Food in Jars

It’s that time of year again, and I’ve been canning.

First up were the Roma tomatoes. They had half-bushel boxes on sale, so I bought three then Mr. Math went back for a fourth—because he remembered that we’d almost run out of dried tomatoes. He uses them a lot when he makes soup or stews in the winter. Since I seldom use them in my cooking, I lose track of them. We had very few stewed tomatoes left from last year, so I wanted to do a bunch this year. I canned 28 quarts of tomatoes and this time, I put a sprig of basil in each one since my basil is so lush and there’s no way we’ll eat it all before the frost. I also put down 8 pints of salsa, which is nice and spicy. It’s a bit different from last year as I couldn’t find any tomatillos. I also dehydrated tomatoes to fill 6 quart jars. We still had a few left to eat, which was great as they were beautiful and ripe.

Then the Ontario peaches turned up on the stores. I wasn’t going to do very many this year, but ended up with 14 quarts – with vanilla! – then bought more peaches to make jam over the weekend. I used to can peaches every August with my mom. We’d drive down to Niagara to buy the fruit, then come home and start peeling. I remember it being a really hot job, with juice running off my elbows, and every surface in the kitchen ending up sticky. (The sticky part still happens.) My mom still cans some peaches herself, but she doesn’t like making jam much anymore – and she loves peach jam. So, I made two batches of jam for her. 🙂

That’s all the canning I’m planning to do this summer.

quince jelly made by Deborah Cooke

I might make quince jelly in the fall, but maybe not. It’ll depend on the quinces. That picture is from the first year I made quince jelly. It’s quite magical to make, because it turns pink as it cooks. And quinces are interesting, being such an ancient fruit. I like the perfume of them. Peeling them is a job and a half, though. The fruit is so hard that it can feel like peeling rocks.

Do you do any canning? If so, what do you can?

3 thoughts on “Food in Jars

  1. I love to read what other people are canning. We tried it for the first time this year and ended up with 3 kinds of jam and 3 kinds of pickles. We didn’t have the tomatoes for canning or salsa – maybe next year. Your peaches sound amazing.


    • I found the suggestion to add a piece of vanilla bean in a canning book. It’s amazing how much difference it makes. I love canned peaches anyway, but with the vanilla, they’re incredible. So easy to do, too! What kind of jam and pickles did you make, Elle?


  2. I made crabapple jelly a few years ago, and pear chutney, but I haven’t done any canning in quite a few years. When I was a kid, my mom made the best peach freezer jam, if I had room in my freezer I would make some.


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