Cooking Classes


September Daring Cooks Challenge

I have been canning food for a number of years.  Actually, I have been canning and freezing food since I was a teenager or younger.  You see, I grew up on a farm.  That is what we did.

We had a garden and froze all the vegetables.  And we would always buy B.C. fruit by the case and would can peaches, pears, apricots and cherries every year.  Then we would go out and pick saskatoon berries and chokecherries to make more preserves.  If we could get our hands on any, we would also try to make crabapple jelly.  Actually in the really old days, before I got involved, my mother would can vegetables and chicken.  And that was before the days of pressure canners!  Scary, eh?

The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

I want to show you what I have done this season - Spiced Pear Butter and Blackberry Jam.

I posted my recipe for Strawberry Balsamic Black  Pepper Strawberry Preserves awhile back.

And my Concord Grape Jam

With my pressure canner, I have put away duck and chicken stock.

Tomato Salsa!

If you go back a couple of days, I have posted my Mustard Beans.

This is the recipe I am sharing today ... Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce.

Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce

25 lbs of roma tomatoes
3 large or 5 medium onions
1 head of garlic
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed hot chilis

Build a hot fire on your charcoal grill or use your gas barbecue.  Grill all of the tomatoes until blackened on all sides.  Drop into cold water to chill.  Slip the blackened skins off the tomatoes.  Chop coarsely.

Roast the whole onions on the grill.  When blackened on all sides, remove to cool.  Remove the blackened layers and coarsely chop the onion.  Pulse in a food processor to finely chop the onion.

Grill the head of garlic over the hot coals.  Let cool and squeeze out the roasted garlic.

Add tomatoes, onions, garlic and other seasonings to a large stock pot.  Simmer for 1 - 2 hours or until rich.

Process in a water bath.  Bernardin has great instructions for processing with the water bath method.


  1. I loved roasted tomato sauce, Sarah. Sadly, without a garden tomatoes are running 3 - 5$ a pound in the city so making sauce is an expensive proposition... I'm saving this recipe for when I get a garden again. I did make basil jelly (Love it!) from Martha Stewart and my new favorite, Sarah's Grape Jam.... I am just crazy about it! I only had a pound of grapes so made one jar... I think I'll have to get more this weekend for a few more jars!!

  2. Your so lucky to have grown up on a farm and to be familiar with the canning/preserving process. Love the sound of that tomato salsa! Perfect on chicken or accompaniment with a grill out.

  3. Deana> local romas are impossible to find here so I had to buy two cases from California. Basil jelly would be awesome. Next year I will be making a bigger effort to grow basil. I just made sage apple jelly with sage from my garden and local apples.

  4. Fire roasted tomato sauce really appeals to me. There was a day when I used to do a lot of canning.

  5. Here "canning" is referred to as "bottling'. And my folks used to buy an bottle a lot of fruit. Dad really liked Golden Queen peaches, so Mum would "bottle" masses of them and serve them often. This has has the sad result that now adults both her "grown-up" daughters utterly loathe peaches - fresh or cooked!

    I guess moderation is the key to feeding a family on home canned goodies!

  6. Wow - everything looks so impressive! Your lucky to be so comfortable with canning; I myself have still not been able to muster up the courage to try it!

  7. Wow! You are prolific! Can you come to my house to play with the canning?

  8. Je regrette de ne pas avoir de jardin pour pouvoir faire plein de conserves moi aussi.
    A bientôt.

  9. Valli> no need to can this if you eat it within a week or so. Just make it for your pasta sauce as needed.

    heaven> you only have to begin!

    Marjie> anytime! Wish I lived closer!

    Nadji> I buy some of my produce from the farmer's market. Since I live alone, I cannot always eat it fast enough. So I preserve it by either canning or freezing.

  10. Wow I'm so impressed, I'm a canning newbie so I really appreciate tried and tested recipes I can also make. Thanks for sharing them, excellent job!

  11. chef d> you are most welcome. There are a couple more to comes still.

  12. Sarah - I really don't know how you manage to do all this and have a job! Your work, as always, is impressive. I may have to try canning my own salsa if there are still tomatoes at the market this weekend.

  13. Loved this fire rosted tomatoes. But the Strawberry, black pepper and balsamic preserve really got my attention. I'm craving for that now.
    Oh, and I liked the idea of canned stew. I'll begin to do that, too.

  14. I have always wanted to learn to can-growing up in the city sidewalk is what was mostly under my feet. This was a great post.

  15. I can smell those tomatoes roasting! That sauce sounds lovely. I also grew up on a farm and we spent the whole summer canning or freezing. You've been busy!

  16. Sarah> I have a part-time 9-5 job, so not that difficult. Good luck with the salsa.

    Maria> thanks for stopping in. I am new at pressure canning so still experimenting.

    Velva> I was always envious of city folk when I was a kid!

    henfruit> this is the only way I do my tomato sauce any more. It turns out nice and thick, too.

  17. Perfect! We still are getting a ton of tomatoes around here and I was planning to make ketchup[ love the idea of that tomato sauce and the steps are a lot less involved than I expected! Sounds just delicious.

  18. Sarah, what a great idea for a 'challenge' should consider yourself blessed for your upbringing on a farm. My parents were also, but did everything they could to distance themselves from the labor and toil of a farm and chose town life and business. I never grew up knowing how to can, preserve, or cook . . . I am completely self-taught and still very low on the learning curve. So I appreciate blogging friends, such as yourself, to help me along my way! This ROASTED tomato sauce sounds delicious. I have been enjoying all of the new roasted veggie recipes that I see posted!


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