Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cabbage Borsch

     As you may already know, we do a lot of canning in our house. We have a fairly abundant garden and are always looking for ways to preserve all those great foods until we really want to eat them. The freezer will only hold so much and there's only so many things that take well to dehydration. That leaves canning. We have exclusively done water bath canning largely due to the fact that I am a big baby and live in fear of leveling the kitchen in a pressure canning incident.

     This summer, we finally gave in. We admitted that not everything should be pickled.

     We set up for pressure canning. Our first attempt was a cabbage soup out of a 41 year old cookbook. I figure if we made it safely through the initial danger of running the pressure canner, the worst that would happen is botulism when we ate the soup. It turned out that my fears were unfounded. At least the pressure canning fears. We still might get botulism when we eat the soup down the line. If you follow the instructions for your canner and in the link provided below, you might be able to keep insurance claims to a minimum. If you don't want to pressure can, simply stop after step 2, though you might want to cook the soup a bit longer. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Cabbage Borsch
via Better Homes and Gardens Home Canning Cookbook
  • 5 pounds tomatoes
  • 8 cups coarsely shredded cabbage
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups chopped onion (The Wife just informed me we apparently forgot to add the onion. Whoops.)
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and cut into pieces (no specification was made as to type of apple. We used Red Delicious.)
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules (we used the cubes with a ratio of 2 for every 3 cups of water. Feel free to toy with the measures to get the salt fix you crave.)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • dried cayenne peppers (1 per pint jar)
  1. Wash, peel, remove stem end and cores and quarter tomatoes. Use a small spoon to scrape out excess seeds, if f desired (no, it was not desired. You already had us do everything other than declare allegiance to these damned tomatoes.)
  2. In a 4-6 quart kettle or Dutch oven, combine all ingredients (that includes the onions. Don't forget the onions like we did and live with the regret). Bring mixture to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Ladle soup into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids. Process in pressure canner at 10 pounds. Process pints for 45 minutes, process quarts for 55 minutes. If you're a wuss like me, who is even afraid to open a tube of biscuit dough, you'll wisely spend this time outside behind the safety of a brick wall. IF YOU'RE GOING TO PRESSURE CAN, PLEASE VISIT THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR HOME FOOD PRESERVATION AND READ UP ON THE PROCESS. We don't want you inadvertently remodeling your kitchen or making a needless trip to the emergency room.
Soup's done!
Good times!

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