Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Adventures in Home Canning

Or how I learned to stop worrying and love botulism.

So previously when we've done tomato sauce we've just frozen it. Mostly because I think my Ma Ingalls thriftiness would be slightly counterbalanced by keeping my family on respirators for six months, following paralysis.

But this time around our freezer is already totally stuffed, we can't afford a chest freezer, and I haven't even started trying to freeze dinners for next month's due date, much less ice cube trays of baby food. And of course we're going to need room for milk in there too.

If I just disgusted you, then I probably shouldn't mention that time we ran out of regular milk while I was making mac and cheese and I did a little swap...

Yeah Chase doesn't like to talk about that.

ANYWAY. If this picture doesn't fill you with terror, I don't know what's wrong with you. Do you see all those warnings on there? Pretty much all of them end with "IF YOU FAIL YOUR HOUSE WILL EXPLODE!!! JUST BUY TOMATO SAUCE FROM THE STORE YOU IDIOT."

And you can't even hear the awful hissing noises it was making.

Here's the first batch of sauce- I more or less used this roasted tomato sauce recipe from Catherine Newman, although my amounts weren't anywhere near exact, and we threw a bunch of basil in there too. $3.84 of tomatoes made 5 pints and 5 half pints, and so far none of them have exploded!

Those jars are waiting for lids, of course, and you can already see in that picture why at least two from that batch failed. I didn't leave enough headspace at the top of the jars. You'd think I might take time out of lovingly photographing crap in my kitchen to sort of just look at it, and see if I'm doing it wrong.

Oh well.

We made pizza for dinner last night, once we ran out of jars and still had tomato sauce. Honestly the sauce is pretty good. And even though I'm going to end up freezing some of it anyway, due to various canning fails, I'm still glad we mustered up the courage for an inaugural pressure canner run. Maybe the next time won't be quite as terrifying.

Anybody want to borrow it?

1 comment:

kim said...

i want to borrow it! i'm a botulism scardy too. maybe one day you can teach me your ways, oh wise one.