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canning jars

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I've made these ambitious plans to can some pear chutney for holiday presents, but I can't find any jars! I have a feeling they're everywhere, but I just never see them (kind of like when you're looking for the peanut butter, and you totally miss it even though it's right in front of your eyes). Does anyone know where I can find those glass jars for canning?

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  1. Have you tried the Broadway Panhandler on Grand Street? I'd bet that you could also mail-order from Martha Stewart if you are desperate, but I'd also bet it would be at a highly inflated price.

    1. I'm not sure, but don't they have Lechter's stores in Manhattan? They're kitchenware stores and I swear I remember seeing one there. They should have them. Also Crate and Barrel should, but probably fancy. I'm sure there must be some hardware type stores around that would carry them as well, especially at this time of year. Let your fingers do the walking first, to save yourself some time. And will you share your recipe? pat

      26 Replies
      1. re: pat hammond

        Thanks everyone -- I hadn't even thought of Lechters. And now that I think of it, I remember seeing jars at the Home Depot in Brooklyn.

        I got the recipe from Laurie Colwin's _More Home Cooking_. I love Colwin as both a novelist and a food writer.

        Anyway, to paraphrase:

        cook 3 lbs firm-ripe pears (cored, chopped but not peeled), 2 cloves minced garlic, 2t salt, 2t paprika, 2t coriander, 1c vinegar or lime juice, 1 1/2 c raisins, 2 T minced fresh ginger. When pears are tender, stir in 1 c brown sugar. Thin w/water if necessary. cook down for 10 min. Pour into 8 8oz sterilized jars, seal, and process for 10 min. Keep for a few months (she doesn't specify how many) before using.

        I plan to use currants instead of raisins.

        1. re: adriana

          Adriana: That sounds delicious! The fresh ginger is going to give it a good bite. I'm on a fresh ginger kick recently. I'm going to make candied ginger for some xmas presents. The resulting syrup is too yummy to believe. And homemade gingerale is great too; you can make it as gingery as you like. pat

          1. re: pat hammond

            The pear chutney turned out great -- sweet and tangy. I was worried that the pears would get overwhelmed by all that vinegar, but the chutney is still very pear-y. I think if I were to do it again, though, I'd add less sugar. The currants add a lot of sweetness. I doubled the recipe and made 12 6-oz jars (which I found at Tarzian here in Park Slope).

            Candied ginger -- that's a great idea for the holidays.

            1. re: adriana

              Glad the chutney experiment was a success. I started using some of my ginger syrup to sweeten my hot tea. Very good too drizzled over french toast. pat

              1. re: adriana
                a
                Alexandra Eisler

                Thanks for the update!

            2. re: adriana
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              Alexandra Eisler

              Curious to hear how this turns out-would you let us know? Her potroast and gingerbread recipes are my hands-down favorites, so I bet the chutnety will be yum.

              1. re: Alexandra Eisler
                m
                Martha Gehan

                I agree wholeheartedly about Laurie Colwin's gingerbread recipe--and I don't know which of the "Home Cooking" books they are in, but another two faves of mine are fritters made with shredded yam, fermented black beans and hot red pepper flakes (sounds bizarre, tastes divine)and a tian of squash which Colwin claims she adapted from a recipe of John Thorne's using pumpkin. The tian is transporting--I have never served it to anyone who did not love it, even hard-core vegetable haters. I can eat it all alone with a salad for dinner--it is very simple to make and unutterably delicious.

                1. re: Martha Gehan
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                  Alexandra Eisler

                  Ok, I'm sold-making the yam fritters tonight!

                  1. re: Alexandra Eisler
                    m
                    Martha Gehan

                    Alexandra--FWIW--every time I have made the yam fritters it has required a good deal more flour than the recipe states to make them retain their shape.

                    1. re: Martha Gehan

                      Does anyone feel like posting that recipe? It's definitely gingerbread season.

                      1. re: beegee
                        a
                        Alexandra Eisler

                        I'll post it tonight!

                        (after making the yam fritters...)

                        1. re: beegee

                          I made one of those once 'cause she raved about the recipe. It was pretty bad. I think i threw it out and i am generally not a thrower-outer of cake. Her writing was great, but some of those great-sounding recipes are a little vague.

                          1. re: beegee
                            a
                            Alexandra Eisler

                            A few notes. I use unsulphured black strap molasses and milk mixed with 3 tablespoons plain yogurt in place of buttermilk (which I never seem to have in the fridge when I need). I omit the ground cloves and ground allspice and add more cinnamon, which is a personal preferance. Be careful not to overcook, as it tends to dry out. I have served this accompanied by a generous dollop of creme fraiche sprinkled with candied ginger and candied Meyer lemon peel, and find myself making this at least twice a month every winter!

                            Here you go:

                            Preheat oven to 350.

                            Cream 1 stick salted butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Beat until fluffy and add 1/2 cup molasses.

                            Beat in 2 eggs.

                            Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and one very generous tablespoon ground ginger. Add one teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice. Beat to incorporate.

                            Add 2 teaspoons lemon brandy, if available, or vanilla extract. Do not substitute lemon extract. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk mixed with yogurt) and turn batter into a buttered 9 inch cake pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool and enjoy.

                            1. re: Alexandra Eisler

                              This recipe looks like a great candidate for the devine specialty of a family friend: pineapple upside-down cake made with gingerbread. Best served warm and à la mode, of course.

                              1. re: Caitlin

                                yes! but make it with caramelised pears, like a ginger tarte tatin. fabulous.

                                i've got a serious afternoon baked-good craving here. i was just looking at the layer cake article in the new york magazine holilday entertaining issue. somebody get me a cupcake, quick!

                                if i can just hold out till 11:00 tonight, my friend who's in the pastry course at fci just finished her wedding cake section and is having people over to eat the thing, and i think i'll be able to polish off a whole layer. if i can just WAIT. is this some sort of cruel test?

                                1. re: emily

                                  Yeah, pears and ginger--and caramelized pears in general--are great, but you haven't had pineapple upside-down cake until you've had it with really gingery gingerbread. An exquisite combination.

                                  I'm with you on the baked-goods jones. I'm about to make some banana bread.

                                  Say, Emily, are you in the Graduate Faculty philosophy program? I used to be next door in poli sci, but only went through the MA.

                                  1. re: Caitlin

                                    my brother-in-law, who abhors all fruit except pineapple and berries, makes gingerbread with the blackberries that grow everywhere in seattle. i haven't tried it, but i've heard raves.

                                    yes, i am in philosophy at the new school. i love the diverse student body and faculty, and the art on the walls of this place is just amazing. there's a cindy sherman outside the tiny office i'm working in right now. how did you like your program? i just started this semester and so far i'm enjoying it. the end-of-semester paper crunch is looming, though. perhaps that faint, lingering dread accounts in part for my carbo-cravings.

                              2. re: Alexandra Eisler

                                Thanks much for the recipe--just got around to checking for this. Can't wait to try it this weekend.

                            2. re: Martha Gehan
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                              Alexandra Eisler

                              Thanks for the tip!

                              1. re: Alexandra Eisler

                                how did the fritters turn out?

                                1. re: emily
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                                  Alexandra Eisler

                                  uh, we went out instead!

                                  1. re: emily
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                                    Alexandra Eisler

                                    I finally made the yam fritters last night and they were fabulous. Martha, thank you for the tip about adding more flour. I also added 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger, about 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a couple gratings lemon peel. Well worth the minimal effort...

                                    1. re: Alexandra Eisler

                                      seems like this would be a great thanksgiving weekend recipe. with the big meal? more of a brunch or snack dish?

                                      1. re: emily
                                        a
                                        Alexandra Eisler

                                        I think more of a brunch meal or snack, as they don't really hold well for an extended time after frying.

                                        My husband caught me eating one directly out of the pan...

                                      2. re: Alexandra Eisler

                                        The fresh ginger sounds like a GREAT addition-I'll try that next time. Those fritters are pretty addictive, aren't they? Another good use for fresh ginger, and relevant to this thread, is a suggestion from cookbook author Sylvia Thompson to add a small amount (tsp. or tbsp.) of fresh grated ginger to.....gingerbread. I've tried it and it's delicious.

                        2. re: pat hammond
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                          Rachel Perlow

                          Call before you go to Lechters, when I needed the jars they didn't have them. Big name hardware stores like Home Depot didn't seem to have them either, just the mom&pop local hardware stores seem to carry them around here (and Foodtown as previously mentioned).

                        3. r
                          Rachel Perlow

                          Where are you located? Around me (Morristown, NJ) I can find them in hardware stores, but the last time I saw them (when not specifically looking for them) was in my local Foodtown supermarket.

                          1. Today must be your lucky day. I'm sitting here with the Ball "Home Canning Essentials" catalog. If you call 800-392-2575, you can get one, too. Their "deluxe quilted crystal jelly jars" come in 4, 8, and 12 oz. sizes and cost $6.95, $7.75, and $8.50/dozen. I once bought a box at Zabar's. They prob. still have them, but call first.