Canning Craziness: Preserving our Garden Produce

By | September 24, 2014

Guys, I’ve been a canning fool this year.

And by fool, I mean someone who has no idea what she’s doing but who is enjoying the craziness and trying all sorts of new recipes. This was the stash from a few weeks ago:

Canning Garden Produce Fall 2014

Here’s what it looks like now:

2014 Home Canned Good

Not only have we been working to preserve our own harvest, but I was also gifted several big batches of tomatoes from Wyatt’s mom and a bunch of great stuff from my grandma’s garden.  (This was everything we harvested there in one day—I didn’t take all of it home with me!)

Garden Produce from Grandma

So far I’ve canned (broken down by produce and jar size):

  • 6   1/4 pints of hot pepper sauce
  • 3   1/2 pints of zucchini relish
  • 1   pint zucchini relish
  • 3   1/2 pints spicy tomato jam
  • 2   1/4 pints spicy tomato jam
  • 12  1/4 pints jalapeno jelly
  • 8   pints salsa
  • 4   1/2 pints salsa
  • 6   pints tomato juice
  • 5   1 1/2 pints tomato juice
  • 1   quart tomato juice
  • 8  pints sweet dill pickles
  • 2   1/2 pints sweet dill pickles

Home Canned Peppers, Salsa, Tomato Juice

You can find our pickle recipe here.

One of the new recipes I tried this year was a spicy tomato jam, recipe inspired from here. I wanted a way to use up all the cherry tomatoes I brought home from my grandma’s house.  I mean, just look at all those!

Garden Produce From Grandma 2

I spiced it up with some extra heat with peppers, chili powder, and crushed red pepper flakes and it was pretty good, I have to admit. Very sweet, salty, and spicy. I can see it used as a sauce for chicken, (marinade?) or as a spread for crackers, similar to how I like to serve our jalapeno jelly.

Home cAnned Spicy Tomato Jam

I also made this recipe for hot sauce. I followed it as close as I could with the peppers and other ingredients we had on hand. and beware, it’s hot and vinegar-y. A little will go a long way, I’m sure! (top in the photo below)

Here’s the recipe I use for my jalapeno jelly. (I don’t follow it exactly either, just use what peppers you have. We didn’t have red peppers, so they got left out.) (middle in photo below)

The zucchini relish recipe came from my Ball canning recipe book. A great Christmas gift from my parents last year that I’ve had a lot of fun exploring. (bottom in photo) You can get that book, here. (Not an affiliate link, just sharing!)

Home Canned Hot Sauce Pepper Jelly and Zucchini Relish

I also tried salsa for the first time this year. I made the first batch to be stored in the fridge (not shelf-stable) just as a practice recipe.

Homemade Garden Salsa Fall 2014

But then it was so delicious we ate it within two days. So, I knew I had to try it again and can it for the rest of the year.

We started by rough chopping our hot peppers, sweet peppers, and onions in the food processor.

Peppers for Homemade Canned Salsa

It looks a little odd before you add the tomatoes in.

Blending Peppers for Homemade Canned Salsa

Then, we added in the tomatoes, herbs, spices, and lime juice and blended it up.

Making Homemade Canned Salsa

And ta-da! Restaurant style salsa. Yum.

Home Canned Salsa

I’m so excited to share some of this goodness with friends and family! And to make more. Really, I find it super fun to create a recipe and then get to save it all year long. I can’t wait to fill our soon-to-be-finished pantry with home-canned treats and treasures.

2014 Home Canned Good 2

I’ve also made 3 batched of cucumber chips (recipe here), and frozen one batch of cheesy zucchini dip (recipe coming soon).

Cheesy Zucchini Dip for Freezer (2)

I also froze a bunch of shredded zucchini to use for making zucchini bread in the winter. Y-U-M.

Sheesh. And I still have more garden goodies to preserve. (Especially zucchini!) Anyone else doing any canning? I know my mother-in-law had so so so many tomatoes and put up all sorts of yummy goodies this year!

2 thoughts on “Canning Craziness: Preserving our Garden Produce

  1. donita

    Wow, you have been very busy. It all looks wonderful. I need to be more daring, I tend to just stick with one recipe and can lots of that. Oh well, maybe next year.

    1. Melissa Post author

      That’s okay!. I’m sure your items are more practical. I mean, who really needs this much spicy jam??


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