Several years ago, I reacquainted myself with the soon-to-be lost art of canning food. While I am definitely no expert, I’ve managed to can all sorts of food.
I have been a bit lax on canning while I’ve been dealing with my health, the time for resuming preserving food is at hand. Over the last few days, I have made and canned vegetable broth and tomatoes.
The vegetable broth is really a piece of cake. I take the veggies I have, whether from storing them in the freezer or from the fridge, cut them up, put them in the crockpot, add some filtered water and cook on low for 10 hours. Remove the veggies, drain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and some cheese cloth and then canning commences. If you’re into composting the cooked veggies can be composted.
The tomatoes, on the other hand, are one of the most tedious items to can (imho). Yet, there are so many options for canning them. For this particular canning, I chose to use remove the tomato peel by blanching the tomatoes in boiling water. Then the tomatoes go into ice water to stop the cooking process.
After removing the skin, I rough chop the tomatoes and place in a blender and pulse it a few times. I complete several batches of this and all the tomatoes are placed in a pot and brought up to temperature so then can be ladled into hot jars and canned.
I have a pressure canner, which I can double as a water-bath canner. At one point, I had both, but it took up a lot of space. I will note that certain foods (normally acidic, jams, jellies) use a water bath while other foods require the use of a pressure canner (stocks, vegetables, meat, soups).
With my change in diet and for the health of my family, I will work at diligently canning more foods to have on hand. I typically only can what we eat within a year (typical shelf life of home-canned goods). It’s a great way to use seasonal fruits and vegetables, while they are affordable. I love opening a can of tomatoes in November that I canned in the summer. You can still smell the vine.