Monday, August 16, 2010


Saturday was the first canning day of the season, and was actually one of the most productives ones I've had yet (the bounty we've been harvesting from the garden certainly helped!). I made two preserves, tomato pasta sauce, and raspberry jam. We were interested to see just how much jam we got this year compared to last, as we were pretty sure we had more raspberry canes come up. As it turns out, we got about 10 cups of raspberries last year, and this year, a little over 15! (Not to mention all the berries we ate straight off the bush!)

15 cups of ruby yumminess!

I was a little hesistant to make the pasta sauce, as all my attempt in the past to do so never turned out as good as I'd like. They were either to bland, or bitter, and could just never compare with store-bought sauce. Mind you, I was always using vegetables I bought at the store, so perhaps that was the difference right there. Either way, this is some of the best sauce we've ever had, and is so full of good-for-you veggies (partially hidden for those pickier eaters!) that other than meatballs, nothing has to be added!

This recipe of course yeilds a large amount, but could be cut down to make one or two servings only. And the vegetables used just happened to be the ones that are in season from our garden, so you can pretty much adjust and add/remove depending on what you have available, or what your family's tastes are like. I would have liked to add green peppers as well, but ours just weren't big enough yet. So I'm saving them for salsa.

At the end of the day, we had 4 litres of pasta sauce, and a little over 3 litres of raspberry jam. I would say it was a success! Next week I'll be making my own salsa, and snap bean pickles!

Hearty Tomato Pasta Sauce

4 medium onions, diced
2 handfuls fresh basil, diced
1 bulb of garlic, crushed
6 large mushrooms, diced
5 large swiss chard stems and leaves, diced
1 large, or two medium zucchinis, peeled, seeded, cut into eighths and thinly sliced (if the zucchini is small enough, peeling and seeding is not necissary)
6 medium tomatoes, core removed and diced (or in our case, 9 little ones!)
3 large carrots, shredded
3 tbsp salt
2 156ml cans tomato paste
1 796ml can of crushed tomatoes
1 796ml can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup sugar

Using a large pot (I mean very large!) saute everything but the tomatoes in a little olive oil and water until the onions go transparent. Add the tomatoes, and simmer over low heat for 2-3 hours. Transfer to mason jars or freezer containers. If canning, boil jars for 20 minutes before storing. This yeilds enough to fill 8 500ml jars, with a little left over.

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