With the garden go-go-going, I enrolled in a class at our local University extension to learn about preserving foods from the garden. The class covers hot water bath canning, pressure canning, jams and jellies, freezing, pickling, salsa and more. (And if you haven’t checked out your own University extension, get Googling. The resources they provide are so helpful.)
So, anyhoo… I’ve really learned a lot. The first week, we canned salsa, green beans and carrots. I took them home the following week. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Ryan doesn’t eat green beans, so I will be devouring that can of beans soon. =)
I also brought home the book So Easy to Preserve. If you are thinking about preserving anything from your garden, from canning to freezing to drying, this is the book for you. It’s so handy. Another resource I learned about was the National Center for Home Food Preservation website. It’s chock-full of resources for preserving food. I think you’ll find it handy.
One of my biggest takeaways from this class is that you shouldn’t ever can anything that is not made from a tried-and-true canning recipe. If you try to can a family recipe or another recipe that isn’t tested for canning by one of the above sources (or others), it can be harmful to you and your family.
The biggest thing I was to preserve is tomatoes. We buy diced tomatoes like it’s going out of style. I’m hoping to have enough tomatoes to can lots of them, along with canning tomato sauce, salsa and jelly. The freezing tips will be helpful for everything else.
And, in case you are interested, here’s the recipe our teacher gave us for:
Hot Pepper Jelly
Makes 5-1/2 pint jars
3/4 cup hot peppers (jalapenos or other)
2 3/4 cups sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange)
1 pouch Sure-Jell pectin
5 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
Sterilize jars (heat jars in boiling water for 10 minutes). Liquefy half of the peppers and half vinegar in blender. Repeat with remaining peppers and vinegar. Boil peppers, vinegar and sugar slowly. Remove from heat, add pectin and boil hard for 1 minute. Skim top and pour into jars. Leave 1/4″ headspace from top of jars. Apply lids. Boil in hot water (1 inch over the top of the jars) for 5 minutes.
It’s quite yummo. Serve this with Ritz crackers and cream cheese. I think you’ll love it. We had TONS of peppers last year. What a fun way to use them.
So, tell me. Do you preserve your food through canning, freezing or dehydrating?
Did you like this post?
We'd love to send you more inspiration and encouragement for your home. When you sign up below, we'll send you our free guide to save thousands on your next home project. Because your home shouldn't own you.