and is still raining in today.  Most years the tomatoes are in the garden in early to mid march.  Temp's have been cooler as well - I think we've broke 100 once this year.  Most years we have 100 at least a couple times a week.  My tomatoes normally grow out of their 5ft cages and reach back down to the ground, but this year they are only 3 1/2 - 4ft high and have not produced in the quantities i'm used to.  I chalk it up to the late start and weird weather. 

    jumanji!!!!!!  :D
    1987 Ramcharger LE 150 4x4 - 318/AVS & Edelbrock Performer intake/727/HEI/Borla Exhaust - 300k & still rolling
    1993 D250 LE CTD/ASA Intake, 8' bed.  Stock....for now....

    Offline EY8s

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    Re: Canning, freezing, and preserving
    « Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 11:52:37 pm »
    Ive read up on the canning and would def get a pressure canner along with the jars, etc
    Its good to hear first hand commentary though.
    Ive trellised my maters for the past wo years.  Clothesline every 12", starting at 18".  Works well for me but u have to stay on top of training/tieing up the vines.  I have 18" deep above ground boxes and an automated drip setup which keeps watering consistent (though we've had a ton of rain too) and saves my butt when im out of town.  Not as many split tomatoes.

    "Tomahawk"
    360Mag/TF727/NP241/D60s/4.88/Lockers/37's/OBA/9500#winch/Self-Built

     

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