Monday, September 17, 2007

Last of the Canning

Today I finished the last of the canning for 2007, maybe. I said that Saturday too, and then I did some more. My friend Mrs T. gave me a recipe for tomato soup which was her mother's out of an old Kerr Canning book. I've made if for a few years now, the first year I scorched it, (oops) and had a rather barbequed taste to it. LOL, we finally finished eating it, (yuck). So last year I made a few more jars, but didn't eat all of it. I still have about 4 quart jars left from last year, but when Mrs T. made it this year it looked so much easier than I did before. I thought if I put it in pint jars, I could eat it for a healthy lunch. The kids don't care for it much, but I love it.
Last winter, I was at the local thrift store and found, to my delight, a Victorio Strainer with a few missing parts. The tag on the box said $2.99, a steal at that price, but it was half off that! So for $1.49, I got a great strainer--much sturdier thatn the red plastic version I had been using. I modified a "hopper" with my canning funnel, and used a garden hose gasket inside to keep things from dripping. I found a website with parts for it, but all I had to do was dig around in my toolbox for some masking tape and a gasket.
I got 28 pints of soup. That is if they all seal, the verdict is still out on some of them. Here is the recipe: (modifications by me in parenthesis.)
One note before I post this, if you are reading this and you work for some county extension office and have a problem with the ingredients I used or method of canning, please keep your comments to yourself. I realize that some of this is against the "Canning Bible Commandments" and I'll probably be subtecting my family to all kinds of fatal bacteria, but I did copy it directly from the Kerr Canning Book, it hasn't killed anyone from my family or Mrs. T's, so I think we are probably just fine.
Mrs. T's Tomato Soup
14 qts ripe tomatoes (18 qts)
7 medium onions (5)
1 stalk of celery (3 with leaves, minced in blender)
14 sprigs of parsley ( I didn't have any, so omitted this)
3 bay leaves (20 years ago, Bear asked me to "please don't put that in again", so this was omitted too.)
(1 T. Basil - instead of the offending bay leaves)
(2T. Fiesta Party Dip from Tastefully Simple, to add a little kick.) I was looking in my cupboard and started throwing things in, LOL
4 T. salt, ( I have an enormously huge jar of Season-All that someone gave me, I am trying to use it up, so I substituted this instead of salt.)
8 T. Sugar
2 tsp. pepper, (I sprinkled a large puddle on top of the soup and called it 2 tsp.)
(1 T. garlic powder, not salt, just powder, did that once, yuck!)
14 T. flour, (1 cup)
Mary adds about a tsp or so of cream of tartar to the flour to keep it from curdling in the next step. (I did too, mixed it right into the flour before I added it to the butter.)
14 T. butter (again 1 cup, I had more tomatoes)
Wash the tomatoes, run through the victorio strainer, mix the soup in a large stockpot and start the burner on a low simmer. (I used to cook it all first and then run the hot liquid-slop through the strainer. Mrs. T. did them cold this year and I thought it looked so easy, I'd give it another try.) Chop onions celery parsley, bay leaves, add to tomato juice. I ran it all through a few pulses in the blender with some of the tomato juice. I thought if the kids did eat it, there was no way they were going to eat the onions so I might as well blend it up anyway. Heat to a simmer. In a medium saucepan, melt better add flour and wisk together. Add a ladle-full of the soup slowly to the white sauce and wish quickly, (I reread this and laughed, because as you are wisking, you'll be wishing that is doesn't curdle, so I'm leaving the typo!) being careful not to get it too hot while you are mixing, (turn burner on low) Add about 3 or 4 ladles total then gradually add the mixture back into the large stock pot. Heat to a simmer. DO NOT BOIL, or it may curdle.

Fill quarts to 1/2" from top, (I did pints, like I said earlier) Put on lids and caps and screw finger tight. Process in a boiling water bath 15 minutes.

I just removed the last batch, I have one so far that didn't seal, I'm tired of the "canning failures" so I'll probably redo it, my fridge is filling with casualties. I had one chili from each batch that didn't seal, beef and chicken, so we have to eat that, then there's the peaches and pears and a stray jar of jam. (Time to clean out the fridge!!)

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