Multibatch Canning

Call it impressive or call it procrastination: We sealed up 85 jars of goodness on Sunday. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Winter came early to Montana this year. The first flakes started coming down at home September 28, while we were sailing in Canada’s Gulf Islands. By the time I got home a month later, more snow and single-digit mornings were just days away.

It made for some interesting fall garden cleanup and canning. We managed to dig the last of this year’s carrots and beets and stuff next year’s garlic before the pre-Halloween storm, but we had to wait until last weekend to do the final round of canning with apples, tomatoes, and tomatillos. Call it impressive or call it procrastination: We sealed up 85 jars of goodness on Sunday. Read on for more about multibatch canning and boxing vegetables on the cusp of winter.
Read more for canning tricks and storage tips

Tomatoes

Grilling and preserving pair perfectly, and their advantages stretch far beyond flavor. Get grilled tomato recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
You’ve probably noticed that I love grilled vegetables. I also love home-canned goods, and the techniques of grilling and preserving pair together perfectly. The advantages of grilling for canning stretch far beyond flavor, particularly for tomatoes.

Grilling combined with freezing makes it easy to start processing vegetables as they ripen throughout the growing season, making preserving seem more like a habit than a chore. During tomato season, we pull the ripest fruit from the vine every few days. That evening, we fire up the grill and cook off a rack or two of tomatoes; the hot halves go straight into a colander set over a large bowl to drain off the juice—usually while we’re enjoying a grilled dinner. Once they’re cool, I pour the separated solids and juice into separate containers, weighing and labeling each before adding them to the freezer.

When the freezer’s full, I have two products ready for processing: solids and juice. Because the juice was drained off, any sauce or salsa doesn’t have to cook for hours to thicken. Because the solids have already been pulled out of the juice, I can quickly apply it to any recipe, from beverage to soup. In just a couple of hours, I can have several canner batches processed for long-term storage. The freezer is ready for the next round of preserving, and the canning shelves are full of delicious fire-roasted flavors.
Learn to make Grilled Tomato Pasta Sauce and Tomato Juice Soup

Grilled Peppers

You could spend a small fortune buying jars of oily, roasted red peppers. Or you could grill your own. Get roasted red pepper recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Every year, we stuff at least 40 pepper plants into a hoop house, including bell peppers, Gypsy peppers, Poblanos, and several types of chilies. We go big because peppers can go in and on almost anything: salsas, salads, dips, sauces, breakfast eggs, lunch sandwiches, dinner pastas—the list is endless.

The challenge is in waiting for the peppers to ripen to bright yellows, oranges, reds, and purples and then capturing their peak flavor. My favorite variations use the grill to add a little char for fresh eating, such as for Corn, Bean, and Pepper Salsa and Shish Kebabs with Garlic–Soy Marinade, or a lot of smokiness before long-term storage, such as for Smoked Chilies and Home-Smoked Chili Paste. My latest trick falls somewhere in the middle: roasting peppers on the grill and then freezing them in a dice to throw in winter dishes or as a puree to use as a spread or sauce.
Learn to grill peppers and make Red Bell Pepper Puree