Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Canning - My Toys and a Recipe

It is that time of the year when we are all getting back into canning our garden produce.
Do you have special 'toys' that make your life easier?  I do!
Sometimes you just need things that make life easier!  Well, we probably don't NEED them, but they are sure nice.

I truly love my emersion sticker blender.  It is a must for me when I am working with tomatoes.  I use it to slightly blend tomatoes for salsa.  We like ours somewhat chunky, so I just use it to break up bigger pieces.  I love it for making pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce.  It makes things so smooth.
It is a tool I use every day!!!!!  Yes, every day for something!!  It is great for making 'cream of' soups and for getting rid of any lumps in gravy.  So many uses.  I make smoothies each day - so it is used for all kinds of things.

My second favorite 'toy' or tool is the Ninja!  I probably never would have bought it, because of cost.  We received ours as a gift a few years ago (my nephew loves me).  It has a smoothie cup, a food processor jar, and a dough mixer.  I LOVE IT.
It makes quick work of relish or slaw.  When I made my sweet relish the other day - I had all veggies chopped within 15 minutes.  Six pulses and it was perfect consistency!
When I made slaw - 4 pulses per jar did the job.  Onions, carrots, and 8 pounds of cabbage DONE in about 10-15 minutes!!!!!
You have to experiment a bit - but boy does it make life easy.

Of course we have our normal every day tools that we use.  I have been known to mash tomatoes with a potato masher (as well as fruit when making juice for jelly), and I love my draining spoons (slits in them).  A good sharp knife is a MUST!  My mandolin also comes in handy at times.

My must haves are pretty much everyone else's must haves as well.
I have 2 canners and one slightly smaller enamel pot that is great for mixing big batches of goods.  I love my funnel - it was Mom's, so it is old.  I have had my jar grabber for years.  No need to get new - I use what works!

Canning COLESLAW! - How fun is that??????
I promised Vickie I would give the recipe for this, and figured others may want to try it as well.

1 medium head of cabbage
1 large carrot
1 bell pepper
1 small onion
1 tsp. salt
Chop to desired consistency and add this all together and let it sit for one hour. Salt pulls liquid out of cabbage.

1 C vinegar
1/4 C water
2 C sugar
1 tsp. mustard seed
Bring this to a boil.  Let it cool slightly (so it won't COOK shredded cabbage).

After one hour drain liquid off of the cabbage mixture (some people rinse too - I didn't).
Pour slightly cooled syrup over the mixture and mix together thoroughly.  Place in jars (leave one inch head room).  Make sure you get liquid in each jar. 
Process in a water bath for 15 minutes.

You can serve directly from jar.  It is sweet and slightly tangy.  OR you can drain, and add mayo if desired.  Your choice.  It is very tasty!

**I used an 8 lb. cabbage - so I doubled everything else.  I considered that a large head - not a medium.

So there you have it.
I know we all have our own ways of doing things - ways we may have learned from Mom's and Grandma's. 
I love using what I have to make my life easier.

So what 'toys' or tools do you have and use to make your gardening season easier?
We can all use some new ideas!


  1. Replies
    1. It is good. Glad I found it. It sure will be good in the winter.

  2. Thanks so much Cheryl! It will be so good to have coleslaw in the winter! Now I'm impatiently waiting for cabbage to get ready in the garden!

  3. Very interesting to read about your favorite tools in the kitchen. Mine favorite and most used tools are very simple. They are a pampered chef mix and chop which I use many times in a week and a flat whisk which I find so much handier than a round one. I also love my stick blender!!

    1. I think we all love our 'choppers' whatever type it is!
      Stick blenders make it so easy to blend.
      I have never seen a flat whisk. WOW

  4. I have an old funnel too. Don't remember where I got it and my jar grabber looks just like yours! I have not canned much lately. Nancy

  5. That coleslaw looks delicious, Cheryl. And what quick chopping methods using your Ninja. That's terrific. I have my water bath canner, wide mouth canning funnel, jar lifter. I love my jar lifter. I bought it a few years ago as I was tired of soaking my potholders with hot water. LOL

    1. Oh that would be so hot to lift jars out with pot holders! The lifter sure keeps the fingers safe.
      The slaw is very good.

  6. Love your tools Cheryl. I don't can, but I have an immersion blender, a mandolin, a Vidalia onion chopper (brand name), and my air fryer. I use them all, usually once a week at some point, but love them all. Have a great week.

    1. Norma, I have lots of other tools I like to use - but these are my favorites for canning.
      I keep thinking about an air fryer - maybe some day.
      Have a good one.

  7. I have a immersion blender and have used it exactly two times. lol I haven't even thought about getting lumps out of gravy... bravo! I will try this next time.

    1. I love mine. I really do use it every day for something! There are many uses.
      Hope you start using it more!