Pasta Sauce and Pickles

I canned quite a bit a little while ago but I’m afraid I’m only just getting around to showing you. When you are canning like the wind it is hard to catch the light so that the photos I show you aren’t terrible., but I have finally managed it!

I made this pasta sauce from a grocery sack of the ugliest tomatoes I have ever seen. They were heirloom varieties from a friend’s garden, purple, orange, red, cracked and scarred from splitting as they grew. They were so overripe that I put them in the fridge (normally verboten!) so that they would last over night so I could can them immediately in the morning. A convenient side effect of them being chilled was that I could slice an x in the bottom of the tomato and slip the skins off quite easily. I cooked all the tomatoes down in a big pot and added some onions, garlic, and dried herbs. Then because the tomatoes had come with a bag of peppers, I decided to add some sliced red peppers to the sauce. WOO! I underestimated the power of these peppers. My fingertips tingled where I had touched the peppers for the whole rest of the day and the pasta sauce has a serious bite! I made about 2 and a half quarts of sauce.

Another friend generously allowed me to pick from her garden as her life had gotten very busy and the garden had totally run away from her in an explosion of zucchini, beans, squash, and cucumbers. I picked a ton of cucumbers and decided to pickle them (Luke feels this is only was to eat them, but I like them fresh too!). I used my MIL’s great aunt’s recipe which they think is German in origin because it has sugar in it. Does that seem likely to any of you out there? I have no idea what makes a recipe German or not when it comes to canning.

Here is the recipe below if you would like to try it. Don’t be intimidated. Pickling is so easy!

Perkins Family Pickle Recipe

Soak cucumbers in water to wash them. Poke hole in each cucumber to allow brine to enter (Not entirely necessary, but was written down in recipe, also doesn’t matter if you are doing spears instead of whole pickles). Wash and fill jars with 2-3 wedges of yellow onion, a clove or two of garlic, one or two dill flowers (or 3 tbsp of dillweed), 1/2 tsp mustard seed, and  1/3 crushed red pepper.

Insert pickles (sliced or whole) into jars. It is roughly a pound of cucumbers per quart. Pour solution into jars.

Solution: Boil 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 tsp white sugar, 2 tsp pickling salt, 2 cups or so of water. Take it off the heat. Pour over pickles. Makes enough for one quart.

Sanitize lids and caps. Wipe lips of jars, place lids, and screw on caps. Place in a water bath canner and process for 15 minutes at a boil.

These are pickles with a little bit of a bite and quite delicious. Feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients you put in the jars to your taste!

 

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