Canning, October 24
This month's potluck and workshop was intimate, delicious and a very good workout. Similar to sauerkraut, we discovered that applesauce canning is a venture best suited to making in a group of friends.
The process actually started a few days before with a generous donation from Whole Foods, who gave us 3 gigantic boxes of organic apples probably weighing around 90 lbs. Then we took them to Jenny's house, where we quartered them, dunked them in lemon water and froze them, all in preparation for the workshop. On the night of canning, Jenny showed us how to start the processed apples on the stove with spices and other ingredients (see the recipe here). While we ate our deliciously healthy potluck, the apples sat and simmered on the stove, getting mushier and tastier.
Once we had enough fuel we got to the hard part of separating out the seeds and cores from the sauce using various equipment - rice mills, presses, good ol' strainers and wooden spoons - until they were finally ready to go into glass jars (generously donated by Allison) and a nice hot bath. The result was almost 50 jars of nicely spiced applesauce, that potentially you can leave overnight in the oven on low to make apple butter. One batch got a little burny, but we managed to save it and it became our 'smoky' applesauce.
Besides the applesauce, we also got to try Jenny's roasted red salsa. This workshop really made me want to try canning vegetables and salmon in the future. It also made me nostalgic for the canned peaches my mom used to make when we were kids!
Which leads me to my question for you, What's your favorite canned food?