Hi everyone!! How is your garden growing? Mine did very well this year, unlike other years. I have tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and squash growing and producing.
This year I taught myself to can. I usually freeze my vegetables, but it takes up so much room in my freezer that this year I wanted to try canning.
Here is the recipe I used to make Spicy Tomato Sauce
20 to 25 pounds tomatoes
4 large green peppers, seeded chopped fine
2 cups onions, chopped fine
*hot peppers as many as you like minced fine
1 rib celery, minced fine
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 to 3 cans of tomato sauce (optional)
Fill a big pot with water and heat to boiling. Using a basket, fill it with clean washed tomatoes and lower it gently into the water. Allow the tomatoes to stay in the water for 30 to 60 seconds, or until the skins split open. Remove the basket of tomatoes. Place the tomatoes into a tub of ice water. This stops the cooking process. Repeat until you have all the tomatoes done.
Peel and quarter the tomatoes. Drop the peelings into a bucket. When you finish with the tomatoes, empty the bucket into your compost pile. Drop the tomatoes into a big cooking pot or stockpot. Add the other vegetables, spices and herbs. Cook the tomatoes over low heat. As the tomatoes cook, mash them with a potato masher or use one of those hand held blenders.
Simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 hours or until it is the consistency that you desire. If you want a thicker sauce, add 1 to 3 small cans of tomato paste. Cook the tomatoes to reduce the liquid by almost half. Remember to stir them occasionally so nothing sticks or burns at the bottom of the pot. Discard bay leaves.
Sterilize jars and lids. Add 1/4 teaspoon citric acid to each jar. Fill the jars with hot spaghetti sauce, leaving a half-inch head space.
Remove air bubbles by inserting a knife blade into the jar and carefully going around the inside perimeter. Wipe the rim with a clean dry towel. Place the lid on and then the bands. Place the jar the pressure cooker. Repeat with each jar until your canner is full. If you run out of filled jars of spaghetti sauce, , you'll want to fill the space with jars filled three-fourths full of water. Do not put lids or bands on them. Process according to your pressure canner's directions. I used a Presto canner and processed the spaghetti sauce for 15 minutes at 11 pounds.
Check the jars for ones that did not seal. You can use the sauce right away or put it in the refrigerator to use for the next day's meal.
For hot peppers, I use jalepeno and habenero peppers. I do not remove the seeds.
When making the sauce, resist the urge to add a lot of onion and garlic. These two ingredients tend to get stronger as they sit over time. You can always add more onions and garlic when you open the jar at a later date.