This is my most recent installment of the Of Course I Can! Blog Hop. Next month I will publish a post reviewing whatever it is that I end up canning first. That is the post that I want everyone to link up to. Can up something fantastic (or otherwise), take some photos, write a post, and link back to my post. Let’s get this canning season rolling!
I’m getting excited! This should be my last post before I post about my first canning of the season! I have already put up some zucchini and cauliflower, but that I froze so its not really as interesting.
OK, onward and upward!
Failure. That is a scary word, but I want you to get ready to embrace it. In the cooking world (and in most instances, really), failure is not wholly bad. Every time I fail in the kitchen, although it damages my pride a tad, I always come away with a lesson learned. Even when it is simply a lesson in humility. Lately, my baking prowess has been challenged by the adversary of gluten-free bread. However, that is another topic for another day.
I can think of two, well, three, different canning attempts that taught me the exact same lesson: know your produce! Back in 2012, I did the craziest amount of canning I have ever experienced, but my applesauce and tomato sauce resulted in a huge amount of frustration and discontent. The apple jelly I attempted did not come to fruition, in the least. The lesson here was that not all varieties of fruits are created equal. I should have realized this, but in my excitement and deluded feeing of genius, I just forged ahead. You see, I attempted applesauce with winter apples and apple jelly with the scraps. I also attempted tomato sauce with regular canning tomatoes. The lesson learned had everything to do with liquid.
Winter apples are not very juicy. I didn’t realize it at the time and so spent something like 8 hours trying to make applesauce. I only ended up with a few pints and applesauce got flung all over the kitchen in a blind rage. I attempted to make apple jelly with the skin and cores, but due to the issue of liquid, I only had a few centimeters of juice even after hanging overnight. Secondly, regular canning tomatoes are FULL of liquid. This is not conducive to tomato sauce. I had my 23 quart ceramic pot almost filled to the brim with tomato juice. Needless to say, it did not cook down even after hours and hours of simmering. I ended up with 18 quarts of tomato soup. However, it was very flavorful and I was still able to use it as sauce as long as I simmered it for a while before use. All was not lost in either case, but it was hugely frustrating and the rewards were meager.
At first blush, these were all three failures, but it is a lesson I will never forget. So please, don’t be afraid to fail! Jump in, feet first and see what happens. You may stumble on something great! Or not, but its all good in the end.
What is your biggest canning fear?
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