If you have a yen to put up some pickles or peaches the way your mother or grandmother did, don't let a small kitchen or limited storage space deter you. For many people, canning, freezing, and drying foods is a year-round process. But fall is the prime season, of course, since most foods are at their peak of ripeness then and winter is on the doorstep. Zucchini and tomatoes are still plentiful, and prices relatively low.
Even the tiniest kitchen can turn out a batch of relish, a half-dozen jars of jam or jelly, or some of those crunchy mustard pickles.
A careful choice of a small amount of food and a bit of organizing will make the effort rewarding. Here are some recipes for both small and larger kitchens. Meatless Spaghetti Sauce 16 pounds ripe tomatoes 1 cup chopped onion 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 tablespoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground bay leaves 2 cloves finely chopped garlic 1 teaspoon basil leaves 1 teaspoon oregano leaves 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Dip tomatoes into boiling water for 1/2 minute to loosen skins. Cool in cold water, remove skins and cores, and quarter.
In 12-quart kettle, saute onion in oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes.
Put through sieve or food mill and return juice to kettle, adding remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until thick and mixture coats spoon.
Pour into 3 hot pint jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of jar top. Wipe jar rim; adjust lids.
Process in boiling water bath 20 minutes. Start to count processing time when water in canner returns to the boiling point.
Remove jars and complete seals unless closures are self-sealing type. Makes 3 pints. Crisp zucchini pickles 5 pounds zucchini 3 medium onions, thinly sliced 1/2 cup salt Ice cubes 3 cups 5-percent-acid-strength vinegar 3 cups sugar 2 teaspoons celery seed 2 teaspoons mustard seed 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Wash zucchini, cut off ends, and slice in 1/8- to 1/4-inch slices.
Combine zucchini, onions, and salt and top with layer of ice cubes. Let stand 3 hours. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Combine zucchini mixture with remaining ingredients in large kettle. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes.
Ladle into 6 sterilized hot pint jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of jar top. Wipe jar rim and adjust lids.
Process in boiling water bath 5 minutes. Start to count processing time when water in canner returns to boiling.
Remove jars and complete seals unless closures are self-sealing type. Makes 6 pints. Triple fruit jam 9 cups sugar 2 cups water 5 cups peeled, chopped apples 2 (8 1/4 ounce) cans crushed pineapple 4 cups red raspberries, washed, drained
Combine sugar and water in large saucepan and boil until mixture spins a thread or registers 230 degrees F.
Add fruit and boil until thick, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often.
Ladle into sterilized hot jars to within 1/8 inch of jar top. Wipe jar rim and adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath 5 minutes.
Remove from canner and complete seals. Makes 5 pints.
Wait 3 weeks before using, until jell and flavor are fully developed.