Canning Recipes, Cookbooks and a Specific Canning Question

I like cooking.

Alas, I live alone, so while I cook decent dishes, and sometimes even full meals, I have leftovers. Often lots of them. Some recipes it just doesn’t make sense to try to cut down, for example.

Obviously, one strategy is leftovers in the fridge, or freezer. Which is fine. But, going back to that “I live alone” thing, I’ve only got limited freezer space. And my crunchies habit is such that I have rather more ice trays than most people would think a person living along might need.

I’ve done some home canning, but the recipes I’ve found online have been sorely limited. And frankly for things so whitebread, flavorless, and common, that for the most part it’s going to be cheaper to keep buying the store versions of those things rather than setting up to do a canning session of my own. (And that’s before I work in any kind of reasonable value for my own time.)

So, the first question I’ve got: What canning cookbooks/websites/ or simply handed down recipes do various Dopers swear by?

The second question I’ve got is a bit more involved, and might even have been GQ worthy, but I think that combining these two questions just makes more sense.

One of the dishes I enjoy making for myself is hot & sour soup. The problem with this is that, well, the recipe I use for it is one of those that just doesn’t really respond well to being cut down to a more reasonable (for a single person) size: I could use less pork fairly easily, and the mushrooms are buy as needed, and the broth can be adjusted fairly easily, either by using #10 cans, instead of the larger ones I use, now, or going with one of the resealable boxes of broth. But I really don’t see much point to being left with half a bok choy cluster, nor half a block of tofu. (Yes, I know I could use either, or both, in a stir-fry, but at the moment I’m still wok-less. And even so, half a bok choy cluster is still more vegetable than any person needs to eat at a single setting.)

I’ve tried freezing the soup, and while that does work, it’s not ideal The tofu just turns into little white spots all through the soup, instead of discreet chunks. I think that the freezing breaks up the curd too much.

So, I was thinking, considering that what makes hot and sour soup sour is the presence of vinegar - a common additive to prevent botulism in canned goods, would that be enough to make hot water bath canning safe for that? And if I tried it, would canned hot and sour soup be worth a damn when one opens the jar in some unforeseen future?
Thanks for all who might respond.

I can’t recommend a book,but would caution that some canning recipes given in the 1990s have been declared unsafe,so topical reference may be best.

On the other hand,I can meat much like my Gmother did,in a water bath;it’s considered a NoNo nowadays.

 Best to learn the whys and wherefores.Fats (butters,oils and the like) are thought to buffer botulins from the killing heat,so are verboten,and yes,high acids seem imperative for water bath canning as opposed to pressure canning.I suspect the latter would overcook your hot&sour.

 This link may be of use:

This link is frequently given for good, up-to-date canning information: They seem to offer their own book via the site.

Sorry, missed the edit window - I was going over the reviews on Amazon to see if there were any noted issues with the book I was going to recommend, but I only see glowing reviews. I have Putting Food By, which is a very in-depth treatment of various food storage methods, not just canning (hot-water bath and pressure) but also freezing, curing, drying, and root cellaring. The canning portion takes up about half of this 400+ page book. It’s more on the educational side of things but there are enough recipes to at least get you going.

Finally, one option you might want to consider for your soup is freezing the tofu before you use it in cooking. Freezing (dunno about the aseptically-packaged type, but this does work on the type of tofu that comes in a water bath) will change its texture to more chewy, even spongy. After thawing, squeeze any remaining water out and cut into cubes. These should be able to stand up to another freezing without disintegrating.

Thanks Carson O’Genic, and Ferret Herder for your helpful comments and links.

Ferret Herder, one question about freezing the organic style tofu - do you freeze it in the water bath, or out of it?
Can I say that as a technically trained chemist I’m going nuts with this talk about low acid and high acid solutions. Those terms really require me to think about what they’re saying when I am used to judging acids on the pH scale. :dubious:

Putting Food By is very comprehensive but kinda, you know, boring. A terrific reference book, though, that everybody should have on hand. Small Batch Preserving is six kinds of awesome. The Indian pickled eggplant is worth the price of admission.

Hmm, been a while since I’ve actually done it. A quick Google seems to show that some people freeze as-is, some drain it and put it in a freezer bag first - and some have even had good success with freezing the aseptically-packaged kind. (I typically get the stuff in a water bath since even the boxed extra-firm isn’t firm enough for my taste, but maybe freezing it would improve that.)

The texture will be rather dramatically changed, but if you don’t mind chewiness, it’s good.

drool Hmm, another addition to my ever-growing book list…

I’ve got The Joy Of Pickling but haven’t had the time to put anything up. On a cursory once over, all the recipes seem simple and there are lots of quick ones in it.

I’d also contact your Cooperative Extension service. They’ve got Home Economics professionals on staff and they can either point you to extension publications or even to a group of canners.