Over the seasons, I’ve learned to be content with whatever produce I have managed to put up, and not waste any energy mourning over missed asparagus for pickles or wild blueberries for preserves. There will always be another jar to fill or a new recipe to try from Pinterest, but I stick with my list of essentials because I don’t have time to get sidetracked. Period!
This summer has been another crazy one, but I’ve managed to fit quite a few canning projects into my daily routine and, now that I tally everything up, it fills the pantry quite nicely (pictured above). Of course, I’ve already given half of everything away, but that is part of the reward – blessing someone with homemade preserves.
Below is a closer look at recipes I’ve used, and what is ahead, still to be added to the pantry. Be sure to stick around for another amazing giveaway from Tattler at the end of the post!
Food in Jars
Two varieties of pickles are jarred up for the winter and are waiting in my pantry. The first is a version of my grandmother’s Mustard Bread & Butter Pickles, a recipe I found in my mom’s tattered, handwritten cookbook. I think it needs a little tweaking, and I should be ready to share it next summer. In the meantime, if you can still find pickling cukes, be sure to make a batch of Garlic-Dill Pickles. I made mine with coriander instead of dill, so it will be interesting to see how that tastes. I still have to wait for them to cure!
This summer my mind was blown – by relish. That’s right. Long has relish been the iridescent squeeze bottle I avoided on the condiment table at every barbecue. First I experimented with my own Cucumber Relish and when our family, plus my parents, finished off an entire jar on burgers, I knew it was a winner. I’ll share the recipe next summer, okay? You still have time to make the Zucchini-Pepper Sweet Relish I posted during canning week. I don’t think any of our gardens have let up on the zucchini production, am I right?
In the jam department, I added some rhubarb to my Honey Strawberry Jam and it’s just perfect. Thanks to Marisa’s cookbook, Food in Jars, I was inspired to cook up the winning combination of Sweet Cherry-Plum Jam. It’s definitely worth the time spent pitting cherries.
Why mess with a good thing? I returned to my Sweet Summertime Blueberry Syrup and processed several jars for even longer storage. The berries also starred in a super simple Blueberry-Plum Butter made in the slow cooker, as did an early batch of Apple Butter.
Butters were a bit of a theme this summer. I also made a Slow-Roasted Peach Butter, another fantastic recipe from Food in Jars. As far as I know it’s not posted anywhere, but that recipe alone *might* be worth the price of the whole cookbook.
A few summer ingredients made it to the freezer, to steal the show in later months when snow is piling up.
I showed you how to easily cut corn off the cob, then I blanched the kernels, and froze them in bags. How we enjoyed stirring those bags of sweet kernels into soup, risotto, and chili all last winter; definitely worth the effort.
Basil in my garden had a heyday, so I whipped bunches of it into pesto, then froze them in ‘pucks’. It’s green gold in my freezer. I even made the pesto with organic pumpkin seeds instead of pine nuts; it’s much cheaper, and now Noah can take pesto pasta to school because it is nut-free.
Strawberry season flew past, but I managed to freeze coulis, several jars of roasted strawberries in juice, and whole berries for smoothies. I’ve also got a few bags of blueberries and sliced peaches headed for a similar destiny.
The recipes from my amazing contributors this summer made my mouth water! Sadly my pantry is not stocked with these delights, but there is always next year.
- Sour Cherry Jam
- Spiced Apple Preserves
- Peach Barbecue Sauce
- Raspberry Jalapeno Jam
- Slow-Cooker Ketchup
Still to come: Tomatoes!
Fall is usually well underway before I begin processing my tomatoes each year. Waiting until late September gives me a chance to catch my breath from processing berries and stone fruit (not to mention pickles) and I often find that tomatoes, as well as peppers and onions, have dropped in price.
This month I have an ambitious (for this busy household) list of tomato-based canned goods. There must be pizza sauce, roasted, if you please, for winter pizza is a favorite around here. Tomato Sauce or Marinara is another essential, with the pasta-loving crew that I have.
Ideally, I’ll have a salsa party, and get 8 or so pints in the pantry, although I’m undecided on a recipe. Finally, I’m definitely going to simmer a batch or two of slow-cooker ketchup, because it is so darn simple.
Whew. After that I should be able to put my feet up until Christmas, right? Heh. If only.
I’m fortunate to have Tattler Reusable Canning Lids as a sponsor of this blog. This is the second summer I’ve been using their BPA-free, reusable lids for my canned goods and have no complaints. Tattler lids provide a safe, environmentally friendly product for home food preservation and as a bonus they are also dishwasher safe.
**This giveaway has ended. Congratulations to our winner, Cindy! (Cindy, you have been emailed). A big thank you to all who entered!**
Today’s special giveaway package includes 100 regular lids AND 100 wide mouth lids with reusable rubber rings from Tattler. That’s a retail value of $142.95!
Leave a comment on this post and tell me the BEST home preserve you tasted all summer.
For additional entries you can do one or all of the following:
1. Follow @tattlercanning on Twitter, copy and paste following into a tweet:
“I want to win a season’s worth of BPA-free reusable canning lids from @tattlercanning on @simplebites http://bit.ly/OMdkkC ”
2. Like Tattler Reusable Canning Lids on Facebook.
3. Like Simple Bites on Facebook.
For each additional entry, you MUST return to this post and leave a comment telling me you tweeted or Facebooked.
**Please note that only comments left on this original post will be counted as entries, so if you are reading this post via email, please note that you must enter on the blog post itself, NOT by replying to the email. Thank you!**
Giveaway will end on Saturday, September 15, at 11:59 PM EST. Good luck to all!