This was my very first canning experience, so I felt inclined to document it. Mostly because I successfully did not blow up anything.
Every year, my boyfriend’s family makes Ajvar (or according to about 20+ cans I mislabeled, Avjar :-/). It’s a delicious red pepper and eggplant spread that goes very well with bread and feta. Or if your me, EVERYTHING. With this being my first year having hands on experience making it, I learned it is an arduous process during which pepper seeds became my sworn enemy, but the end product is worth it.
Another memorable part of this experience was getting the peppers. We visited a beautiful farm that provided the 10+ bushels of peppers needed, as well as others miscellaneous fruits and vegetables at their stand I ate to gather my strength for what was to come.
And so it begins…
My assistant cleaning the peppers. #voluntarychildlabor
We cleaned, grilled, pealed, grind and stirred the night away…actually, several nights…
This process was across two weekends.
Finally, we can! In total, we made about 45+ cans of Ajvar. Some we used the canner for, others, the old school method in the oven. A few (probably common sense) notes I want to remember for next time:
- Definitely leave a little less than the recommended filling amount, or your going to get a mess again
- On a similar note, tighten your freakin’ cans enough! I made a mess of the first batch because I was worried about tightening too much. Sigh…
- Be thankful you had the canning accessories…funnels are great
- Read as many tips from the pros as possible:
Overall, not a bad first canning experience. Again, didn’t blow anything up, so I take it as a win. I can’t wait to can all of the things!!