Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 36 Canning and Preserving

For the past week or so, I've been eating vegetables that were grown locally, and using those vegetables to make soup, which I am canning/jarring for winter. All of this stems from my good friends Ellen and Justin, who took up the 100 mile diet challenge roughly a month ago. You should know that Ellen is the best friend of my boyfriend, so this poor man has no end of eco-chatter and healthy cooking going on around him. He takes it in stride, and who knows? It might inspire him to eat healthier.

But I digress. Canning and preserving is SO EASY! Seriously, I went to Canadian Tire, bought my jars and labels, got out my canning books, and got to work. I now have over 5 litres of soup, 1 litre of raspberry jam and an equal amount of marinara sauce, and it's TASTY! I'm going to be eating so well this winter. What is better on a snowy night than some homemade soup, made with fresh, locally grown vegetables?

I'm psyched. But now comes the problem of where to put all these jars. You should know that I live in a 650 sq ft condo, 12 stories up, on the shore of Lake Ontario. I have no basement, no root cellar, limited space and a boyfriend with more patience than most men. Ellen got me thinking about how I could utilize the smidgen of extra space in the tiny laundry room to fit in a small freezer chest surrounded by shelves for my canned goods. Cripe. I love this condo, but it's TINY.

18 comments:

Crunchy Chicken said...

Under the bed? Not sure if you have space, but you could put the jars back in the boxes they came in and slide them under there?

ladyhawthorne said...

hahaha Crunchy beat me to it!

Sandy said...

Do you have to do anything special to can the soup or is a boiling water bath safe enough? Is is vegetable soup, or is it safe to can soup with meat in it? I make lots of soup, but have only frozen it. Canning sounds like a good idea.

Robj98168 said...

Crunchy- you know better than to leave food under your bed- The canned goods are one thing but meatloaf won't keep under the bed!

Anonymous said...

Yikes!! Hope you have a pressure canner since soup cannot be preserved with a boiling water bath....it's just not acidic enough.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Rob - I also like to store my milk under the bed along with my meatloaf.

Ping├╝ino - Please tell me you are using a pressure canner for your soups. Unless its some super acidic tomato soup or something...

Little Green Penguin said...

I was told that if I ladle the hot soup into sterilized jars, it would be ok. I leave a little room at the top, put the metal lid on, put the ring on (but not tight) and then in 10 minutes or so, the button pops down on the lid, and I screw the ring on tight.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Is the recipe from a canning cookbook? Does it say that water bath processing is okay? Or is it a little nebulous because some recipes refer to processing, but doesn't specify water bath or pressure canner. Although it doesn't sound like you are even doing a water bath on it?

I don't know what the ingredients are in your soup, but regardless I would be totally worried about botulism here. But, then again, I'm a tad paranoid.

Little Green Penguin said...

Nope, no water bath. I get a little worried about botulism as well, but some of these soups have been jarred for a week no and I don't see anything funny happening or bulging. That being said, I will thoroughly inspect before consuming, and even then, I'll taste a mouthful, wait a few hours and see if I'm still ok.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Unfortunately, you can't see, taste or smell botulism. That's what makes it such a nasty customer. The CDC has a site about botulism you might want to check out. Or not :)

Where did you get the recipe from?

Little Green Penguin said...

Hmm. I wonder if there is a way I can test the soup before I eat it. Like with some kind of dip test or special litmus type paper. All of the soups come from Williams and Sonoma Soup cookbook, and I'm not doing anything with meat or dairy. These are pure vegetable soups.

Crunchy Chicken said...

I think you have to send the sample to a lab. It says on the CDC site.

I have the Williams & Sonoma Soup cookbook and I don't remember seeing anything in there about canning. Maybe you have a different one from mine?

I think if you want to make those soups to eat later, you need to freeze them. They are definitely not safe for long term storage without pressure canning them.

Robj98168 said...

You know penguin, I eould freeze the soup. Do go out snd buy that little freezer (Crunchy's Buy Nothing Challenge be damned) then there is no worries. You can freeze in the same canning jars- just fill them lesss than 2/3rds full

Sandy said...

I was concerned...thanks for the feedback, folks.

Anonymous said...

Do Not Eat the Soup!! Do not even taste it. Sorry, but it's not safe, even after a week. Would you eat soup that you left out on your kitchen counter for a week? Probably not, and that's exactly what you are doing with non-canned food.

Please, if you are going to can food, pick up the Ball Blue book of canning (runs $8 USD) and a large kettle with canning rack. You can't do everything in a boiling water bath, but things like fruit and tomatoes (with added acid) are okay. You should freeze other things, like meals, to be safe.

Tony R. said...

just to understand.... if you pressure can veggie soup, can you store in the cupboard or does it have been be frozen?

Does anyone have a favorite brand of kettle/pressure canner?

Thanks!

frugalurban said...

Oh darn! I was hoping you had some suggestions on a good place in Ontario store to buy a pressure canner . . .

I agree with all the comments here--non-acidic food that hasn't been pressure canned is totally not safe. The pressure canner heats the food to over 100 degrees celcius which is needed to kill botulism, a tasteless, odourless, HOMICIDAL bacterium.

Even acidic food should go into a hot water canner according to current standards--the USDA has lots more info.

Unfortunately this all makes food preserving a *little* more difficult . . .

Gavin said...

I read so many books before starting to can/preserve fruit and vegetables just to make sure that I didn't poison anyone in the family.

I have a fowlers vacola kit, which is popular here in Australia. I hear that mason jars are all the go in Canada/US, but not an expert. I have preserved jams, fruit, pickles, pasta sauces by water bath. As long as it is sugary or or there is added vinegar or citric acid the produce preserves well. And always sterilize your jars and lids! Unfortunately, this is something you cannot learn by making mistakes.

Gav