So, yeah, I'm declaring an early start to this year's canning season. The extremely mild winter and my own laziness make this April 7 opener possible, and I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly thank them both...
The garden is already full of onions, potatoes, leeks, and baby salad greens. The greens are from purchased starts—I just can't get it together to make cold frames and start them from seeds—but the onions, potatoes, and leeks are mostly from extras and left-overs from last year's farm box.
However, that's not why we're here...I got lucky and made a couple of excellent scores off the discount shelf at the grocery co-op, picking up two bags of organic tomatillos, and a large bag of 10 Gala apples, all for six bucks. Let's make some shit!
Now that the kitchen's clean, I'm gonna make apple sauce—a good thing, too, since we are OUT. I've got the jars on the stove sterilizing while I core and chop the apples. No, I do not peel the apples. The skins don't bother me or the hubs, so why bother?
When I first started canning, I could never tell how many jars to prep. Now, though, I can eyeball it and come pretty close. Looks like 3, 4 pints to me.
The tomatillo salsa recipe I use calls for 1/2 c. chopped white onion. Which I don't have. So I grabbed a leek out of the yard and chopped that up...Way more than 1/2 c., so I put the rest in a glass pan and popped it the oven to dry. (The dried sprinkles are great on eggs, in soups, and the like. It's still in the oven drying, so it's not in the group photo.)
So, three-and-a-half pints of fresh Gala apple sauce and five half-pint jars of salsa verde for...let's call it eight bucks. I had to go the store for some jalapenos and cilantro—more produce that my yard does not supply. Not too shabby!