Over the weekend we had an adventure in preserving food. Early Saturday morning we made a trip to Farmer’s Market to pick up our 50 pounds of tomatoes ($30), 25 pounds of apples ($15), an assortment of peppers ($9) and onions ($10). A lot of food for $64.00.
We got home around 8 am; surveyed the boxes and decided the only sensible thing to do was go crawl back in bed a take a nap. We had both been up since 4:00 am.
An hour later we stood in front of the boxes again. This time there was no putting it off. David began cleaning the tomatoes. I put on gloves and began deseeding peppers.
Just the colors made me happy! The next step was loading up the pressure cooker.
The final touch was to add a layer of chopped garlic to the top. Put on the lip and cooked the whole thing in the pressure cooker for 5 minutes (after it started hissing). Pulled the kettle off the heat and did a quick release. Means I did a quick cool by putting it under cold running water until the button popped up. Opened the lid and let the mixture cool off – took about 15 minutes.
Drained all the water into a separate bowl and put the veggies in a large bowl. BTW the I froze the liquid to use as a soup base this winter. Let it cool a few minutes more then put a couple of cups of the veggies into the food processor. Pulsed about 25 times so that the sauce was fairly chunky.
Repeated several times. Once the whole thing was chopped I mixed it together, tasted and added salt and lemon juice. And kept adding — until it tasted right.
We put it in jars, and put the lids on loosely. Once they were more or less secure , the went into the hot water bath. Which means we submerged them in water; brought the water to a boil and boiled the jars for 20 more minutes.
You get the idea. We made 3 pressure cookers full of veggies which was a lot of very time consuming, labor intensive work. At the end of 4 hours the kitchen looked like a war zone but here is what we had to show for our efforts!
The next day we made applesauce. Took us about 3 hours and netted 20 jars of applesauce. You are just going to have to trust me on this – I was too tired to take pictures.
Lot of work? Yes!
Worth every bit of it? You Betcha!!!