Does anyone really can fruits and vegetables anymore? Have you ever wondered what to “putting up the harvest” means?” There’s a way to preserve fruits and vegetables with a few simple steps. The key to canning is to make sure you follow the instructions to sterilize the jars and food. Here’s a way for you to say, “Yes, I Can!”
After reading the opening you are probably asking yourself why on earth is she telling us how to can in the middle of winter. The short answer is practice. I suggest that you practice canning with produce from the market rather than waiting for the fruits of your labor to spoil because you made a mistake. What do you think? Does this make sense?
Ball Jars are especially made for sterilizing food. Complete instructions on preparing the jars and lids for canning can be found on the Ball Jar website. Chili peppers were the first vegetable I canned. You can guess the reason, a zillion peppers needed picking all at once. Wear gloves while handling the peppers
Choose peppers that are heavy in weight and do not have any marks or bruises. The tough outer skin of the pepper must be removed. A quick and easy method is the oven. Set to 450 degrees. Spread the peppers on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until the skin blisters. After the peppers have cooled, remove the skin. Spilit the pepper in half horizontally and remove the stem and seeds. Further instructions can be found on the University of New Mexico Agricultural Extension Service website.
Apple Green Chili Butter
1 lb golden delicious apples, cored but unpeeled
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped green chile (mild, medium, or hot)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup bottled apple juice or apple cider
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Cut the apples into quarters. Combine apples, green chile, and apple juice or cider in a 6- to 8-quart non-stick pan. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until apples are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Ladle mixture into food processor in batches, processing until smooth. Strain mixture by pressing through a sieve and return the purée to pan. Add both types of sugar, the cinnamon, and allspice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat if necessary to prevent boiling over. Cover pan and boil mixture until thick enough to round on a spoon, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally at the beginning and constantly toward the end of the cooking period to prevent sticking and burning. Remove from heat. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving a 1/4-inch head space. Attach two-piece lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting processing time for elevation as necessary. Serves 6
What do you think? Are you ready to start canning? Would you like to share your success with us?
In the meantime, “Get Excited!”