Canning Palooza 2012

That’s what I’m officially dubbing the last four weeks. Because as you can see below, I’ve been busy.

My canning cupboard,

It started innocently enough. I thought I’d do just enough tomatoes and peach jam to get my family through the winter months but 4 weeks and 60+ hours later, I’m pretty sure I have enough canned goods to get my neighborhood through the winter. For whatever reason, this was the year that a handful of friends that have expressed learning how to can in the past, actually came through and asked to set up a day. And who I am to say no? So everyday I thought would be the last, it wasn’t. I just kept going! For as much work as it was, I’m pretty pumped about the wide variety of goodies I have to use in the upcoming months.

canning collage,

Last week, I got together with two of my local blogging friends, Annalise and Becky. We had lofty goals of roasting and preparing 50 lbs of tomatoes for marinara and 5 lbs of peaches that would meet their fate as jam. But……with three demanding little ones, things didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped. We were able to get only one of the two batches of marinara sauce we had on the agenda. It’s one of those recipes that is time consuming, makes a mess and, honestly, for as much work as it is, doesn’t produce a huge yield. BUT, it’s without a doubt the best thing in my canning cupboard so I continue to make it every year.

Canning Tomatoes 2012,

Since we only had time that day to make one batch of marinara, we made my tried and true recipe for marinara that I’ve been canning for last 4 years. Made with white wine and fresh basil, it’s slightly sweet and the flavor definitely mimics the summer harvest. Becky did a great post on the recipe last Wednesday and you can find the recipe here.

red-wine rosemary marinara,

With a bushel of peaches and 25 lbs of tomatoes leftover, we decided to call it a day. Annalise took the peaches to make some jam. She posted the recipe on Thursday and it looks amazing. Laced with amaretto, I’m so looking forward to getting my hand a few of those jars. (I take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with me to the mountain just about every day and I can’t wait to use some!) I kept the other 25 lbs of tomatoes that thankfully we’d already roasted and I was in charge of making our second batch of marinara. We decided it would be fun to switch things up a bit and use red wine instead of the white and rosemary instead of basil. The result is a sauce that is heartier and more robust.

canning red wine sauce,

Because it’s the first time I’ve made the sauce this way, I’m holding off on giving you a recipe until I test it myself and make sure I don’t die of Botchulism. Joking, sort of. Canning is the real deal and while I’m 99.8% sure it’s safe, I want to really make sure before I give you the goods. So in the mean time, you’re going to have to settle for some recipes from some my favorite fellow canning bloggers!

Happy Monday to you all!