Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"I Made It" Blueberry Jam, Tomato Sauce, and Pickles

Oh. My. Goodness. Canning is so much fun! You no longer have to be afraid and seriously, its like therapy.

I have tried out a few more recipes and learned some more too. Here is a picture of most of the results.

Tomato/Spaghetti Sauce

Whether you call is gravy or sauce, the result is the same- a big ole "YUM!"

For this adventure, my main consultant was How to Cook Like Your Grandmother. (Isn't that a great site name?) Drew included great pics and step by step of making and canning spaghetti sauce. For the most part, I followed the recipe. Initially, I added a couple garden fresh peppers, more garlic and a large can of tomato paste.

1. Start your sauce early in the day so you can smell the aroma all day long. It is so wonderful.
2. One cup of sugar makes a VERY sweet sauce. I had never used that much when I have made sauce before, but was trusting the recipe since sugar can be part of the preservation part. I really need to look into this more, because it was VERY sweet. We had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner with the sauce, and after dinner I added another can of tomato paste and some more garlic and seasoning to the sauce. Much better.
3. The immersion blender is so key. It make the sauce so nice.

Blueberry Jam

Ok, with this recipe, I learned trust. I used a recipe out of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving for jam made from berries. It is a simple formula: 9 cups of crushed berries, 6 cups of sugar. Combine, heat, stir a lot, when it gets to the gelling point, remove from heat. This mixture just was not becoming jelly like I expected it to. I was practically crying that I had just turned 3 lbs of our fresh picked blueberries into syrup instead of jam. Not trusting the recipe, I cooked it a little more. My jam is much thicker than I would like it to be.

1. Trust the recipe.
2. I am pretty sure that this jam would have "set up" some more in the jar as it cooled. Nevertheless, it is still yummy on sandwiches and even better reheated just a bit and poured over cheesecake or ice cream.

Fermented Pickles

My pickles are done! In I Miss Harry Potter, So I'm Making My Own Magic: 'I Made It' I started making fermented pickles with the kids. Thanks to Alton Brown and his recipe, we now have pickles with some kick!

1. Pepper is very strong! We only used half of the red pepper flakes Alton suggested, and they still had some kick.
2. These pickles are salty and they make your mouth pucker a little.

Now I have a pantry stocked with extra yummy goodness that we made and I know what is in it! Bye bye high fructose corn syrup

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