Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tomasqua - to can which Robin uses the pressure canner for the first time.

We always have an abundance of tomatoes and yellow squash of some sort in the garden.   It's too much to eat fresh, so I cut them all up and combine the tomatoes and squash and can it together.  We call it tomasqua [emphasis on the second syllable:  to-MAH-squa].

This stuff makes a great base for sauces of all kinds:  marinara, enchilada, chili, etc.   We love it.

Seriously.   We love it. 

Since the squash is denser than the tomatoes and much less acidic, I wanted to pressure can it this year - just in case.   We've never had any spoilage with 2 T of lemon juice in each bottle, canned the regular way, but still....

This was a perfect chance for me to learn to use Big Blue.

Remember Big Blue?  I got brave and used it to can that tomasqua. 

I followed the instructions for this make of canner - Mirro.  It took a lot less water than I thought - you don't fill it up, you only put in a couple of inches of water in the bottom to can with.

I heated the water, put in the jars, sealed it up, put the jiggler on, really heated it up, adjusted the heat so it wouldn't jiggle just enough,  let it process for the required time, turned it off,  let it cool for an hour, then pulled the jars out.   The jars were still 'boiling' when I pulled them out of the canner after the hour of cooling time.    They continued to 'boil' for almost an hour after that.    I know they weren't hot enough to boil the regular way, so I'm assuming some other sort of physical process was going on.   If you know what it is, let me know.   I'm curious.

If you come by a used pressure canner, snap it up!  You can probably order replacement parts for it online and someone will have posted the manual as well.   I was lucky enough to get my manual with the canner, but we did find it online, too. 

Next, I'm going to think about canning chicken stock.   

4 comments:

  1. Hooray for your first attempt at pressure canning! We bought our pressure canner at Kleindorfer's...of course! ;)

    Squash vine borers got our squash...again. So I can't make this, again.

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  2. Hi Janiel - no recipe. I just cut up whatever tomatoes and squash I have and can them together with a teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

    Teresa - I hate vine borers. We had to do a second dusting, but the zucchini was a total loss and we only got one pathetic patty pan off of the two we planted. Next year, I'm dusting as soon as the secondary leaves form.

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  3. You said you dusted with BT, right? I think hubby does that too...but he said that that didn't seem to help with the borers.

    Happily, unbeknownst to me, he grew a second crop of summer squash, so we may get some more before fall! If we get enough, I may try this dish. :)

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