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September 3, 2012

Canning Mania!!!!

Hello readers!  So, I've been slacking on my blog again.  I'm sorry.  But I promise that hasn't meant that I've been slacking on projects!  I still have several more "Pinterest Project" ideas in the works (and a finished one that I need to post another day), but my garden has had other plans for me lately.

Our garden has exploded.  And when I say exploded, I mean it.  There was a three week period where my fridge was busting open AND our window sills/counters were just covered with tomatoes/cucumbers/peppers.  Our freezers are already busting open, so freezing things wasn't much of an option.  So I decided this year I would take on canning.

I must say that canning is a LOT easier than I thought it would be.  Don't get me wrong -- you have to be precise and do a LOT LOT LOT of reading before you start!  But once you learn all of the major vocabulary and processes, it's pretty simple to do and do well!

One site has been particularly helpful to me during this time: Food in Jars.  This lady is from PA (also my home state) and has some absolutely. fabulous. recipes.  She also has excellent tutorials and links to answer any question you could ever have!  I also just bought her book because I know that it's going to be super awesome!

So far I've canned whole tomatoes, tomato butter, dill pickle spears, and a sweet/spicy cucumber pepper relish!  None of the recipes are my own, so please follow the links if you want to try any of these.  All of them came out swimmingly and I'm super pumped to have fresh veggies all winter long!  =) Here's a few pictures of my hard work:

I've tasted the relish (and it's really delish), but I'm most excited about the pickles!  They need to keep in the jar for at least a month before they will be ready to eat!  =)

Do any of you do any home canning out there?  If so, what are your favorite recipes?  I'm wanting to try my hand at a jam or marmalade next, as well as some hot pepper vinegar that I found on pinterest!  =)

Happy holiday weekend to all!  =D

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