Vegetable boxes may be used to transport vegetables from the farmer to the store and then to home. The boxes also work great for holding the vegetables after they are canned or preserved. The canning process preserves and flavors vegetables, fruits and other foods. The vegetables can be canned in half-pint, full pint and quart jars. The jars are usually sold in boxes of a dozen or more. The boxes are separated by several cardboard dividers that protect the jars from breakage. The jars would shake around and bump into each other if the dividers were not in place.
The canning jars do not come with lids or seals. These need to be purchased separately. The lids may either be wide or normal. The wide mouth jars are best for pickling large vegetables. The vegetable boxes should be picked up at a local nursery during their growing season. The vegetable boxes are cheaper and in stock during their growing season. As a result, the canning process needs to be repeated during the same week each year. The jars are usually sealed with a screw type lid. However, the older wired shut lids are still popular with some people.
The jars need to be inspected before canning the vegetable boxes. The jars’ rims should not have any imperfections or they will not seal correctly. The canning method is determined by the type of vegetables to be canned. The best canning recipe for beginners is salsa. Salsa offers a lot of room for trial and error. Most canned salsas turn out good, but most still have room for improvement. People who can their own salsa tend to rework their recipe every year. Once a favorite recipe is found, the canning hobbyist may move onto chipotle or other flavored salsas. When making salsa, it is important to pick the ripest, juiciest tomatoes. One onion and jalapeno box should be purchased for every three tomato boxes. The vegetables should be inspected to insure they are ripe and delicious. The jalapenos may vary in heat, so several should be tested before beginning.
The tomatoes should be added to a hot water bash after they are rinsed clean. The hot water needs to be boiled before adding to the hot water bath. The scalding hot water will lift the skin off the tomato making it peel.
After the tomatoes have sat in the hot water bath for fifteen minutes, they may be ready to fully peel. If the hot water goes cold before the skin is peeling off the tomatoes, more should be boiled and added to the hot water bath. After the tomatoes are ready, the rest of the skin can be removed with glove covered hands. The tomatoes should be rinsed one last time before being placed to the side. After all the tomatoes are peeled, it is time to work with the onions and peppers. The onions should be peeled and diced into slightly larger pieces than what is desired in the salsa. The onions will cook down slightly during the canning process. The jalapenos only need to be rinsed and diced finely. Salsas with different heat can be prepared while canning. The jalapenos can be progressively added to the salsa as the canning process continues. As a result, each jar of salsa will be hotter than the last. The tomatoes should be diced last and added to a large cooking pot with the rest of the ingredients. Several different spices are added to give the salsa a zesty kick before the mixture is poured into the jars. The jars are cooked in a hot water bath on the stove for a certain amount of time before they are finished.