Monday, September 07, 2009

Tastes of Autumn

With Autumn fast approaching and home gardens reaching their peak of harvest, I thought I would share a few of my favorite canning recipes. Besides the usual canned or frozen green beans, peas and corn, I also have a few not so ordinary "staples" put up in my pantry for winter enjoyment. Hopefully you have some knowledge of "preserving", as I am the type of cook who measures by sight and adds a few little extra's of this, that or the other to whatever I'm preparing. And as a general rule, my instructions for preparation are rather minimal. Hence your need for general cooking knowledge. With that being said, I hope you enjoy these recipes.

Stewed Tomatoes
8# ripe, firm tomatoes
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
Wash tomatoes; remove peels (drop into boiling water for about 30 seconds and remove to cool slightly. Skins will crack slightly. Pull off with a paring knife), stem ends and cores. Quarter tomatoes. Measure 17 cups. Place in an 8-10 quart Dutch Oven or Kettle. Add celery, onion, green pepper, sugar and salt to kettle. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Ladle hot, stewed, tomatoes into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Process at 10 pounds pressure.
Quarts: 20 minutes
Pints: 15 minutes
Yield: 3 quarts or 7 pints
*In my kitchen, the uses for these stewed tomatoes are endless. I use them for Grandmas Chili, My Best Ever Pot Roast, Yummy Ribs-n-Kraut. I have even made homemade Spaghetti Sauce by pureeing them in a blender, adding Italian seasoning, and reducing the liquid volume down with a 2 hour simmer, and then adding browned sausage or hamburger.

Hot Pepper Rings
Hot Peppers (Hot Banana or Hungarian Wax, red and yellow)
Garlic Cloves
Salt (uniodized)
4 c. White Vinegar
1 1/2 c. Sugar
1/2 c. Oil
Wash and slice peppers as thick as you like. I usually slice mine about 1/4-inch, and I don't seed them. To me, that's defeating the purpose of "hot" peppers. Pack into hot, sterilized jars. Add 1 clove of garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each jar. Bring to a boil, the vinegar, sugar and oil, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Pour over peppers and seal jars. Store in a cool, dry place and refrigerate after opening.
*These peppers have a sweet, tangy flavor, and are excellent on top of chili. I however prefer to stand at the kitchen sink with a jar in one hand and a fork in the other =)