Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Squash . . . Yes, You Can Can It!!!

Please, please be very careful about getting your information to correctly can things. I have been doing some research and some experimenting with all that lovely summer squash our garden is producing so prolifically.

You can use this method for yellow squash as shown or for zucchini. . . 

In the past I have dehydrated it (not my favorite because it loses too much flavor to me) and freezing it (also not my favorite since the water separates from it).

There are many dangerous methods of canning and preserving on the internet. Here is what I have discovered is the safest and best way to can it. You can do the little yellow crookneck summer squash or zucchini using this method.

Wash and cut the squash into the shape and size you desire. Bring it to a boil with not quite enough water to cover it. (I first tried it without precooking and it cooked down in the pressure canner and so I ended up with jars not filled to the headspace). The jar below on the left was not precooked. 

Prepare your jars, add one teaspoon of Kosher or canning/pickling salt per quart and one half teaspoon for pints. Do NOT use table salt for any canning. Fill the jars leaving about an inch of headspace. If you need to add more water to cover it, please do.

Wipe the rims and place the lids and rings tightly on the jars. Pressure can at TEN POUNDS of pressure for a minimum of FORTY MINUTES. Squash are a low acid food and you want to be sure that they are safe to eat.

I'm looking forward to making some Squash Casseroles and Squash Bread this winter though our favorite way to eat it is still fried like this: Dice 3 or 4 slices of bacon and fry until crispy. Remove the bacon and add one sliced onion. Saute for a minute or two and then add one quart of drained squash. No need to salt but you can season it with pepper or other spices to taste. When it is thoroughly heated and browning well, add the reserved diced crispy bacon and serve immediately.

Squash Casserole! Much of my store of canned squash will go toward making this yummy concoction... 

2 cups summer squash (I'll use one of my pint jars, drained... or maybe two!)
1/2 chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 beaten egg
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded cheese
8 ounces seasoned stuffing mix
1/2 cup melted butter

Mix ingredients together and bake in a 9x13 baking dish at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until onions are tender. Sometimes I add shredded carrots to the mix, just to change it up a little. Delicious!

Or... maybe I'll try a new recipe, like Summer Squash Bread...

3 eggs, beaten
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 cups shredded summer squash (I'm thinking one of my canned pint jars, drained well)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, grease 9x13 baking dish. In large bowl, using an electric mixer to beat the eggs until fluffy, beat in sugar, oil, and vanilla. Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg, fold in squash. Transfer to prepared baking pan. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


  1. I know you only post when you can and I appreciate it. I will always check here. Your information is needed and I appreciate your passing them on. It seems many are now realizing the value of having a pantry. Many are new to learning skills our parents and grandparents were raised with and took for granted. You are following the Titus 2 example helping us as you do! :) Thanks again. Sarah

  2. Thank you Sarah . . . Yes, I try to post as I can but if I don't have something really good to share I don't feel good about posting it. I've been really busy canning and preserving and I'm grateful for you following me and hope that you share what you learn as well.
    Many are new to learning skills and there is much bad information on the internet (unsafe practices, etc.) I've been doing this a very long time and hope to be able to post more regularly soon. Thanks for your loyalty.
    Mary Lou

  3. Just checking in again. Hope your week has been a blessing. I am drying all I can as the summer garden is winding down here. Hope you have some time between your kitchen jobs to sit and relax! :-)

  4. I'm out of town at the present time but a list of potential posts that I need to get to really soon. . . I am currently working on a second cookbook and have neglected this blog but promise to get back in the swing . . .Our fall garden is doing well though!

  5. A cook book by you Has to be good!!! Sarah

  6. Aw, thank you Sarah. It's called NEVER Trust A Skinny Cook! and contains over 600 recipes about half of them my originals . . . I still have a few copies for sale. They are $10 plus $3 shipping and handling. If you're interested, email me at Thanks again. Mary Lou

  7. How are you doing? I hope you have just tired of blogging and everything is ok other wise. As always I will check back. Stay cool. Sarah

  8. I am just checking in. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas.Sarah

  9. Thank you Sarah. This has been quite the year for us. We did a lot of traveling and had a serious car wreck when we were hit hard by a texting driver and then just last week we celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary in a BIG way.
    I hope to be back at come February as my January calendar is already filled to overflowing.
    Are there some specific things you would like to see or learn about? Perhaps I can be of more help to you then.
    Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours!

  10. You have been an inspiration to me. Hope you are well. It is again almost another holiday season. :) Merry CHRISTmas to you ! Sarah

  11. Thank you Sarah . . . I am seriously hoping to do more with this blog in the New Year . . . I've been so busy with so many projects including cooking classes that I teach. I have some good ideas (at least I think they are) for future posts. Merry CHRISTmas to you also!

  12. I am so glad you left your blog up and hope you can do more blogging some time in the future. Whatever you decide just live everyday to its fullest and know many of us out there have been helped by your blog. You sure have not been forgotten!! :-) I sure hope and pray everyone has recovered fully from that accident. Happy New Year ! Sarah

  13. I am still coming and enjoying your blog. I pray you are enjoying your teaching or whatever you love doing in life.As I said before,....many I am sure have not forgotten you or the help you have given us. Sarah

    1. Thank you so very much Sarah . . . life has taken so many twists and turns for us. I've been commuting a lot from Alabama to Michigan to help care for my mother and now my husband has dementia in addition to multiple personal health issues. Hopefully soon I can get back to this though sadly my gardening has been sporadic at best.
      Currently I am harvesting my thornless blackberries and need to do an article on them and my new favorite way to use them; blackberry fool.
      Thanks so much for your encouragement!
      Mary Lou