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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, September 23, 2012

Old Fashioned Chili Sauce

Yesterday, I started writing about my husband's hospital stay just as I was starting my fourth hamper.  While I had all of the ingredients prepped and waiting to be cooked for the old fashioned chili sauce, the tomatoes for the salsas were still draining.  The morning after he was admitted to hospital, I strained off the tomato liquid reserving it for tomato stock and froze those tomatoes then rushed up to the hospital to be there for the ultrasound.  After spending the entire day at the hospital, I headed home at 9:30 PM.  It was late and I was exhausted but knew the chili sauce had to be made and canned that night.  The reality is life doesn't stop because of canning and visa versa.  I had two choices, either make and can the chili sauce or let the produce spoil.

white film on processed canning jars
I have a few quirks when home canning.  I prefer my products to be canned in Canadian made jars.  At one time there were many small glass factories in Canada so I have several older Canadian made mason jars (eg. Consumers, Bernardin, Domglass, Dominion and Canadian mason).  Of those mentioned, Bernardin out of Toronto is still the leading Canadian home canning expert but a few years ago farmed the manufacturing of their jars to a US firm.  Now, don't get me wrong as I do use American made jars (Kerr, Ball, Golden Harvest and now new Bernardin) and I have a few Chinese made jars (Home Discovery), my preference is Canadian made.

I used old Bernardin and Consumers mason jars to can the chili sauce.  Many of these jars were purchased over thirty-five years ago when we were newlyweds so there is sentimental value to the jars as well.  Like my newer jars, the old mason jars see use both in the boiling water bath (BWB) canner and pressure canner (PC) every year and often several times a year.  When I pulled the jars from the BWB canner I noticed a white film on the jars from the first load.  This occurs because of minerals in the water.  The common solution is to add white vinegar to the processing water.  I had forgotten to add the vinegar for the first load but remembered for the second load. Notice how the jar on the right doesn't look hazy?  These mineral deposits can build up on jars that have been run through the canners without vinegar on one or more occasions.  If the build-up is minimal, simply wiping the jars down with white vinegar will remove the film, making the jars sparkle.  If the build-up is a bit heavier, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser quickly removes it with little effort.

old fashioned chili sauce
Despite having less than four hours sleep, I was up early, antsy to get back up to the hospital Friday morning (Aug 30).  I ended up with nine lovely jars of home canned old fashioned chili sauce.  They had to sit until that night to check the seals and polish up the jars. 

I slipped home for an hour at 4 PM and set up the tomato liquid to strain in the refrigerator while I was gone.  I was back to the hospital by 5 PM until I was sure he was settled around 9:30 PM.  I rushed home to polish the jars of chili sauce.  I think they look rather lovely!  Then it was time to can the tomato stock before heading to bed for another short night of sleep. 

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