Ethan woke me up bright and early today. I want to say it’s because he knew we were canning this pasta sauce, strawberry jam and applesauce recipe today, but in reality, he was just hungry. Either way, it got me going early. Once I got up, I pretty much got going. I donned my apron (see right) and started getting to work.
Here’s the big pot to boil water to heat up the jars.
This rack makes it easier to submerge the jars for the final processing steps.
All the jars were washed in the dishwasher the night before.
My new Calphalon 8-quart stock pot I got for this cooking extravaganza.
I picked fresh basil from my herb garden to use in the sauce,
washed the basil in the salad spinner,
and processed it in the food processor.
Fresh onions go in my sauce too.
I used my Cuisinart Food Processor to chop up the onions as well.
Wow, that’s a lot of onion!
Then we put in some garlic—a whole bulb went in.
Cloves were processed as well, for easy chopping.
Into the stockpot, the onions, garlic and olive oil mix together until golden everything is golden.
Next went in the 14 cans of tomatoes into the pot. Because I multiplied the recipe by six, a bunch of different kinds of tomatoes went into the recipe, including: (2) 28-ounce cans Del Monte Diced Basil, Garlic & Oregano Tomatoes, (1) 28-ounce can Contadina Crushed Tomatoes, (2) 14.5-ounce cans Centrella (store brand) Italian Stewed Tomatoes, (4) 12-ounce cans Contadina Tomato Paste, (2) 6-ounce cans Contadina Tomato Paste with Italian Herbs, and (2) 6-ounce cans Jewel Tomato Paste. That totals 185 ounces or 11.5 pounds of tomatoes!
I then chopped up some fresh parsley.
Then all the rest of the spices went in: fresh and dried basil, oregano, sea salt, pepper and sugar.
The ingredients gets all mixed together in the pot.
Ethan wouldn’t quit crying until I set up a chair in the kitchen for him to sit on while I worked. Once he settled in, he was a lot happier.
While the saw was cooking, I turned 1 quart of frozen strawberries into jam. Here is the mixture of strawberries, sugar and lemon juice bowling to 220º F.
I was able to make two jars of jam out of the mixture. Because I had to get the mixture up to such a high temperature, I don’t know if I stirred enough so the bottom may have burnt a little. I have to try some before I’d want to offer it to anyone else.
As the sauce got closer to being finished, I got the water to a rolling boil.
The jar lids also have to be heated up.
Once the jam was set, I made some applesauce out of 10 cups of frozen apples from last season. The recipe is really easy: You cook the apples until soft, process them in the food processor to get a smooth consistency, add it back into the pan to add any flavorings—I added cinnamon, clover honey and a little bit of vanilla extract, and then jar the mixture.
All of my cooking gave me a yield of:
(2) 6-ounce jars of strawberry jam
(2) 16-ounce jars and (1) 6-ounce jar of applesauce
(13) 16-ounce jars of pasta sauce, one jar broke during final processing so technically multiplying the recipe by six with yield 14.5 jars of sauce.
I enjoyed the fruits of my labor by sitting down to a plate of pasta. I took out a few meatballs from the fridge and paired the entrée with a Caesar salad.
If that wasn’t enough, I got a craving for a deep-dish chocolate chip cookie. I tracked down this recipe and gave it a try. Of course, you can’t just make one cookie’s worth of dough, so I whipped up the whole chocolate chip cookie recipe and followed the directions to create a cookie dough roll to freeze for later. The other half of the dough, I rolled and then cut the cookies as if I was going to bake them. Then I used wax paper to pile them in a tupperware container and threw the whole bunch in the freezer. My idea is that one I get a craving for a chocolate chip cookie or a deep-dish cookie, I will have easy access to dough. I will give another update on the success of my frozen individual cookie idea in a few days.