NOTE: As always, don’t trust internet recipes for something as important as canning. My recipe is from a friend and I don’t know her source, and maybe I mis-typed an ingredient or left something out. Cross check with other sources, and the Big Blue Ball Book of Canning is the only one I know to be reliable. ANOTHER NOTE: This blog post gets more traffic than any of my other posts, so I feel compelled to add that elsewhere someone noted about my recipe that cornstarch is not recommended as a thickener in water bath canning anymore, and that SureGel should be substituted. May as well not take any chances! The more technical name of this sauce is Mandarin sauce, but I thought calling it by what everyone calls it would probably result in more post hits. The tomatoes are coming on awfully slowly this year (plus did I say it turns out chickens like to eat tomatoes as soon as they turn a hint of orange? Yeah. They do. So that slowed down tomato production a bit). i had four cups worth of diced tomatoes to work with, and after contemplating whether they’d be better spent as salsa or Mandarin sauce, well, you know which one I chose. When you read the bottle of this stuff at the store, it chock full of preservatives. Why? Why does everything have preservatives? I dated someone who was allergic to polysorbate-80, and once you start reading labels looking for it, it’s in almost ev.er.y.thing. And I have to wonder how many people with behavioral problems are allergic to it, and just don’t know to make the connection. Here’s my recipe for Mandarin sauce, which you water bath to seal. We can eat this at least once a month, so I expect to make at least 8 more jars. If the tomatoes cooperate. Mandarin Sauce 8 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes 2 cups chopped onion 1 can (11 oz) Mandarin oranges, do not drain 2 cans (20 oz) pineapple tidbits, drain and save juice 4 cups chopped green and red pepper 7 cups sugar 3 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity) 1/2 cup soy sauce Combine all but the pineapple juice and bring to a boil until the onions are clear. 1 cup corn starch Add the cornstarch to the pineapple juice and stir until mixed, and then add to the cooked mixture and let thicken. Now you are ready to bottle. Process pints 35 minutes in water bath. Yields 12 pints I made only half a batch, which yielded the 4 pints, plus enough for one meal that night. We put this over rice and stir-fried chicken, or rice and shrimp, or rice and pork. Not beef, though. Do you? Very handy to keep in the pantry for one of those nights you just don’t feel like cooking.