Update: I made this recipe last fall and wasn’t very pleased with the results. Only 4 jars made it through and there is still one left. Won’t be making this one again.
No pictures of this one as I could barely keep up. I’m having serious problems with timing while canning. Next time I will wash the jars, fill the canning pot with water and prep all the veggies/fruit/herbs before I start anything.
I’ve been looking forward to trying this recipe ever since I picked up The Art of Preserving. It will be great to eat with some good bread in the middle of January.
The recipe is pretty simple, tomatoes, basil, wine, and vinegar. I used both red and yellow tomatoes to add some color and white wine and balsamic vinegars. After reducing the liquid ingredients, I added the blanched, peeled, and cored tomatoes. This is where I fell behind, I tried to chop the basil while the tomatoes heated up. Unfortunately, I took too long and the tomatoes broke down a little too much.
I packed the brushetta topping into half-pint jars and processed for 20 minutes. I must not have tighten the ring enough on one jar because one of them burst open during processing, luckily the jar didn’t break!
Compound butter is a super easy way to make something that seems fancy, I should make it more often. Last night I made sage butter, I chopped some sage from my window box on the balcony and mixed it with soften butter. I stuck the butter back in the refrigerator for a couple of hours so the flavors could meld then spread it on sourdough bread.
Earlier this summer I made dill butter and now I think I should use the last of my chives and freeze some chive butter.
I love homemade applesauce so I when I heard that it is one of the easiest things to can, I jumped on it.
Apples are starting to show up at the farmer’s market so I bought a 5 pound bag of Honey Crisps and went to work. I quartered and cored the apples and threw them in a big pot with just over a half cup of water (next time I will use cider). After they cooked for about 30 minutes I ran the apples through my food mill to separate the skins and smooth out the texture.
Next I packed the sauce into hot jars.
I later realized the jars were way too full, I wouldn’t go past the lower lip of the jar.
After processing for 15 minutes.
The jars were ready, they cooled overnight and should be good for up to one year of storage. One jar didn’t seal so that will be lunch tomorrow.
Sauerkraut Day 1
For my first attempt at fermentation, I chose sauerkraut. It should be simple: cabbage, salt, and time.
I used a recipe I found here and a technique I learned at the Tilth Harvest Fair. After slicing 1 head of cabbage thinly and tossing it with two tablespoons of salt, I started packing the salted cabbage into a 1 quart jar. Using a rolling pin I pounded the cabbage down until the entire head fit in the jar and the liquid released by the cabbage covered it completely. I placed a jar lid, smaller than the opening (in this case a regular lid in a wide mouth jar) on top of the cabbage, then added a clean rock for weight, a layer of Saran wrap to keep out air and covered the whole thing with a washcloth.
Here is where the recipes differ, some say don’t open it for 3-4 weeks, others recommend checking it every two days. I think I will check it about once a week and see how it is progressing.
I decided to start a blog to keep track of all the kitchen projects I have been working on this summer. In July, I started to can jams and pickles and have slowly progressed to tomato sauce and fermentation! Today I started my first batch of sauerkraut, in 3-4 weeks we will know how it turned out.