I did a bunch of canning yesterday, and I am feeling right now like it was mostly a bust. I had intended to make Harlequin Conserve, Tomato Sauce, and Tomato soup. I was hoping to get, oh… 3 quart-sized jars of spaghetti sauce, 6 pints of tomato soup, and a bunch of conserve. What I ended up with was NOT worth the time it all took.
Because that was the thing… I bought 10 lbs of tomatoes and ended up with 2 pints of tomato soup and 2 ½ pints of tomato sauce. It also took all day. I started at 11:00 am and didn’t finish until about 9:00 pm. After all of that, I still have to water bath the tomato sauce tonight. I’m a very tired kid this morning. The entire kitchen would have been sticky if Brian hadn’t been the best husband ever and cleaned up for me.
I got a ton of Harlequin Conserve though… (which is oranges, orange peel, plenty of pineapple, some slivered almonds and plenty of sugar all boiled until it jelled just a bit. It’s like a pulpy thick syrup. Best thing ever). And that tomato soup is damn good. Sweet like the Campbell’s version but so much more robust in flavor.
So, the ultimate results are this: I don’t think I would make the tomato sauce again. It’s time (and tomato) consuming, it wasn’t much better than the stuff you buy at the store, and it was more expensive. We just don’t use enough tomato sauce in this house for it to be worth all that effort. I would definitely consider doing the tomato soup again, but only in a gigantic batch to balance the time/enjoyment of soup ratio a little more. The harlequin conserve is my new obsession. It wasn’t any harder than jam is, and it’s SO GOOD.
Brian looked at me at the end of the night and said “I now get why people don’t do this anymore.”
I mean, I do too. But I also had a good time. There will be further canning in my future. Tonight, as a matter of fact (smh).
PS – One of the things that fascinates me as a Historian is the sounds and smells that we, as modern people, just don’t experience anymore. The stuff that was familiar that is no longer familiar. I felt a little gleeful every time a jar sealed properly with a metallic pop.