Friday, November 2, 2007

Canning Tomato Sauce and Pickles

My sister found a great deal on a set of canning equipment a couple of weeks ago, and neither one of us even tried to resist. A 10 Qt pressure cooker/canner for $25? Count me in.
Thus embarks the great Canning Season of 2006.

Now, it’s really past the time I could be canning anything from my garden. The green tomato salsa from a few weeks ago is the last of the fresh produce from my garden this season.

But last Saturday, The Professor saw a seedless watermelon at the grocery store. And he wanted one last watermelon for the year. So what to do with the rind, other than make watermelon rind pickles?

My grandmother made these, and as I was growing up, they were always available at her house. None of my family got the recipe (that we can find), but there’s still a great aunt out there who may have it. I haven’t given up. But last weekend, I had to just hunt around the ‘nets and do something on my own. We haven’t cracked them open yet, but I’m going to wait for my grandmother’s recipe to post anything. Besides, my first canning trial resulted in a pint of broken pickles. Not exactly something to brag about on my blog.

Then, the next day, we came across a farmer selling the last of the season’s tomatoes. Yes, in the Deep South, you still get tomatoes at the end of October. So I bought 3 pounds, made up some tomato sauce and canned 3 pints worth. I had just enough left over to toss with some penne for dinner, and we are going to have some incredible pastas in the next couple of months.

So, I have no recipes for you today. Tomorrow, I’m going to make venison lasagna, so you’ll have to hold out for that. In the meantime, here’s a shot of my stove while I was preparing to can the sauce:

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