It's underway, the big harvest and the slow steady drive to preserve as much of our own produce as possible to feed us over the coming months when there will be less growing on either the hillside or in the polytunnel.
First off the block was a big batch of cherry tomatoes, all ripe and ready at the same time and although I confess I popped quite a few straight into my mouth while I picked from the plants in the polytunnel, enough ended up back at the house to be mixed with the pathetically sized onions of the onion harvest, damn those pesky bunnies, and some of the homegrown garlic to be turned into eleven jars of lovely tomatoey goodness.
Did you notice in the top picture the two jars on the righthand side of the top row were slightly at an angle, when I checked to see why this was it was after taking the photo, it was because the 'poppy' top of the jar underneath them had not depressed meaning a vacuum had not been achieved. Food will only store well this way if you have created a true vacuum in the jars.
I preserve my sauces simply, after making the sauce the usual way and leaving to simmer for as long as it takes for your vegetables to be how you like them simply bring the pan back to the boil. Turn off the heat and leave it to sit while you get your warmed sterile jars out of the oven. Putting hot sauce into hot jars and then putting the lid straight on, means that once the contents and the jars start to cool down a good vacuum is created meaning these jars will keep for a long time with no deterioration of the contents.
They fitted neatly into the cupboard .....
... where as you can see from this shot we still have a few jars of last years tomato based sauce left.
We had that jar of sauce that did not 'pop' last night for our tea. Just the sauce with some pasta for me and a couple of Venison sausages cut up and added to Lovely Hubby's, tasty filling and very satisfying since virtually everything in it was grown by me in the polytunnel and raised beds which were built and filled with soil by Lovely Hubby.
Teamwork at it's best !!
Edited to add - only store your food this way if you are confident about what you are doing. It has always worked for me and the method I use I am very happy with. If you are unsure however, it is very simple to simply bag up or pour your sauces into freezer-proof boxes, and store them in the freezer instead. All these methods were covered in the course I did a couple of years ago, when I qualified at Level Two of Food Safety and Hygiene (Catering Standard).