The project this month is cold pack preservation. This is when you put the food into the jars without cooking it first. I struggled with this one because it is what I do all of the time with canning things like pickles, fruits, tomatoes, and homemade soups. It is also too early for me to get stuff from the garden.
With a trip out of state this month I thought I might just skip it and have an imperfect challenge record, but I came up with something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.
A lot of my canning has to do with creating single serving convenience foods. For example, I make canned soup in pint jars and sandwich meats in half-pint jars. It really solves the problem of leftovers getting lost in the fridge and getting all fuzzy. We have a small family of three. My husband has an erratic schedule a lot of food intolerances. We often just pick and choose what we feel like eating.
We have a problem with opening a can of seasoned tomato sauce to use as pizza sauce or as dips for mozzarella sticks or toasted ravioli (a St. Louis regional food). The leftovers often get moldy in the fridge before we have a chance to use it up. I’ve thought for a while about re-canning sauce in 4 ounce jars to create individual servings. My preference would be to make homemade sauce, but we’ve had some bad luck with tomatoes lately in our garden and I am still working on improving my recipe.
After I finished canning I realized this may not really fit the criteria for the challenge. It’s cold packed, but not really raw packed. I decided that the purpose of the challenge is to try something new and push myself in a direction I haven’t gone. This is something I’ve been wanting to experiment with for a while.
All I did was wash my jars and place them in boiling water. I also heated the lids. I pulled one jar out at a time and filled it with the room temperature sauce with 1/4″ headspace. I wiped the rim, added the band and lid and then put it back in the water. I processed them for 35 minutes. I used the headspace and time recommendations from the Ball Blue Book for canning homemade sauce in pints. I could have probably cut the time since I used 4 ounce jars, but I decided to play it safe.
The jars were new so I just used the lids that came with it. If I do this this again I will use Tattler reusable lids to save on costs.
I used the Hunt’s Garlic and Herb canned sauce. It is my favorite. I avoided the ones with meat because I didn’t want to pressure can anything. I had a partial can in the fridge. I used that and a new can. I ended up with 10 four ounce jars.
I feel that it is safe for water bath because it uses some of the same ingredients as recipes for canning homemade sauce. Be aware that I am just experimenting here and that I do not have any information on the safety of this other than my logical assumptions. I am just reporting on my idea. If you try this be sure to do your own research on the subject.