Katie: Fully equipped with canning equipment, we decided to begin by trying Roasted Red Pepper Spread from the Ball cookbook. Our first step was to find the ingredients. After buying out two venders and accumulating two bags full of red bell peppers, we still needed to buy two more peppers from the store to reach six pounds. The peppers roasted nicely in the broiler and the skins can off pretty easily. They smelled great!
After pureeing the skinned and deseeded peppers and tomatoes in the food processor, we mixed in roasted garlic, roasted onion, fresh basil, red wine vinegar, and a little salt and sugar, and simmered it down to a thicker paste. It became a little dangerous when the sauce started spurting really high. My mom even got some in her hair! But we got it back under control.
Next, we relied on the canning techniques we’ve been acquiring. We filled jars that were sterilized in the dishwasher, measured the correct head space, cleaned the rims, and sealed the jars. Then, we boiled them in the canner. We were happy that they came out clean without exploding and we even heard the lovely pop of the jars sealing. Now we have jars of delicious pepper spread to store, give away, or enjoy whenever we want.