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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Home Canned Convenience

When I tell people that I do a lot of canning many of them think of jams, peaches, and pickles.  Then if I mention we buy very little in the way of commercially canned or jarred foods there is the assumption that we don't use convenience foods.  That is the furthest from the reality of canning here.  I can everything from meats, soups, stews, fruits, vegetables, beans (eg. navy, kidney, etc) and so much more.  Canning is a year round activity with the canners running three or more times a day during the peak canning period and about once a week during the off-peak canning season.  There are many home canned products I make that I would consider convenience products.  One of those is home canned spaghetti meat sauce.

spaghetti with meat sauce
I make a lot of home made pasta sauces both for fresh using and for home canning.  Most of the tomato based sauces I make have longer cooking times that develops the flavour.  Home canned pasta sauces are convenience products in the pantry because they are ready to open and reheat without the long cooking times.  A few year ago I started canning some of my home made spaghetti meat sauce.  I usually can a half canner load (7 - 500 ml jars) with the remaining sauce used for fresh eating.

I can remember when I first considered canning this gorgeous meat sauce.  I was concerned that it would change the texture of the meat.  However the end results were quite good so now I keep a few jars in the pantry as a convenience product.  Pictured is the quick spaghetti with meat sauce meal I made recently.  I had been canning peaches that day but still wanted a home cooked meal without the work.  Spaghetti with meat sauce garnished with fresh grated parmesan cheese and Thai basil fit just that criteria.  The sauce tasted just like fresh made!

In terms of price the home canned comes in at about $1.90 per 500 ml jar including the electricity to cook and can the sauce.  While this sounds on the high side in comparison to store bought plain pasta sauce it is less expensive than store bought gourmet versions of pasta sauces.  This pasta sauce is definitely on the gourmet side of the scale when it comes to pasta sauces.  It's a nice, chunky and meaty sauce with full flavour that cans well.


1 food lovers commented:

cassandrasmom said...

I've been reading about canning spaghetti sauce and soups but since they are low acid foods and I don't own a pressure canner I can't do that yet. I have canned corn relish, salsa and strawberry jam. I am over my fear of canning and it's much easier than I ever thought. Thank you!!! I've been reading your blog forever and you're the one that got me started! I didn't blog about my canning because right towards the end of it we all caught summer colds and I am still trying to catch up with everyday things around the house. Today I am going to work on some pear jam....off to the canner I go. Have a great day and thank you for all the wonderful posts, keep them coming I love your blog.