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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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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Home Canned Italian Garden Sauce with Mushrooms

I was so impressed with the tomato purée that I canned seven 750 ml jars of it, knowing the tomato purée would be a convenient product in the pantry.  The tomato purée can be used as the base for a variety of tomato based sauces, cooked down further for tomato paste, or dried then ground for tomato powder. It can also be used as an ingredient in many dishes.  While I simply cooked the tomato purée using the slow method to prevent separation, I think a roasted tomato purée would be quite possible.  Encouraged with the preliminary results of canning tomato purée and the first batch of Italian Garden Sauce, I went on to can another 7 - L jars of tomato purée and 7 - L jars and 2 - 500 ml jars of Italian Garden Sauce with Mushrooms.  Something tells me I should have canned more of the tomato purée.  I think it will be a rather popular tomato product in the pantry.

bottling the tomato puree
The vast majority of the home canning pictures on this blog feature the actual product after processing, ready for storage in the pantry.  I have a distinct system for preparing the jars for the canners taking care to prevent thermal shock that would cause jar breakage.  The jars I will be using for that canning session are filled with hot water in the sink with about 5 cm of hot water to the left just out of range of the camera.  The pressure canner (pot with label) has 3 L of water and about 2 tbsp of white vinegar heating on low while filling the jars.  The lids are sitting in hot water in the measuring cup with the rings immediately to the left.  I removed the boiling
sauce from the burner and placed in on a cork trivet.  I fill one jar at a time which is the preferred method over the assembly line method that allows cooling of the first few jars filled increasing the risk of thermal shock.  I ladled the hot sauce into the hot jar leaving 2.5 cm headspace.  I remove another hot jar from the sink placing it close to the filled jar to put the funnel in then I quickly wipe the rim, put the lid on and tighten the ring finger tight.  I lift the prepared jar into the canner and repeat the process until all jars are in the canner.  Once all the jars are in the canner I put the lid on the canner and flip up all six of the securing lugs.  Then I tighten the opposite securing lugs two at a time giving them all a final tightening.  I increase the heat to the sweet spot on my burner.  This is the level of heat where the canner runs nicely at the proper pressure.  The canner is heated without the regulator on until a steady stream of steam comes from the vent.  It is then allowed to vent for 10 minutes.  The regulator is put on the vent stem then the canner is brought to pressure.  Once at pressure, the timing for processing begins and the product is processed for the required time.  After processing the burner is turned off.  The canner sits as is undisturbed until it is fully depressurized (0 pressure) then the regulator is removed.   This takes 20 to 30 minutes.  The canner is left for another 5 minutes without the regulator which allows the temperature to stabilize.  At that time before jars are removed from the canner any source of draft (eg. ceiling fan, open patio door) are eliminated.   Foods processed in the pressure canner will still be boiling when removed from the canner.  A draft can cause a jar to break during the removal process creating a dangerous situation.  The lid is removed and jars carefully lifted one at a time without tilting out of the canner and placed on a folded T-towel.  The jars are left to cool for 24 hours.  The bands are removed, seals checked then jars and rings washed and dried.  At that point the jars can be labeled then stored.  The rings can be put on the jars loosely if desired.

Italian Garden Sauce with Mushrooms
The jars of home canned Italian Garden Sauce with Mushrooms looked gorgeous as pictured.  This rich, full bodied sauce will be perfect on pasta or for making chicken cattorie.   When pressure canning a mixed product it is processed according to the lowest acid ingredient.  In this case the lowest acid ingredient was mushrooms so this sauce was processed for 45 minutes at 10 lb pressure.  I used sliced white mushrooms in the sauce.  Other cultivated mushrooms can be used in home canning but wild mushrooms should not be used.

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