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Stocking up for Winter

October 1st, 2011

I don’t spend much time canning in summer, I much prefer to eat vegetables fresh and in season. In winter my tastes lean more towards root vegetables roasted with venison or chicken. Hearty stews and crusty artisan breads are also on the menu quite often when the snow is on the ground. Learning to love root vegetables is quite nice because they don’t need much in the way of preservation, squash gets piled in a corner of the dining room, potatoes are tucked away in the garage, garlic and onions are in boxes in the basement, and cabbages are pounded with salt and stuffed into jars and stowed in the basement as well.

Every other year, I do spend some time putting up jam, jelly, relish, and chutney, but we have enough left from last year that I haven’t made any of that this year. The one thing I did spend some time putting in jars, tomatoes.

Over the past few weeks I have managed to put up a few dozen quart jars of tomato soup (recipe here if you’re interested) and some roasted tomato passata as well (recipe to come later). Hopefully I have just enough tomatoes left for a batch of ketchup and then my canner will retire to the basement shelf.

What summer bounty do spend the most time preserving?

32 Comments to “Stocking up for Winter”
  1. daisy on October 1, 2011 at 5:52 am

    I haven’t yet begun to can, but I’m hoping to add that to my repertoire next year. Your tomatoes in jars look gorgeous! Are you going to share your ketchup recipe? I’ve got a couple of tomato plants going now, so I might actually be able to make some before winter!

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  2. tami on October 1, 2011 at 6:32 am

    We canned as a family growing up but this was my first year canning as an adult. I wanted to keep it easy (being a canning newbie) so I used the waterbath method only. (Not sure I’ll get into pressure cooking method.) I canned all the usual suspects: tomatoes, salsas, peaches, pickles. Applesauce was by FAR the easiest. Canned goods look so pretty, like jewels. We’re fresh eating so much that I haven’t really broken into my “stash” yet.

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  3. Stone Soup on October 1, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Your beautiful tomato pics from last year inspired me to be more vigilant in my canning. I had never done tomatoes until last year, this year I’ve done twice as much as i’ve done in the past and I’m thrilled with it! Come January I’m very happy to have grilled cheese and tomato soup or a pasta dish with sauce! Thanks for all your beautiful words and pictures that continue to inspire me!

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  4. kathi cookk on October 1, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I freeze my extra tomatoes,strawberries and greenbeans. My garden produces just a littlle bit more than we can eat. It isn’t really enough to can. I made several small batches of refridgerater pickles this year. I plan to use the greenbeans for Thanksgiving dinner. I also may make a strawberry rhubarb pie with the frozen fruit. My pumpkin ice cream (cooked pumpkin freezes well) was so-so. I need a better recipe.I still plan on making your soup with my frozen tomatoes but I won’t can it. Are there any adaptation I should make?

    Reply to kathi cookk's comment

    • Susy on October 1, 2011 at 8:04 am

      Nope, should work just fine for you to make and eat or freeze, no need to can it if you don’t want to.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Allison on October 1, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I do tomatoes too! I also do a lot of things with Pears & Apples since we live on an orchard :)

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  6. goatpod2 on October 1, 2011 at 8:49 am

    We’ve been canning a lot here lately, we’re still canning now.


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  7. Victoria on October 1, 2011 at 8:54 am

    I love your ketchup idea!

    I just wrapped up my canning for the year. Crushed tomatoes, salsa, a few jellies including cayenne and tomato-basil, and lots of pickling…carrots, cucumbers and jalapenos. I’ve been thinking about canning apple sauce…but after all of my tomato canning I may save that for next year :)

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  8. Songbirdtiff on October 1, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I have never canned before, and I haven’t canned this year but I plan on doing in the future when I have a better feel of the garden cycle. I’ve been loading up on canning jars when I see the good ones at thrift stores.

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  9. Donna B. on October 1, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I LOVE how you are more about eating in-season, I really do. Trying to get into that more, especially in the way of having a cold frame to keep some spinach going throughout winter plus incorporating more root crops into my plans!
    Although, I should invest in a canner… I supposedly don’t have the right kind of stove top [electric glass top] for a standard one… Ugh!

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

    • Susy on October 1, 2011 at 11:45 am

      This winter I hope to start a new blog all about seasonal eating, good fresh ingredients, simple cooking & other related topics.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Donna B. on October 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm

        I will be eagerly awaiting this blog! I plan on reading every incarnation that you bring up anyway, hehe! Since the information is truly priceless. ♥

        to Donna B.'s comment

      • Susy on October 3, 2011 at 12:23 pm

        Very sweet of you, I have a few other items in the works so you’ll be able to read even more of what I do. Announcement to come next week.

        to Susy's comment

    • Karla on October 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      I use Presto 16-qt pressure canner (it can also be used as a boiling water bath canner, of course) with my glass stove top and it works just fine. You just have to make sure that the canner has a flat bottom, and I give the water lots of time to warm up, starting with low-medium heat before cranking it up. (That last part may be just superstition, but the timing is usually just right when I start the canning water and then start preparing the food.)

      Reply to Karla's comment

      • Donna B. on October 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm

        Karla: Ooh – I have heard that modern canners are made to be a bit more compatiable with glass top stoves… I’ll look into this Presto! Thank you! [and I’m with you on the superstition… my sad pressure cooker got burnt real bad when I wasn’t watching it one day…]

        to Donna B.'s comment

    • KimH on October 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      You can use your turkey frier as a canner, at least for the water bath method. I dont know why you couldnt use a regular canner as well for non-acid foods on one.
      This year I used the turkey frier outside and it made REALLY short work of water bathing. It has a great basket to load & unload in one fell swoop and it doesnt heat my house/kitchen up since Im outside. It was awesome & I plan to utilize this always.

      Reply to KimH's comment

      • Donna B. on October 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm

        Kim: Whoa. Whoa! Y’know I never thought of alternate applications to use… I wonder if an electric roaster would work in the same fashion [since I lack a fryer]? I shall look into this, too! Thank you!

        to Donna B.'s comment

      • Susy on October 3, 2011 at 12:24 pm

        I’ve been reading a few European books that explain oven canning, which in the US is a no-no. But it is fascinating and I think I’m going to give it a go someday soon.

        to Susy's comment

  10. Karla on October 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Today I’m canning apples (the local co-op had an arrangement with a local orchard to sell 20-lb bags of a canning/baking mix of apples) and soup to use up vegetables, mostly peppers, from my CSA.

    Reply to Karla's comment

  11. Alyssa on October 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    I can oodles of things, but my favourite are jams and jellies. I’ve canned more things than my little house can hold! I do a lot of tomatoes (freezing them whole as well) along with ketchups, (I don’t like to buy it) salsas, canned fruit. I also dry and freeze a lot of fruit and berries throughout the summer and fall.

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  12. Sincerely, Emily on October 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    No bounty of anything from this spring garden. Very depressing.I had high hopes of canning tomato things. Will try again next spring. have planted a few broccoli, cauliflower and kale plants for winter garden. I hope to get more kale going and freeze some of that throughout the winter. Drying herbs and getting some more cooler weather herbs and beg in the ground. Cilantro, parley, and planting more chives right now.

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  13. mistresseve on October 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    My garden is always too small to produce enough to can so I have never done it. I do however freeze a few things now and again like beans or bell peppers chopped for soup or stir fries. Herbs are dried or frozen. Some refrigerator pickles if I have a few extras.
    What do I spend the most time preserving from the summer? Memories of warm days in the sun with my children.

    Reply to mistresseve's comment

  14. Sam on October 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I never did such stuff. I guess now its high time I start doing it. But i have a very big family and equally large stock. i have to get bigger cans now.

    Reply to Sam's comment

  15. Joy Giles on October 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Fruit butters and bread and butter and dill pickles.

    Reply to Joy Giles's comment

  16. Melanie W on October 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    We do spend a chunk of time canning tomatoes, but that’s usually done in a big canning weekend with my mom, sister, aunt, uncle and cousins, so we knock it out in one fell swoop.

    I traveled so much this summer that I didn’t get my usual veggies frozen or fruit canned (frustrating), and then just as fall canning season was getting started, I sprained my ankle (more frustrating). My wonderful mother came over today to help me can applesauce!

    My pantry now holds a ton of quarts of tomatoes, pints of beans (black, kidney and cannalini) and now applesauce :-)

    Reply to Melanie W's comment

  17. Cassandra on October 1, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I grew up canning with my grandparents and still carry on the tradition. This year I made mixed berry jam (blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry), spicy dilly beans, apple butter and pear butter. I just harvested what might be the last of the tomatoes since we have a big storm coming so thanks for your tomato canning ideas!

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  18. Cesar Diaz on October 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks for the link to the ketchup recipe. Today is pepper canning day. Jalapenos and cayenne peppers are on the to do list.

    Reply to Cesar Diaz's comment

  19. KimH on October 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I used to make all sorts of things, but this year I only made some zucchini relish (I refuse to live without) and some salsa. I often make jalapeno jelly too but didnt this year.

    I used my honey’s turkey frier outside to water bath my jars in. I was able to double stack them in one batch and it comes to a boil so much faster than a canner on the stove does. The turkey frier has a basket too so I only had to lift the basket out once, not each individual jar. Also, since I was outside, my house didnt get hot from the steam.

    I plan to use the turkey frier from here on out! Best idea I’ve come up with in ages. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

    • Susy on October 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      Great idea on the turkey fryer, I usually use a big stock pot to can in with a flat rack in the bottom, you can also simply use a folded up dish towel. No need to buy extra equipment!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  20. KimH on October 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    If my honey’s niece gives us apples, I imagine I’ll make apple pie filling and canned apples too. Perhaps applesauce too. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  21. Bekki on October 2, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I can as much as I can, expecially the tomato products. Ketchup, salsa, BBQ sauce, chili sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato soup, spaghetti and pizza sauce, veggie juice(similar to V8), and taco dauce. All of the things my family eats and I don’t have to purchase. I also can fruits, make all of our jams and jellies, and dry whatever I can. Our plan is to create a nice root cellar so I can winter over everything else. So far our house is just a tad to warm to keep everything properly. Can you tell I really don’t like to go to the grocery store? :) My canning pots won’t get put up for the winter until the pumpkins, beets, and chicken stock are made. hopefully by November!

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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