Told ya that canning was my thing last week… if I were to channel my dad’s sense of humor hardcore, I’d say that ‘canning was my jam’ get it? Jam? Canning? Yup, could’ve saved you from that, but chose not to!
I found a grocery store (Market Basket, to be specific) that has the cheapest canning jars, they are the hardest to find, technically speaking, somewhere near the chips, I think, is where I found them. But they are about $5 cheaper than our closest grocery store, and, yup. That’s all. Just patting myself on the back for that one. I was in the throws of b-grade tomato night terrors, and needed to do something with the tomatoes before they all went bad. Market Basket is the bomb!
Canning whole tomatoes is a way better activity for cold weather, and more patience. But, if you wander around the house drinking ice coffee, and dressed like you might be going to the beach or the gym, then boiling this much water won’t really effect you.
Be ready for everybody else who comes home and is not adjusted to the temperature you are hanging out in to think you are a nutcase. This week would be much more agreeable weather than last week – roughly 50F tonight, versus 80’s…
Since it had been a really long time since I’d done any canning, I read up on it alot before I tried my hand at it. There are a lot of very good resources out there, and if you are going to do any canning, you should check out some of the ones that I read.
The USDA has all of the information you might ever need to know about how you can safely can all different kinds of things. Also the people who make Ball Jars have a lot of information that you could use as well.
I followed the directions of a website that I found, with easy enough steps to follow. I had a bunch of fresh basil from my Aunty Cathy who grew it and then triple washed it for me and gave it to me as a birthday gift. I figured it would balance out the taste of the lemon juice added in there.
One of the jars did not seal, so I had it in the fridge to use first, because that is the information I found with what to do if it doesn’t seal when you process it, and don’t have time to process it again in the next 24 hours. I used it to remix my chicken cutlets from our chicken sandwiches into another dinner.
I halved the chicken cutlets, and put them on a sheet of parchment paper (because I forgot I just got the silicone baking mats that I wanted for my birthday and as a reflex went for the paper…doh!) heated the oven to 200F, and cooked some pasta.
When the pasta is almost done, and you’ve heated up your sauce (recipe to follow), cut up thin slices of mozzarella, and lay it over the chicken. Pop in the oven until the mozzarella cheese is fully melted.
There are about a million things I could’ve done with the leftover chicken, I toyed with the following ideas, but I also didn’t want the tomatoes to linger too long in the back of the fridge, lest I forget about them… But my question for you is: what do you do to revive chicken for the next meal?
Chicken, ziti, and broccoli
Chicken salad (though I’ve never made it, and had various bad versions in the past)
Chicken salad sandwiches (see reasons above)
Chicken parm subs (it seemed too much to have two chicken sandwich meals in a row for dinner)
1 quart whole tomatoes with basil
bring to simmer, add:
fresh basil, parsley chopped up small
1 can tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste (crushed red pepper, if that’s your thang)
if you can still taste lemon (if you canned them yourself…?) add a bit of sugar
this was a bit more watery than I thought it might be, but that’s probably because there was a lot of water in the tomatoes… I should’ve used more paste, perhaps. I’ll have to see about this next time ’round.