I have learned more about myself this summer than I have in the last five or six years.
I’ve learned that I can work full time, blog for what seems like full time, help take care of a garden and a puppy and a cat, (kind of) keep the house clean, and get the laundry done – most weeks.
I’ve learned that summer dinners are the fastest and easiest meals I’ve ever made. Omelets with fruit on the side? Sure. Big salads so we don’t have to heat up the kitchen? Yes, please. Random leftovers just so I don’t have to cook since I have to can another batch of green beans? Expected.
Pulling together a crazy, drawn out meal just isn’t going to happen. At least not until the garden is done producing and I’m permanently plopped in front of the tv watching college football (just. two. days. away!).
I’ve also learned that canning two or three days in a row makes my back and feet hurt. I thought I was in better shape, but I apparently have never used my gardening and canning muscles before this year.
But no matter how late our dinners have been or how tired canning makes me some nights, I am so excited that I’m actually doing it.
Never in my life did I think I would be canning fruits and vegetables by choice, on my own.
I’m still surprised at how easy it is. Yes, it’s a process. And it takes a while. But once you get the hang of it and have your rhythm down, it’s kind of fun!
Except for the whole trimming-half-a-bushel-of-green-beans-before-you-can-start.
I saw Julie make this bruschetta last year and have been thinking about it ever since.
And I haven’t tried any of my homemade jam yet or the frozen figs or the plain tomato sauce, but I have a feeling that this will be the best thing I’ve canned so far.
The best thing about this recipe? No peeling the tomatoes! Or I didn’t, anyway. That’s one step I’m happy to leave out whenever possible.
The smell of the liquid simmering on the stove top is enough to make you want to just drown the diced tomatoes and eat the entire mixture right then.
Thankfully, I resisted. And now I’ll be able to have garden fresh bruschetta in February.
Can’t beat that.
Bruschetta in a Jar
Adapted from Ball’s Bruschetta in a Jar recipe
Makes: 6 half pints
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp dried basil
- 2 Tbsp dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp rosemary
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 7-8 cups diced tomatoes
- Heat water to simmering in your boiling water canner (or any pot large enough to place the jars in the canner and have the water 1-2 inches above the tops of the jars). Get your lids simmering in a small pot, and set the bands aside.
- Pour hot water into your clean jars and let them sit until you’re ready to add the tomatoes.
- Mix the garlic, wine, vinegars, water, seasonings and salt in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes or until all the flavors are combined.
- Pour the water out of the jars, and fill with your diced tomatoes, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.
- Spoon the hot vinegar mixture over the tomatoes, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles, wipe the rim, put the lid on and twist the band on.
- Place in canner and make sure the water is 1-2 inches above the tops of the jars.
- Process for 20 minutes. Remove from the canner and let cool.
A happy birthday to my sister, Melissa! This recipe made me think of her
* I have not tried these yet so I’m not sure how my modifications have worked. But I do know that it smelled delicious and all of my jars sealed, so I’m taking that as a good sign! I’ll make sure to report when I do open the first jar.