It turns out it isn't hard at all! (Although I did joke that we should make cute little gift tags for our jars that list the symptoms of botulism.) I made an Indian curry simmer sauce (it's just the base for most of the curries I make: onions, garlic, ginger, a bunch of whole spices, and tomatoes), and Rachael made a berry/peach jam.
The most difficult part was that I'd bought 25 pounds of tomatoes at the farmers' market, and that's a lot of tomatoes to wrangle. But I took them down, because I'm the Canning Eagle (my new canning nickname. what, you don't have a canning nickname?).
OK, here's how we canned: We cooked our foods while simultaneously sterilizing our jars and lids by washing them in the dishwasher. Then we filled the jars with our sauce or jam (I used a canning funnel to make it easier), sealed them up, and dropped them in boiling water for ten minutes. We used a special pair of tongs made to grab jars, but you could use regular tongs. Anyway, after they were pulled out of the water, they cooled, and as they cooled, they sealed! You can actually here a popping sound when they seal sometimes. To test them, you just push on the top, and if the lid doesn't snap back, it's sealed! (If it does snap back, just put it in the fridge and eat it semi-soon, instead of keeping it in the cupboard.)
- Sterilize (in the dishwasher or in boiling water for ten minutes)
- Fill, wipe the sides, seal
- Drop in boiling water for ten or so minutes (time depends on the recipe), remove
I made 16 pint jars of sauce! And then, tonight, I made 6 pint jars of applesauce! I am truly the Canning Eagle.
So many onions!
We can can!
The finished product!