Canning Diary- Winter 2010

Canning Season is Over, Right? WRONG!

The Pacific Northwest is blessed with a plethora of fresh produce all year round. There is so much fresh produce, in fact that it often goes on sale for ridiculously low prices as stores try to move products to make room for even more! A well schooled canner is prepared to jump on sales whenever they come up.

As a year round canner, I am keeping this diary to show just how inexpensive and versatile home canning really is. I will be adding projects and links to recipes as I come across produce sales and I will provide cost comparisons whenever possible. Newest posts will be at the top of the list.

November 5th, 2010 Brussels Sprouts are in the market, fresh from local farms for $1.99 per "tree". I like them grilled with slices of apples but that isn't a canning project so I am trying out some Pickled Brussels Sprouts. We love pickles of all kinds so I am looking forward to tasting these! Note, I did use 4 times as much red pepper flakes and left out the dill(spices are optional in most pickle recipes.) 1 Tree made 2 pints(1 quart) of pickles.
Value: Pickled Brussels Sprouts go for $9.95 per pint plus shipping.
2 x $9.95 = $19.90

October 23, 2010 The asparagus is still on sale so I went double down and bought another 10 pounds and tripled my on-hand supply of Quick Pickled Asparagus 10 pounds of asparagus yielded 14 pints of pickled asparagus. This may seem like a lot of pickled asparagus but if we eat 1 jar per week, it will be gone by march( I suspect it will be gone sooner than that, though.)
Value: The least expensive pickled asparagus I could find is $5.50 per pint plus shipping.
14 x $5.50 = $77.00

My second project today made use of the 4 pounds of cabbage, one red pepper, and the green onions I got as part of yesterday's haul. Sauerkraut is pretty cheap in the stores but none of the commercial varieties are near as thinly sliced as what my boyfriend produced--you can read through his skinny chops. We also sliced in red bell peppers and green onions and a little garlic. This was perfect for 1/2 gallon of sauerkraut. I can't wait to try it in 5-7 days.
Value: The least expensive raw Sauerkraut I could find is $3.69 per quart plus shipping.
2 x $3.69=$7.38

October 22, 2010 Do you know about Mac Pherson's Produce on Beacon Hill? This is one of my regular stops for produce of all kinds because their sales table is the end-all of produce sales.
Today's Bargains:
  • Asparagus-99 cents per pound.
  • Red and Yellow Peppers - 49 cents per pound
  • Green Onions - 2 bunches/$0.98
  • Tomatoes - 99 cents a pound
  • Red Onions - 69 cents a pound
  • Green Cabbage - 33 cents a pound
  • Serrano Peppers - $1.29 per pound

I spent $12.71 for 2 shopping bags full of produce.

First Project: Cultured Salsa using tomatoes, bell and Serrano peppers and onions. I am skipping the cilantro because that stuff is nasty!
Value: The least expensive gourmet salsa I could find is $7.99 per pint plus shipping.
4 x $7.99 = $31.96

Fermented Salsa(Left) and Cortido (Right)

Second Project: Quick Pickled Asparagus with 1/6 of one Serrano pepper per jar instead of my usual tablespoon of red pepper flakes--I bet these still turn out to be very spicy! 4.75 pounds of asparagus yielded 7 pints of pickled asparagus.
Value: The least expensive pickled asparagus I could find is $5.50 per pint plus shipping.
7 x $5.50 = $38.50

October 21, 2010 Spanish Sauerkraut(Cortido): The basic recipe calls for cabbage, carrots, onions and red pepper flakes, I also added zucchini that I cut into tiny match stick sized pieces. This product is very similar to Chow Chow. All of this produce was already in my fridge and garden, so I really didn't spend any money to put the project together. This is my first foray into lacto-fermenting foods using whey, so I am very interested to see the results in 3-4 day's time when the mixture will be ready to eat. I hope it is tasty...I made nearly a half gallon!
Value: The least expensive Chow Chow I could find is $5.25 per pint plus shipping.
3 x $5.25 = $15.75