Pat, the more I think about this the more I wonder if it can be done with something along the lines of a shepherd pie, with the jar lined with mashed potatoes and the center filled with a meat/veg gravy. Mmm!
Pat Johnson said:TAMALES - For those of you that are a little more adventurous try making tamales in a jar. Just make up tha MASA (finely ground corn meal) as directed on any reciepe or the Masa package. Press it into and against the sides of a wide-mouth pint jar. Practice a little cause it's not as easy as it seems for the first few times. Once you get a quarter inch thick lining of Masa inside the jar, carefully fill the hollow center with typical tamale ingredients and put the lid/rings on and process for 90 minutes (if does not contain meat process for 60 minutes). Make sure to leave about an inch headspace at the top and do not cover the top with Masa. When you get done you have a meal in a jar. Since Tamales are steamed, the canned tamales are almost identicle without the Corn Husks of course.
I too wish to learn more about canning. So far I've only tried it once and I made Elderberry Jam. Which was rather time consuming to clean the Elderberries I harvested.
The cooking part was easy and I was happy with the results. I used sugar, vinegar, & berries and that was all.
I'd like to learn how to can seafood, tomatoes, peaches, since they tend to be in abundance and once gone greatly missed.
Salsa would be fun to learn. Anyone know how to can guacamole?
Tara - I'm not sure you would really want to can guacamole, since the heat and acid required for the canning would tend to nullify the taste of the avocados. Here is a hint though that I have used. Freeze your avocados right in the skin! I wait until mine are just ripe and then stick them in the freezer. In later months, when I want "fresh" guacamole, I just thaw a few, scoop out the flesh (still nice and green) and mash it up. Add a little salt and maybe a touch of lime juice and YUM. I actually go out of my way to buy lots and lots of avocados when they are on sale and stick them in the freezer when they are just ripe.
You won't have any chunks of avocado in the guac, but it will be tasty, smooth and nicely green. Personally, I don't like to add a lot of other ingredients to my guacamole, which is why I only added salt and a little lime juice above. About the only other things I add every so often is some finely chopped onion and diced tomato.
This summer I have canned several recipes from Stephen Dowdney's Putting Up and Putting Up More. His recipes call for pH testing before canning and in a refrigerated sample the day after canning. You need short range pH paper or a pH meter to test. Generally, the recipes require a pH below 4.2. When canning something like salsa where you have chunks of different vegetables I expect you might need to puree a small batch to get an accurate reading of the pH. In one salsa recipe that uses black eyed peas and corn, both ingredients are soaked in vinegar for a specified time before they are drained and added to the recipe. Personally, I have to say this methodology makes me nervous, but I have been strictly following his recipes and have been pleased with the results thus far.
I made Apricot Cranberry Jelly this weekend and it was delicious! I'll definitely make this again.