Monday, October 25, 2010

Meet my Big Blue Pot

Allow me to introduce the new to me, beautiful blue granite-ware, deep canning pot, with the riser insert.

I found this darling gem at a second hand collectible shop in downtown Deleware, Ohio while shopping with my mother. For $16.25. Quiet a bargain. For my first few canning attempts, I build my own, M*A*S*H style canning system with a galvanized bucket and aluminum foil. While it worked and the jars sealed and nothing exploded, I do not recommend this method, at all.

Canning you say, yes canning.

I know it is very domestic and Martha of me, but I have been up to my eyeballs in fruits and veggies. H and I decided on a CSA with Wayward Seed this year. One veggie and two fruit shares to be exact. We have feasted on all manner of fruits and veggies, at their peak of freshness and many we might not have ever tried otherwise.

What started me on this quest was the almost 3 pounds of plums we got. So many plums. So I tried a pickled plum recipe. The nice thing about Wayward Seed, is they give you cooking and storing ideas each week. I have yet to taste my pickled plums, but the jars sealed and I plan to crack one open this week.

Next was the concord grapes. Made my own grape juice. Going to try some of it soon also.

Now let's talk apples. Holy Cow do I have apples. I have made and froze some applesauce, but I have apples on top of apples. I have made apple pies, baked apples and apples something else. Still I had apples.

At the market, I picked up a copy of Edible Columbus. In it there is an article about canning and a recipe for Curried Apple Chutney. I thought, why not. I like chutney. I like curry and man do I have apples.

I made a few modifications. I used jaggery instead of brown sugar and I omitted the garlic and I used a high end, spicy curry powder instead of the run of the mill curry powder. Both I bought at my local Indian market. I left out the alspice and mustard seeds, as this curry powder can stand alone.

It was easy to make and I canned 12 .5 pint jars of chutney.

I ate the bit I had left over and let me tell you I was licking the plate, seriously, it is that good. This is going to be yummy for months to come. For this canning job I used my new pot and wow, the right canning pot makes all the difference. It made the job easy. The jars all sealed perfectly. I was able to process six jars at a time.

Today I decided to use up the sweet potatoes I got in my farm share and I made sweet potato butter. Recipe also from the Fall Edible Columbus Magazine.

I think I should note, I am not inclined to follow recipes exactly. It is pathological I suppose. I replaced the brown sugar with jaggery again, and I did not use my slow cooker, but instead cooked everything down on the stove. It yielded one pint jar and one half pint jar and a bit extra. This is velvety smooth and so super sweet.

The jars sealed just fine and I am looking forward to eating this all winter long.

I have a pile of apples still, so I think more pies are in order and more apple sauce. I ordered a bushel of apples from Hirch Farms and will pick them up this week. After that the fruit will be gone but I will have veggies until the beginning of December.

I never thought I would be canning anything, but it is easy and it does mean I can make foods which are safe for me to eat and enjoy. Since I have to make almost everything I eat, in order to avoid corn, wheat, gluten, eggs and dairy - I have become increasingly adventurous in the kitchen.

Now about that M*A*S*H still... eh maybe next summer.

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