There are some many website with different ways to can, what is OK and what is not and it gets a bit over whelming. Thankfully, I have friends who can, so I was able to ask them and weed out some of the ridiculous things from the internet. At this point, all I have really canned is tomatoes and jam but I’m hoping to do more now that I have a pressure cooker. Until then… Here are some things I have learned so far about canning:
I only peel the skins off for stewed tomatoes (which, I have found, almost any good size tomato work)
I never peel my tomatoes for sauce. Instead I oven roast them and blend them up. Click here to get the full how-to on what I do.
I only can the tomatoes with some salt. I don’t add anything else, because then my tomatoes ca be used for ANYTHING. Last year I stewed some with celery and carrots and made pasta sauce instead of tomato sauce and later questioned my decision when I went to make things and had to be picky about which jar I used.
This isn’t canning, but I had to share because I just learned it… You can slice and freeze your bell peppers, then bag and place in the freezer. That’s it, not roasting, no blanching. Seriously! I’m doing it this year to try. Hopefully, they keep well like I’ve read. Because I have some purple bell peppers I want to put in my Shrimp and Rice Casserole.
I don’t have a lot of advice on jams. I follow the pectin recipe and directions, which is what my aunt (who makes amazing peach jam) does. And I’m not brave enough to veer to far off the beaten path just yet.
That’s all I have so far, but the more I learn, the more I’ll share.