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what are you canning this year?

It's high canning season....what are you putting up this summer? I just made some pickles that rival my favorite McClures....

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  1. I just started canning for the first time this summer, indeed about 3 weeks ago. So far I"ve done 2 batches of peach jam, blueberry syrup, zucchini relish, dilly beans, sweet pickled banana pepper rings, hamburger dill chips, and hot pepper rings. I do smaller batches, either halving recipes or cutting them down even more. A few times my canning yield has been one half pint! On deck: curried cauliflower pickles, more peach jam, chutneys, chow chow, and a carrot cake jam I saw in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. Oh, I also made some apple jelly that didn't set--I'll be tossing all but one half-pint (which I'll save to use as an ingredient in sauces).

    This canning business is quite the addiction!

    21 Replies
    1. re: nofunlatte

      I'm drowning in zucchini from my CSA -- would you mind sharing your zucchini relish recipe? So far I've done lots of bread-and-butter pickles, maple summer squash pickles, and dilly beans. Pickled beets are on today's agenda.

      1. re: redbird

        Sure thing! This is from the Ball Blue Book and the yield is 4 half-pints. The ingredients are:
        2 cups chopped zucchini
        1 cup chopped onion
        1/2 cup chopped green pepper
        1/2 cup chopped red pepper (the sweet variety)
        2 Tbsp canning salt
        1-3/4 cups sugar
        2 tsp celery seed
        1 tsp mustard seed
        1 cup cider vinegar

        Toss together the zucchini, peppers, onions and sprinkle with the salt. Cover with cold water and let it sit for about 2 hours. Drain, rinse, drain as well as possible. Bring together the sugar, celery and mustard seeds, and vinegar in nonreactive saucepan, then bring it to a boil. Add vegetables to vinegar mixture and simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle relish into hot jars and add liquid so that you leave 1/4-inch headspace, then remove the air bubbles. Place lid on center and add band. Tighten to fingertip tight. Using a boiling water canner, process the jars for 10 minutes, turn off head and remove lid. Let sit for 5 minutes before removing to cool.

        BTW, I had an image of someone in a pool filled with zucchini instead of water, said person's head bobbing up and down, as she was "drowning in zucchini"!

        1. re: nofunlatte

          Many thanks! I'll try it with this week's CSA delivery. And it does feel like that my head is bobbing up and down in a pool of squash . . . !

          1. re: redbird

            I'm drowining too! I just posted a zucchini-carrot cupcake recipe. It's the only way my 14-year-old will eat it.
            Keep treading water . . . er, I mean zucchini!

            1. re: khickok

              I just made this zucchini jam--it's more like a marmalade, but interesting nonetheless. The color is a really striking green/yellow. I used my food processor to shred the squash and slice the lemons:

          2. re: nofunlatte

            Just a note, that looks similar to the recipe my DIL made except hers used 10 cups of zucchini. It was her first relish making experience but they knew they liked the zucchini relish a friend makes. After the first taste, she was glad she used pint jars. She gave us a jar and even though there's only 2 of us and it's only been a couple of weeks, that jar is almost gone. She was over wed to use my food processor again and her second batch is going to be double. DIL, DS and 2 pre-schoolers consume a half pint in one meal.

          3. re: redbird

            Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Can I have the maple summer squash pickle recipe???

            1. re: Vetter

              Hi, I found the recipe on epicurious from a July 1991 Gourmet recipe (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...). Be aware though that the directions are sketchy at best. After making the pickling liquid, I simmered it for three minutes and then added the drained (and rinsed) squash for five minutes. Also increased th pickling liquid by about 30% based on other reviewers. I'm letting them sit for a few weeks before trying them so I can't testify as to the results yet. Hope you enjoy them!

              1. re: redbird

                Hi redbird, the link just goes to Epicurious and the pickled baby squash recipe is from 2009. (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...) Is this the recipe? thanks

            2. re: redbird

              redbird, i've been wanting to try my hand at pickling some whole green beans, too -- like the kind they charge $8 per jar in the grocery/gourmet shop. are those the "dilly beans" you made? do you have any special recipe or tips? thanks.

              1. re: alkapal

                We make spicy garlic dilly beans most years, using the Ball Blue Book recipe.

              2. re: redbird

                Just as an FYI I have made bread and butter pickles out of zucchini.

                1. re: redbird

                  Redbird, do you mind sharing your pickled beets recipe? My S/O and I are planning to do some today but the recipe we have is from an out-dated canning book and I was hoping for something tried-and-tested.

                  1. re: rockability

                    Maybe this is too late, but here's the recipe I used for pickled beets last year. it's from Pickles & Relishes: 150 Recipes Apples to Zucchini, by Andrea Chesman.

                    The recipe calls for 10-12 lbs of beets (weighted without greens). FYI I bought a 10-lb box from my CSA last year, and I ended up roasting and processing them in two batches - 10 lbs is a lot of beets! (Although I didn't weigh them out, so maybe the CSA gave me extra beets for a real beet bargain...). Anyway, I needed to make a second batch of the brine, so you might want to have extra vinegar on hand just in case. I wound up with 14 pint jars.

                    They are pretty vinegar-y. I dice them up as a salad topping for my hubby's lunches. When i've finished a jar, I put a few peeled hard-boiled eggs into the jar and let them steep for a couple of days to make pickled red-beet eggs. The pickled eggs will kep for about a week, and you can re-use the brine at least once more to make a second batch of eggs.

                    Anyway, here's the recipe:

                    10-12 lbs beets
                    1 quart of cider vinegar
                    2/3 cup of sugar
                    1 cup water
                    2 tablespoons pickling salt (i.e. non-iodized table salt, also called plain salt)

                    Scrub the beets and place on a rack in a large roaster. Cover the roaster (I used foil) and bake at 400 degrees until tender (the recipe says about 1 hour for medium-sized beets, but I remember that it took closer to an hour and a half).

                    While beets are roasting, wash and prepare jars and lids and heat water in canner.

                    Mix vinegar, sugar, water and salt together in a saucepan and heat to boiling.

                    When the beets are tender, remove from the oven and fill the roasting pan with cold water. Rub the skins off of the beets. Pack the beets into the prepared jars, either leaving them whole or cutting into halves or quarters. Add the brine to cover the jars and leave 1/2-inch headspace. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

                    Oh, one more note: I think it helps to use the regular canning jars, rather than the wide-mouth kind, because you can sort of wedge the beets in under the "shoulder' of the jar. It helps to keep them submerged in the brine.


                    1. re: gimlis1mum

                      Sounds very tart and vinegary. I prefer the old Pennsylvania Dutch recipe:

                      Peel, measure and cut about 3 quarts of beets
                      2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
                      3 cups of white vinegar
                      1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                      2 Teaspoons ground Allspice
                      1 Teaspoon of salt
                      1 cup water
                      Cook beets until just tender. Do not overcook. Put all of the other ingredients in a large non-Aluminum pot and bring to a boil. Add beets and simmer 5 minutes. Pack hot beets into jars and cover them with the vinegar mixture from the pot. (Pints or quart jars, doesn't matter) Process in a Boiling Water Bath canner for 30 minutes, making sure that the jars are completely covered by boiling water.

                      These are excellent for adding to salads and making pickled egg dishes.

                2. re: nofunlatte

                  You can fix that apple jelly....did you make it from apples? Just dump all the jelly in a pan and heat it up to 220 F (if you are at sea level). That's the jell point. Then reprocess it for 10 minutes in BWB. Did you make it from apples, or apple juice that you added commercial pectin?

                  1. re: momskitchen

                    Cheapest apple juice in the store, plus Ball's liquid pectin (I had a half pouch leftover from something else). I really only wanted a jar or so because apple jelly is used as an ingredient for a couple of sauces I make and I wanted to practice canning. Personally, I don't like jelly, much prefer jam or preserves. So, no big loss. But thanks for the tip!

                  2. re: nofunlatte

                    nofunlatte, carrot cake jam sounds very appetizing! how did it turn out?

                    1. re: alkapal

                      haven't made it yet--it's on the autumn agenda!

                    2. re: nofunlatte

                      Carrot Cake Jam sounds wonderful..is that the recipe in Ball Blue Book which they call Carrot-Pineapple-Orange Marmalade? We can only eat so many pickled carrots and I was looking for another good carrot recipe.

                      1. re: grammywheels

                        It's not in the Blue Book, but rather in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. Seems like such a lovely, autumnal treat and thinking about it is taking my mind off this heat!

                    3. pickles pickles pickles, oh and maybe some peaches

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jillcooks

                        Those look delicious! Recipe please?
                        Looking forward to putting some things up in August for sure.
                        Pickles and wild blackberry jam at least.
                        Oh, and definitely tomatoes! It was so nice to have home canned tomatoes all winter, and really one of the easier things to process once you get things going.
                        This thread is getting me jazzed, thank you!

                      2. I've already done strawberry jam (no-sugar for my mom) and blueberry-lime jam (a big hit last year). I'll do peach jam again as well as spicy plum chutney (which was by far the winner last year). I did a lot of pickling last year (jardiniere, grape tomatoes, etc.) and we had trouble getting through it all. But I will do tomatoes again because we liked that. And we also liked the "bruscetta topping in a jar" recipe (momskitchen, that was yours, right?). The spiced peaches (esp. with bourbon) were a hit last year so I'll do those again too.

                        Looking forward to reading everyone else's ideas and recipes. A similar thread last year was where I got a lot of ideas.

                        1. I've got 20 tomato plants that will be producing more than I can eat fresh in the next few weeks. I do freeze tomatoes but my favorite are canned tomatoes with a garlic clove and sprig of basil in the jar. (All from my garden) I can also control our sodium intake by canning my own tomatoes. I add a teaspoon per quart.
                          Would love your pickle recipe . . . are they dill or bread and butter?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: khickok

                            My pickle recipe is for fresh (not fermented) dills. You can find the recipe it on my blog motherskitchen.blogspot.com and just search for McClures. They are delicious. I'd post a link to it but that is discouraged on Chowhound.

                            1. re: momskitchen

                              Thanks! I posted a comment on your blog which I will bookmark.

                              1. re: momskitchen

                                I see on your blog that you have trouble finding Mrs. Wages pickling products. The website kitchenkrafts.com carries her complete line I believe, even her salsa mix.

                                1. re: Riatta

                                  Thanks - I have found it online, and was glad to be able to buy it locally.

                            2. So far I made 5 pints of chow chow with my zucchini along with other veggies. I made a batch of peach barbecue sauce as well.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                Have since added peach butter and spicy mango tomatillo chutney

                              2. Black raspberyy jam, red raspberry and currant jam, Bar-le-Duc preserves, and Marinated Red Fruit (sour cherries, gooseberries, and red currants) with fruit from our CSA. Two half-pint jars of sour cherry jam with fruit from our young tree. And planning to poach and freeze peaches...would like to do some peach jam, lots of tomato goodies, and three-bean salad, but we'll see how things go - with the new little one at home i have less time than i'd like to devote to canning :-)

                                I still have some pickled beets and salsa from last year, so I'll probably skip those. I've been perusing my collection of old/antique cookbooks for ideas, which I shouldn't since I realy don't have time for all this!

                                1. garlic dills
                                  bread & butter pickles
                                  sweet gherkins
                                  cornichons a' cru
                                  pickled beets
                                  dilled green beans
                                  frozen green beans
                                  frozen peas
                                  rosemary rhubarb jam
                                  rhubarb lime jam
                                  strawberry honey butter
                                  whole strawberry preserves in vanilla syrup
                                  dried strawberries
                                  frozen strawberries
                                  cherries in port
                                  queen anne maraschino cherries
                                  cherry vanilla pie filling
                                  dried cherries
                                  blueberry jam with coriander and lime
                                  frozen blueberries
                                  peach slices in earl grey tea syrup
                                  peach halves in light syrup
                                  peach salsa
                                  dried peaches
                                  frozen peaches
                                  gingered currant tomato preserve
                                  spicy currant tomato preserve
                                  spaghetti sauce
                                  diced herbed tomatoes
                                  frozen herb roasted tomatoes
                                  dried tomatoes
                                  whole herbed currant tomatoes
                                  herbed feta cheese with black olives and olive oil (fridge stored)
                                  rosemary chevre with olive oil (fridge stored)

                                  today and tomorrow:
                                  tomato sauce
                                  tomato ketchup

                                  30 Replies
                                  1. re: morwen

                                    I'm impressed with and jealous of your list. I've done some fermented dill pickles and I'm going to try sauerkraut and/or kimchee again. I won't water or pressure can these - I don't like the texture change. If I get to the you-pick blueberries before they stop I will do them. I would like to do a bunch of tomatoes, but I don't think they will be in full swing before school starts and it's my first semester in grad school so we'll see what sort of time I have.

                                    morwen - If you haven't seen this book before I think you would like it. Charming recipes - there is one for packing apples in dried (elderberry?) flowers that is supposed to give them a pineapple taste.

                                    1. re: corneygirl

                                      We have a very ambitious garden and orchard plan going in hopes of weaning ourselves off the local Food Lion, corporate food and Monsanto. Each year we expand a little more, and find more local growers to purchase what we don't grow. Right now I'm canning in self defense sort of. I refuse to let any veg we sweated over get away! Since we finally got some good rain the tomatoes need picking twice a day in order to beat the cracks!

                                      I've never done any crock fermenting and this is my first year canning a bit of quick kraut. Hubby's not so much into pickles so it's for my personal consumption. I have lusted over the book you linked to. This one is my personal favorite that I've been using for years: http://www.amazon.com/Root-Cellaring-...
                                      And this one has been my go-to preservation bible: http://www.amazon.com/Preserving-Summ... Don't confuse it with the Rodale book of the same name.

                                      1. re: morwen

                                        I rent a great place that is unfortunately next door to an old gas station that is the site of regular EPA clean ups.... so I'm ltd to containers and my brown (or black) thumb. However I share your ethos and if I had the resources I would pursue the same options. Thanks for the links they both look awesome!

                                        Nothing "beets" a december meal where you open a bunch of jars from summer and pretend it's hot out!

                                        1. re: corneygirl

                                          There's so much you can store away without having to preserve. When I lived in an apartment I would pick up loads of different winter squash when they were cheap and keep them in baskets in the coolest room (my bedroom). They'd last through most of the winter. Same with apples. They were wrapped in newspaper in my closet. A basket of potatoes were in another closet. Carrots got layered in damp sand in styrofoam coolers. Onions and garlic got braided and hung in the kitchen. You have to check your supplies regularly and remove and use what's aging fastest first. I had access to an outstanding farmers market back then and no garden, little income, and a son to feed so learning to hoard food when it was cheap was a must. "Root Cellaring" was invaluable to me then and it still is. Support your local farmers if you can for anything you can't/don't grow!

                                          1. re: morwen

                                            Thanks for the encouragement! I'm a huge farmers market fan. This is the first time in a few years where I didn't join a CSA - which I miss for the Top Chef like dinner challenges (what can I make with kale, beets and summer savory?) but I love being able to buy whatever I want without the guilt. I'm staring at a forgotten squash from last fall that looks past its prime, but I could/should have eaten it last year. Great tips that I will use.

                                            1. re: corneygirl

                                              Whack it open, ya never know. I had a Delicata sitting around for far too long and cut it open out of curiousity. It was fine.

                                        2. re: morwen

                                          @morwen I love Linda Ziedrich's "Joy of Pickling" ...http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Pickling-Fl...
                                          Have you checked out that one....

                                            1. re: momskitchen

                                              thanks for the rec, just put it on hold at the library!

                                          1. re: corneygirl

                                            @corneygirl That book is interesting - I checked it out of the library before. Note it calls for lots of ingredients not found easily or things that would be considered food safe by USDA standards (it's a compendium of country recipes from France) but it does provide some ideas for something unusual, similar to Ferber's Mes Confitures. It's not a book I'd recommend to someone just getting started. The recipes are charming for sure thought!

                                            1. re: momskitchen

                                              Yeah I thought the same thing as you. I haven't really made anything from it yet, although some of the root cellar advice I have used in a general (non-root cellar) way. And it is just really interesting. If I ever get that house in the country....

                                            1. re: morwen

                                              Did the tomato sauce and the ketchup. Also did pizza sauce, peach pie filling, and roasted red pepper spread.

                                              Gotta say I'm not impressed with the pepper spread. The recipe came from the Ball book and my husband and I both agree it just tastes like ketchup. Not even red pepper ketchup, or good ketchup, just ketchup. If anybody has a nice pepper spread that they can, BWB or pressure, would you please post it?

                                              I'm also running out of ideas for the currant tomatoes (prolific little buggers) and would welcome some input.

                                              Does anyone have a recipe for pressure canning stuffed peppers or stuffed cabbage rolls? One without rice?

                                              1. re: morwen

                                                I was gonna try the red pepper spread in Balls, maybe now i'll just do roasted reds instead...thanks

                                                1. re: morwen

                                                  I did a tomato-basil preserve last year that was good, though id add some spice to it if I made it again. Good on grilled cheese sandwiches.

                                                  1. re: girlwonder88

                                                    I already did spicy tomato preserves and gingered tomato preserves with the currant tomatoes. Also did several pints of them herbed and whole in their skins that came out nicer than I expected. I've got about 2 pints of them here in a bowl that I picked today, taxing my imagination. Suggestions are welcome!

                                                    1. re: morwen

                                                      This tomato bourbon jam is KILLER! I love it with cheese and on grilled cheese and if you are a carnivore, lots of roasted meat possibilities. The best part is that it cooks down so much that you can use up lots of tomatoes. Make sure to add salt--dunno why the recipe omits it. Also you're a pro so probably have an even better method, but I prefer the quarter/cook/food mill method for big tomato projects over the blanch/skin/chop/cook method. Lots of time saved.


                                                      1. re: auds

                                                        I'm a quarter/cook/food mill method person myself when dealing with huge quantities of tomatoes. Also a throw-it-in-a-huge-roaster-and-stick-it-in-the-oven-to-cook-down person so I don't have to stir and eyeball constantly. Definitely omnivore except in the case of reptilian or rodent type food.

                                                        That recipe is very close to the tomato preserves recipe I use and tweak so I've added the 1/2 cup of bourbon as a note to try next time. Thanks!

                                                  2. re: morwen

                                                    Tomato paste-easy, and I froze mine in baby food jars so just the right size.

                                                    But real, if you have the freezer space I'd just freeze them. That's what I did last august when I was about forty months pregnant and our tomato plants exploded-I was very happy to have them all winter long.

                                                    1. re: girlwonder88

                                                      I do have freezer space but this year I'm trying to put up as much as possible in shelf stable ways. Even broke down and bought a "mooser" so I can pressure can meats. Where we live the electric goes out on a regular basis and for some reason the ground fault circuit the freezer is on kicks out for no reason. We've been lucky so far and I've been trying to find a freezer alarm locally, but after yesterday's foray into town and hitting all the box and appliance stores I'm going to have to look online.

                                                      "I was about forty months pregnant..." Jeez! I'da been runnin' up and down stairs and takin' the ATV for rough rides across the field at that point!

                                                      hmmmm.... maybe I'll try a batch of currant tomato raisins...

                                                      1. re: morwen

                                                        So I did the raisin thing with the currant tomatoes and they came out killer! When you chew them up they taste sweet, just like a raisin, but when you swallow them the back of your mouth and nose fill with an intense burst of tomato! I am so going to love playing with these this winter! I'm thinking of the savory version of raisin bread: basil and the tomato raisins throughout the dough with a swirl of parmesan...

                                                  3. re: morwen

                                                    Have since added:
                                                    Sweet & Spicy Zavory and Mini-Bell Peppers (my take on Peppadews)
                                                    Nectarines in Light Syrup
                                                    Chunky Nectarine Jam with Maple and Vanilla
                                                    Dried Nectarine Halves
                                                    Spiced Crab Apples
                                                    Swiss Chard in Chicken Broth
                                                    Chopped Frozen Bell Peppers
                                                    Whole frozen Bell Peppers
                                                    Stuffed frozen Marconi Peppers
                                                    Plum Sherry Vinegar
                                                    Figs in Port
                                                    even more tomato products
                                                    Whole Baby Carrots

                                                    1. re: morwen

                                                      How do you 'do' the figs in port? I have a tree loaded with figs and as they ripen I'm freezing a bunch!

                                                        1. re: OCEllen

                                                          Really easy! You can split them if you want to, I did mine whole. Layer them in a glass jar with just a sprinkle of sugar, drizzle of honey, or the sweetening of your choice between the layers until the jar is full. Pour either tawny or ruby port (I used tawny) over them until covered. Lightly tap the jar on a towel on the counter to release bubbles and add more port if needed to cover. Screw on the lid and allow to marinate for several weeks (or as long as you can stand) before using. No need to process or refrigerate. I think brandy or cognac would be nice too and I'm sure there's other liquors out there that would have an affinity with figs.

                                                          1. re: morwen

                                                            Thank you so much Morwen! I see the start of a couple jars of winter fig treats in my future!

                                                        2. re: morwen

                                                          Just curious did you peel the nectarines ? I did some last year with skin on, not as pretty but soooooo much easier. Also, peppers totally whole or cored and frozen? Do you stuff them later? Thanks

                                                          1. re: geminigirl

                                                            I did peel them. And like peaches, some of them had a blush after peeling so they're just as pretty in the jars. You do know the trick of dropping the nectarines/peaches into boiling water for about 30 seconds and then into cold water? The skins slip right off.

                                                            The bells are topped and cored, frozen individually and then bagged. When thawed they will be saggy which is just fine for stuffing. I do freeze some already stuffed so all I have to do is throw them in the oven with some tomato juice for a quick dinner. Those I stuff with a raw sausage/rice mix and freeze. I also dice the ones that have flaws, cutting out the flaws, spread them on cookie sheets, freeze and then bag.

                                                            1. re: morwen

                                                              Hi thanks, I did some peaches today and use the boil method. Today's batch didn't peel so well, thinking they might not have been ripe enough, but they gave some when I poked them...

                                                              Do you have a specific recipe for the peppers? This sounds like a good winter dinner! I chop and freeze peppers as well, so nice to have on hand and not rely on the grocery store veggie aisle in the winter...thanks

                                                              1. re: geminigirl

                                                                Not really. I did some with hot sausage and added a double handful of instant brown rice, some chopped pepper and onion to about a pound of sausage and stuffed them full but not firm (because the meat expands when frozen). I had some fancy smoked chicken/apple links in the freezer and I squished them out of the casings, mixed with the rice and stuffed another batch with that.

                                                      1. I made a batch of bread and butter pickles at the beginning of the summer, followed by a batch of pineapple apricot jam. After that, I pretty much lost my canning mojo! We picked and froze a couple flats of beautiful, organic strawberries for jamming, but we've ended up using them in smoothies instead.

                                                        1. Rhubarb conserve, cherry preserves, apricot conserve, nasturtium 'capers', nectarine jam, will do pickled hot peppers and some things with plums.

                                                          1. As I am still waiting for my garden to produce something other than yellow squash and zucchini, I have only made chinese duck sauce, pickled beets and rib sauce. I have watermelon rind pickle to go into jars tonight. Trying to decide what I need or want to make next-maybe blueberry marmelade.

                                                            1. Black currant jam and syrup, verjus, cherry jam, dill pickles, white nectarines in halves. Will add: strawberry jam, blackberry jam, peach sauce, prune plum sauce, applesauce, tomatoes.

                                                              1. So far I have made rhubarb simple syrup, sour cherry jelly, sour cherry sauce, saskatoon berry jam, strawberry balsamic preserves, strawberry jam. I hope to make catsup, tomato sauce, tomato salsa and a few whole pears, raspberry jelly, mustard beans. Also made brisket with pressure canner. Want to do more with pressure canner. Probably process my duck stock in pressure canner.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: sarah galvin

                                                                  I love the whole pressure canned thing. Currently I have 5 quarts of Hazan's Bolognese sauce in the cupboard along with some soups and stocks. But I have a half a small chest freezer of caribou that I want to get pressure canned in various ways to make room for the deer that will be coming in this fall. I don't know when that's going to happen because right now I'm in the midst of a tomato/pepper/eggplant/peach canning frenzy. It's all coming in at once! I really wanted to do quarts of sausage stuffed cabbage and sausage stuffed peppers but I can't find anything anywhere for guidelines on doing this. Can't figure out why. How is it that much different from canning any other meat/veg product.

                                                                  1. re: morwen

                                                                    I wanted to post the recipe I use for pickled green beans....the good people at chowhound don't want me to suggest that you look on my blog for it....so they removed the original post, but here is the blog post I wrote for motherskitchen.blogspot.com for your reference.

                                                                    Every few years, I go crazy with the home canning exploits. As soon as the green beans come in (usually July-ish) I will be doing pickled green beans. Canning pickled green beans are probably the easiest thing you could ever can. It's a great thing to learn canning techniques on.

                                                                    Pickled Green Beans
                                                                    Makes 4 pints

                                                                    2 lbs. green beans
                                                                    1/4 c. canning salt
                                                                    2 1/2 c. vinegar
                                                                    2 1/2 c. water
                                                                    2 teas. cayenne pepper, divided
                                                                    8 cloves garlic, divided
                                                                    4 heads dill, divided

                                                                    Trim ends off beans. Combine salt, vinegar and water in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil. Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, leaving 1/4 in. headspace. Add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more to taste), 2 cloves garlic and 1 head of dill to each pint . Ladle hot liquid over beans, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust 2 piece caps. Process pints 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. Yield: about 4 pints.

                                                                    1. re: momskitchen

                                                                      Hi, thanks again for the recipie. How long would you recomend waititng before opening, I know you will probably say months, sigh, not days:)

                                                                      1. re: geminigirl

                                                                        I'd give it a month just to develop the flavors.

                                                                      2. re: momskitchen

                                                                        I made this a couple of weeks ago, using my own dried cayenne peppers in place of the powdered cayenne. Looking forward to trying this in a few weeks.

                                                                  2. Okay, gotta add another product here. A couple of weeks ago I made some honey-peach jam, using local IN peaches and some (local where I bought it) PA wildflower honey. I followed the instructions for low sugar/honey jam on the pamphlet that came with Pomona's Universal Pectin and I used about 1 scant cup of honey for 5 half-pints. The other day I opened one of the jars, because I was curious. OMG!!! This is the closest I've experienced to eating a fresh, juicy peach! The honey adds a nice subtle perfume to the jam. I'll be making another batch of this, because it'll be nice to open a jar in the dead of winter.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                      Ooh-ohh! If you've got fresh lavender flowers, tie some up in a cheese cloth bag and toss it in the pot while cooking. Then fish the bag out. Peach Lavender jam is awesome!

                                                                      1. re: morwen

                                                                        I've got some lavender in the garden (English lavender, not French). Can English lavender be used culinarily or must it be the French variety?

                                                                        I assume I can toss this bag into a regular peach jam recipe.

                                                                        Was going to make some peach-raspberry jam (did peach-blueberry last night), but I keep sneaking handfuls of raspberries, so there aren't enough left. The berries are fantastic, though!

                                                                        1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                          I've got English and some red variety that I just planted this year. I never pay attention to which variety I use, just which is most fragrant at picking.

                                                                          Yep, just toss the bag in. You can also tuck a sprig of flowers down the side of the jar before sealing, just for pretty.

                                                                    2. Any suggestions for what I can do with a ton of cherry tomatoes?

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: geminigirl

                                                                        Pickle them - there is a recipe in Linda Ziedrich's Joy of Pickling.

                                                                        1. re: geminigirl

                                                                          Cut in half, put on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with herbs, garlic, s&p, olive oil, roast at 250F till they collapse and get all wrinkly, cool, put in baggies, freeze.

                                                                          Make tomato preserves. I made them last year out of self defense and discovered they were great!. Especially good glazing chicken and pork.

                                                                          Can halved or whole, peeled or skin on (prick skins first), with dried herbs, lemon juice, salt and water.

                                                                          Depending on your definition of tons (I had enough last year to do a big pot of sauce), you can make any kind of sauce (pizza, marinara, spaghetti, plain tomato) and freeze or can it. Sometimes I freeze some in ice cube trays so I can grab a cube and add it to something.

                                                                          1. re: geminigirl

                                                                            I found some tomato jam recipes on this other Chowhound thread. I tried three different recipes. Each made a small amount so it was good for testing. I recently canned a 4th recipe that actually made several pints and used a lot of ginger. These are more savory tasting, good with cheese. The suggestion to use them as a glaze is something I'll try. One recipe I found was more sweet than savory and was used to fill cornmeal thumbprint cookies.


                                                                            Curried cherry tomato ketchup was also very good. When I googled it I saw it teamed with hot dog bites. Might be good but I was thinking it would be good for shrimp cocktail.

                                                                          2. I just bought a 20 lbs of pesticide-free Roma tomatoes at the farmers market for $1/pound and am planning on making some bloody mary mix tonight. Recipe is here: http://www.food.com/recipe/aunt-iones... . I am planning on pickling some beans and asparagus too and creating some Bloody Mary kits to give as holiday presents.

                                                                            I am inspired by all of the other suggestions!!

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: LADreamin

                                                                              Have you made this Bloody Mary recipe before? I am wondering about the sugar and whether it is acidic enough to water bath process. I tried the recipe from Bon Appetit last year and it was disgusting. What a waste of time and ingredients.

                                                                              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                Don't worry about the sugar as it won't change the acidity. I'd add soy sauce as it seems to me to improve the flavor...I add some horse radish as well.

                                                                            2. We're pretty new to canning at our house. So far my s/o has done wild garlic, which were delicious and we only have one jar left! Over the next few days we'll be doing tomatoes, eggs and beets.

                                                                              After reading all these posts I'm dying to try the green beans too!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: rockability

                                                                                What did you do with the garlic? Pickle it?

                                                                              2. I've made 4 types of jam: rhubarb vanilla, strawberry rhubarb, blueberry rhubarb, and raspberry. I've done corn relish, rhubarb chutney, crabapple jelly, and crab apple sauce. Still to come are dilly beans, pickled hot peppers, and my winter store of tomatoes.

                                                                                1. Just had to update this! I'm having fun with ideas from the wonderful blog, Saving the Season. I've done blueberry jam with gin (Dry Fly- more floral, less juniper) and nectarine jam with Earl Gray tea. The latter is absolutely sublime and I'm going to make a LOAD more. I did the roasted tomato and chile salsa from the Ball Blue Book, but it turned out more like a chile sauce than a salsa (still good!). We've also done salsa verde. I am hugely digging Tigress in a Jam's can jams - a new theme every month!

                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Vetter

                                                                                    I did Kevin's Peaches in Earl Grey Tea and added a vanilla bean. We broke open the first jar last night during a tasting to decide what I was going to enter in this year's county fair and that most definitely will be in!

                                                                                    Tigress' Can Jam is such an awesome portal to so many creative canners. But if you haven't roamed through her own archives yet, find some time to do so. She's got some great recipes herself.

                                                                                    1. re: morwen

                                                                                      Are you doing the Can Jam, morwen...I am! This month, the challenge is stone fruit. The Earl Gray tea and peach jam would be a good idea for it. Maybe I'll make some.....http://tigressinajam.blogspot.com/200...

                                                                                      1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                        Nope, I'm not. I got there too late and been regretting it ever since. I'm hoping she does another one although we seem to be somewhat ahead of the curve for produce. My tomatoes peaked at the end of July, and the peaches and nectarines were mostly over 2 weeks ago.

                                                                                        1. re: morwen

                                                                                          She's in NYC....I'm further north here in Michigan, but there's plenty of folks in the south that are doing it. We still have lots of peaches here, and tomatoes too for that matter. Some folks were having trouble (Canadians mostly) that were behind her schedule. The last 3 are going to be winter fruit and veg friendly I am guessing....I am sure apples will be one of them. Can't figure out the rest...we've already done citrus in Jan.

                                                                                          1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                            I remember the citrus. I've got a lot of those bookmarked for this winter. I'd like to see a challenge using dried fruits for one of the winter months. I've dried a portion of every fruit I've done this summer so far and would love to see people's takes on dried fruits.

                                                                                      2. re: morwen

                                                                                        Ok, brilliant people -- how do I do a grape and pear conserve, like the one Kevin is putting in his book (and thus not publishing on his blog)? I just learned that I have access to some lovely concord grapes... Riff on an apple conserve recipe with some extra pectin? Grapes/pears/hazelnuts sound good? Hazelnuts are our local nut.

                                                                                        1. re: Vetter

                                                                                          I wouldn't think you'd have to use extra pectin since grapes have quite a bit of their own. Do a search for pear conserve, or heck, try pear-grape conserve. Hazelnuts sound great! They'd add a buttery, nutty taste.

                                                                                          1. re: morwen

                                                                                            I think I need to quit Google and go look through my books. I had NO idea that so many pear conserve recipes include pineapple! For that matter, tons of citrus for the pectin. It's like 1950s marmalade/ambrosia hell.

                                                                                        2. re: morwen

                                                                                          I could not find the recipe for Peaches in ear grey tea. Could you include a link? It sounds delicious!

                                                                                      3. This week, did 25 lbs of peaches, some apple and pear sauce, dilly beans and salsa. First time canning salsa, used the Annie's salsa recipe on garden web. It was very good, though I still really prefer the taste of fresh salsas to canned. Still, it'll be great over the winter, and it was really thick and tomato-y and mild enough that the kids will eat it.

                                                                                        Man, canning peaches was a PITA. We used the outdoor 2 burner stove which helped, since our kitchen is small. Can't wait till we can replace our flat topped stove with gas.

                                                                                        1. Did my last peach canning of the season--vanilla-almond peach jam. Pear chutney tonight (thanks to the gracious gift of pears from a friend) and then it's time for a canning break for a while (but I'll do curried cauliflower once the local cauliflower comes in). I really should start EATING this stuff.

                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                            I know! I'm always trying to hoard until at least mid-October!

                                                                                            1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                              I like when I have little bits leftover from each recipe. Then I get the best of both worlds -- eating a little bit now and still feeling that good ole hoarding-for-the-cold-months thing. :)

                                                                                              I've got my plum chutney left to do but I've run out of small jars. Yikes. Gotta order more. I'm doing more tomatoes this weekend.

                                                                                              1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                I'll have lots of open jars in the fridge tomorrow night! Got 16 entries in the county fair tomorrow so there will be those plus the small jars that we cracked open for a tasting session when we were deciding the entries! Wish me luck!

                                                                                                1. re: morwen

                                                                                                  Wow. 16 entries. Definitely keep us posted. You won ribbons last year too, right? I love some of your recipes (those spiced peaches are still awesome). It would be so funny if we had a county fair here - but New York County Fair - just ain't gonna happen! :) (For those not aware, New York County is Manhattan.) But I think there are tons of us canning here in the 5 boroughs - we just find one another here instead of in person.

                                                                                                  1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                    Maybe you could find a way to contact your local canners and have a swap party. I'm thinking of organizing one for our village. The way it works is you bring a jar(s) of whatever you want to swap out. At the party you get a ticket for each jar you bring and then turn in a ticket for each jar you take.
                                                                                                    Some county fairs and harvest festivals let folks from outside/neighboring counties participate. A good place to check is with a county's local cooperative extension office since a lot of them are involved with organizing the competitions.
                                                                                                    For that matter, if you're buying at a local green or farmers market on a regular basis in Manhatten, put a bug in the manager's ear about holding a festival or competition. It'd be a great way to meet fellow canners, get inspiration, and draw in customers.

                                                                                                    1. re: morwen

                                                                                                      Love the swap party idea! I'll have to organize one in Ann Arbor.

                                                                                                      1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                        Hey, I was just in AA, what a nice city, got to walk through the farmers market on Saturday as well, it was gorgeous, but so sad that I couldn't buy...

                                                                                                    2. re: LNG212

                                                                                                      The county fair competition was an overwhelming success! Out of 16 entries I had 12 1st places, 3 second places, 1 third place, 1 reserve champion, and 1 grand champion!
                                                                                                      Thank you all so much for your suggestions and inspiration! I get so many ideas from Ch'ers!

                                                                                                        1. re: morwen

                                                                                                          So many first prizes. Wow. Congrats! And we get so many ideas from you too. I'm glad you all share your ideas here.

                                                                                                          1. re: morwen

                                                                                                            This is terrific news! Wow, what a fabulous ribbon haul for you, morwen!

                                                                                                            1. re: morwen

                                                                                                              What did you get the first places for? Just in case I am organized enough to be ready for the July County Fair. ;)

                                                                                                              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                                1st place & grand champion: Bread & Butter Pickles
                                                                                                                1st place & reserve champion: Sweet & Spicy Zavory & Mini-Bell Peppers
                                                                                                                1st place: Blueberry Lime Jam with Coriander, Cinnamon Spiced Crab Apples, Cornichons, Peach Salsa, Peach Slices in Earl Grey Tea Syrup, Poached Seckel Pears in White Wine & Spices, Spicy Currant Tomato Preserves, Strawberry Honey Butter with Vanilla Bean, Whole Strawberries in Vanilla Syrup
                                                                                                                2nd place: Whole Herbed Currant Tomatoes, Rhubarb Lime Jam, Sweet Gherkins
                                                                                                                3rd place: Cider, Sage & Cracked Mixed Peppercorns Jelly

                                                                                                                I got into competing last year simply because I thought it would help promote our bed & breakfast to have "award winning jams and jellies" on the breakfast page of the website when we launch it. I thought I could maybe win a ribbon or two here and there, once in awhile, because our county is loaded with literally generations of talented home canners and lots of them enter the fair. This year, while I entered more items than last year, I did it because competing is just plain fun. You meet lots of great people (seems everybody is each others' cheering squad), swap recipes, get tips and tricks, you even find folks to swap your excess produce with for theirs. I just got a s**tload of concord grapes delivered today in exchange for some of our sweet potatoes. All in all, it's a great atmosphere and my husband and I enjoy it immensely.

                                                                                                    3. sweet tomato jam, figs in port, and carrot marmalade

                                                                                                      1. I did blueberry lime jam, blueberry pie filling, and blueberry syrup. Last was a PITA and not worth it--didn't thicken according to recipe and had to be reboiled with more sugar.

                                                                                                        I just did like 10 jars of pickled jalapenos--the garden was big on those this year.

                                                                                                        Fig jam made from figs a friend foraged. We sweetened with galberry honey, which is delicious, but it overwhelmed the figs a little.

                                                                                                        Did peach salsa and it was AWESOME. I need more. The tomatoes here in FL are not very good, sadly, but I might try a tomato salsa. We eat a lot of salsa. I wonder if subpar tomatoes could be okay?

                                                                                                        I am waiting for a friend to come home from NC and bring me peaches so I can do peach butter and spiced peaches in light syrup.

                                                                                                        I was disappointed with last year's pickles--too muchy. Has anyone tried that Pickle Crisp stuff? Does it work? I like fridge pickles, too.

                                                                                                        MIght do some kind of corn relish/

                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: loraxc

                                                                                                          What recipe did you use for the blueberry syrup that disappointed you? I just did Blueberry Lemongrass Syrup (first time doing syrup) from the "Tart & Sweet" book. It definitely is a lot more work (all that straining) but it came out beautifully. I had maybe 1/2 of a jar extra so I popped it in the frig. Told DH to taste it and let me know what he thinks. Next thing I see, he's eaten all of it straight out of the jar! :)

                                                                                                          1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                            Well, at least you have a pretty good idea what he thinks! Sounds wonderful...

                                                                                                            1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                              I don't know because I promptly trashed the bookmark! But it was no good. It doesn't have much flavor and it's gritty. Yours sounds great!

                                                                                                              1. re: loraxc

                                                                                                                I definitely recommend the Tart & Sweet book. It's got some great flavor combinations. I just made the carrot habanero hot sauce and it is delicious; and *really* spicy (probably because I subbed scotch bonnet 'cause that's what the farmer had). But both DH and I love it and I'm looking forward to giving that one away during the holidays.

                                                                                                            2. re: loraxc

                                                                                                              peach salsa sounds wonderful..how did you process it? Just getting through the strawberry jam..things are ready a lot later here in northern New England, next up..blueberries and then peaches.

                                                                                                              1. re: grammywheels

                                                                                                                This is the peach salsa recipe:


                                                                                                                I omitted the habanero. Highly recommended--it's so good I want to eat it straight.

                                                                                                              2. re: loraxc

                                                                                                                @lorxc ...DO try the "pickle crisp stuff" It DOES work, it is also known as pickling lime, it does add time to the work, and it does require alot of rinsing...ALOT!! but the results make it worth it.

                                                                                                                1. re: jillcooks

                                                                                                                  Pickle crisp *IS NOT* pickling lime - it's calcium chloride. It is made by Ball and no rinsing is required. http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/d... I've used them both and pickle crisp is much easier to use. Lime is troublesome to use: You must first soak the fruit or vegetable pieces in a mixture of lime and water, and then rinse and soak them repeatedly until the water is clear and the lime won't affect the pickle's pH much. Calcium chloride is easier to use

                                                                                                                  1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                                    hmmm thank you for that clarification, I may have to try it, though I do love the results I get from pickling lime. I do run up my water bill quite a bit when I make my pickles, but if it aint broke.....

                                                                                                                    1. re: jillcooks

                                                                                                                      Yep - I have both pickling lime and pickle crisp and the beauty of the pickle crisp is you don't have to wait for the soak - you just put it in the jar. It's a big time saver. Also, you can use grape leaves if you have grape vines....just put a couple leaves in each jar. Lastly, instead of BWB canning, you can pasteurize them to process them. You have to keep the water bath at 180 F for 30 minutes. It takes longer and you have to monitor the flame, but it can result in a crsiper pickle.

                                                                                                                      1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                                        I am going to confess something....please dont tell the USDA...but I use a steamer canner...SHOCKING!!!! (I know!) I have never had any issues with my pickles and I usually do a couple hundred(yes I have an illness) and the rare occcasin where they do no seal, I refridgerate and give away those first or keep for home use. I LOVE not having to boil gallons of water and heat up the house so much. Because I do some many at a time, the extra time soaking with the lime is actually helpful. Though the process takes 3 days in total when your doing that many, and my house smells like a vinegar barrel for a couple days,

                                                                                                              3. Just made simple and delicious fig-balsamic jam from the Ad Hoc At Home cookbook. Spiced with black pepper. Canned it in 1/2 cup jars to enjoy with cheese this winter.

                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Junie D

                                                                                                                  Could you post the recipe please? I'm hoping to pick figs this weekend!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Junie D

                                                                                                                        I don't think this is a canning safe recipe. The pH of figs is 5.05 - 5.98. To be canning safe in a boiling water bath, the pH must be 4.5 of less. THe baslamic vinegar in this recipe is not acidic enough to make it be safe. There would need to be quite a bit of lemon juice added to make it canning safe. You will note that the recipe says to refrigerate it only - that's why.

                                                                                                                        Here's a canning safe fig jam recipe http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_07/f...

                                                                                                                        You could use it, and add balsamic and the peppercorns and then it would be canning safe and taste like Thomas Keller's version.

                                                                                                                        I don't want to bum you out, but I hope this helps.


                                                                                                                        1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                                          The pH of balsamic vinegar seems to vary a lot (as of course does its quality), but I'd point out that the Ad Hoc recipe calls for 2 pounds figs to 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and the "safe" recipe calls for 5 pounds figs to 1/4 cup lemon juice. Seems to me that the ph of the Ad Hoc recipe would likely be at least as low as the "safe" one, especially since you add lemon juice at the end, albeit an unspecified amount.

                                                                                                                          Does acetic acid or citric acid "boil off" during cooking, raising pH?

                                                                                                                          1. re: Junie D

                                                                                                                            It's hard to say what the pH of the balsamic vinegar recipe is - because the pH can vary widely with that kind of vinegar. When canning, it's important to use vinegars with 5% acidity. Also, lemon juice is more acidic than vinegar, so you can't substitute vinegar for lemon juice in a proven canning recipe. (but you could go the other way) The acid can boil off during cooking, so canners are cautioned to not overboil brines.

                                                                                                                            1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                                              Do you ever use pH test strips? I am especially thinking of this because I have an Edna Lewis recipe for whole canned figs that involves soaking figs in baking soda (and then rinsing many times, but no added acid).

                                                                                                                              By the way, I just noticed the balsamic vinegar (from Trader Joe's) that I am using is labeled "6% Acidity."

                                                                                                                              1. re: Junie D

                                                                                                                                I'm very curious about this too. I used some PH strips to compare the PH of my bottled lemon juice and some red balsamic vinegar and the color was the same...so I proceeded with the substitution.

                                                                                                                                On a different note, I processed some figs by water bath method (rather than pressure canning). At that point I was not aware that figs were low acid. I covered them with baking soda for 10 min., then rinsed. Green figs were poached in a vanilla sugar syrup for 5-6 hours as per recipe in Good Cook Time Life series. Their processing directions were vague, so I processed the same time amount as I had with some pickled figs (with vinegar) in a newer recipe.

                                                                                                                                I saw a scientific report (which I can't locate) which seemed to indicate that a high level of sugar would not support botulism...however I'm resigned to having to get rid of these figs in syrup. It's frustrating, the leftovers that I put in the fridge were amazing in flavor. I'm assuming that since the figs are whole that the sugar content of the syrup is not enough to be safe since there was no acid in the recipe. From my reading it seems as though this recipe would have been fine if processed by pressure cooker.

                                                                                                                                I'm usually very careful - figs were new for me this year. (Feeling like an idiot.)

                                                                                                                  1. so far ive only made banana jam and lemon curd. Im planning to do blueberry jam on wild blueberries if i can find one of those berry picking tools and black/red currant jelly and watermelon/chili jam

                                                                                                                    if I get any tomatoes maybe ill do some with them and if i find any mushrooms maybe ill pickle some of them.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: L987

                                                                                                                      Banana jam? Have not heard of this but I'm interested! Ingrediants?

                                                                                                                    2. I'm canning some peach salsa tonight.

                                                                                                                      1. This week I did strawberry balsamic jam with crushed fennel seed, boysenberry jam, sweet pickles, Sloppy Joe sauce, meatballs in broth, spiced peach jam, vanilla pears, pints of ground beef for recipes, and dog food.

                                                                                                                        1. Today we canned 14 pints of tomatoes, 4 jars of dill pickles and 5 jars of pickled banana peppers. I've already done a couple dozen strawberry jam and peach jam. Oh, and some corn relish.

                                                                                                                          Hubby wants to do some dilly beans. I may want to do some tomato sauce or salsa.

                                                                                                                          1. Does anyone have a GREAT or even good recipe for RED WINE JELLY recipe,(specifically merlot) I have quite a bit leftover from a wedding where the servers opened it ahead...UGH! so needless to say there is a ticking clock on this request.

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: jillcooks

                                                                                                                              How about making your own red wine vinegar? It's super easy and fun to do.

                                                                                                                              1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                                                Please tell us how to do it! I've never made vinegar and would love to try. Do one need a "mother"?

                                                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                  Here is the post from my blog that talks about it.....

                                                                                                                                  Make your own vinegar
                                                                                                                                  A while ago, I posted about how you could make your own wine vinegar, and since then, many people have asked me questions about how to do it...here are the questions answered:

                                                                                                                                  How do you get some vinegar mother? Like that Amish Friendship Bread, it helps to have a friend that has some that can give it to you. Unlike the Amish Friendship Bread, I have never had anyone at work try to give me some. The fact is, unless you hang out with people that love vinegar, chances are you don't know anyone that has some to start. No worries, though. There's a kind of vinegar, like Braggs Organic Raw Appple Cider (with the mother) that usually is found at health food stores.

                                                                                                                                  Locally, I have found it at the People's Food Coop in Ann Arbor. Let it sit still for a while and you will see the mother - it's a sludge on the bottom of the bottle. Carefully pour off most of the vinegar on top and reserve the bottom quarter or so of the bottle and that is your vinegar mother to start.

                                                                                                                                  How do I make wine vinegar? Take the mother and place it in a crock....I use a small one gallon crock. I tried to use a crock with a spigot and a lid, but it didn't work well and my mother died off. I think they need lots of air. So, I put it in a dark place with a dish towel on the top and a rubber band to hold it on. Add some wine. Usually a wine glass full. Get into the habit of pouring your "mother" a glass of wine whenever you have any. If there's some dregs left in wine glasses, or a small amount at the end of a bottle, you can throw that in there, too. Don't worry about germs - the process of making vinegar will take care of any germs. Start tasting it after a couple weeks. When it is sour enough, it's done. You should keep adding some wine each week or so. Taste it before you add more wine.

                                                                                                                                  Do I have to use red wine or white wine? You can use either. I have even mixed the two, but there are some that say that it is verboten to mix red and white wine when making vinegar, I've never had a problem with doing so. I did once kill off a mother by adding apple cider to one that was living in red wine.

                                                                                                                                  Can I make apple cider vinegar? Yes, but make sure you start with fresh Braggs mother that hasn't been eating wine. And it has to be hard cider.

                                                                                                                                  Can I use other brands of natural vinegar? I've never had any luck with other brands, like Spectrum, so I stick to Braggs.

                                                                                                                                  Help! My vinegar mother is growing huge! What do I do? It's going to take over my kitchen. Time to split it up. Take it out and it will separate into layers. Find some friends that want to make some vinegar and pass it on. Just put it in a plastic baggie. It's like the Amish Friendship Bread.

                                                                                                                            2. Had a jam-filled week! Made over 100 jars. Varieties included:

                                                                                                                              strawberry/tellicherry pepper

                                                                                                                              and I did a batch of strawberry/apricot a couple weeks ago. Not sure if I'm done for the summer -- depends on what beautiful fruit I see at the farmers' market tomorrow, I suppose!

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: operagirl

                                                                                                                                what are you going to do with it all, @operagirl?

                                                                                                                                1. re: momskitchen

                                                                                                                                  Sell it and give some as holiday gifts =). I sold a bunch of jars last weekend at an art and music event here in the SF Bay Area (strawberry black pepper was a huge hit!), and I also have an Etsy store where people can buy it online.

                                                                                                                              2. Had a gift of a bushel of pears from a friend's tree. So far, I've used up half of them to make pureed pear jam, pear preserves, and some bigger jars of pear chunks in light syrup. I think I will do the pear chunks with most of the rest of them.
                                                                                                                                The pear preserve recipe called for lemon slices to cook and macerate with the pear slices, so after canning up the fruit, I have a little bowl of candied lemon rind to do something with. Hubby says dip them in chocolate.

                                                                                                                                1. Spicy dill beans with chiles de arbol, dilled kirbies, pickled radishes, Korean daikons, sweet and sour green tomatoes, escabeche de verduras, green papaya pickles. I'm taking a few days off from work in the upcoming weeks to ramp up the canning to put away pepperoni pickled green beans for bloody marys, sauerkraut, stuffed peppers, stuffed eggplant makdous, wasabi turnips and sundry relishes for the fall and winter.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. Today I canned:

                                                                                                                                    peaches peaches and more peaches in spiced syrup (a friend bought two bushels...we took out one bushel, but have miles to go...)

                                                                                                                                    AND...drumroll, please....

                                                                                                                                    Pindo palm jelly. It's made from the fruits of the pindo palm, an ornamental palm that was planted a lot here in FL in the 50s. We have two huge ones in our yard and they are bearing very heavily this year. My husband said, "Hey did you know those are also called jelly pams?" My ears perked up and I did some research and I tasted them and found them good. We had to cut the fruit bunch down with a polesaw and I caught it in a laundry basket--exciting!

                                                                                                                                    The fruit have a lovely taste but are small and rather fibrous with a big pit. I prefer jam to jelly, but this stuff really can only be jellified. The jelly tastes...wow, like sort of a pineapple/mango/nectarine mix? It's good! I can imagine it on a nice cornmeal baked something, scones, or in, say, a coconut thumbprint cookie? Yeah, that would be awesome.

                                                                                                                                    If anyone lives in the deep South, keep an eye out...yours will be the only pindo palm jelly on the block...


                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. This as been a major week for canning here in Central California. Meatballs and (thin) gravy, 20 pints of catsup, sweet and sour peach chicken, third batch of balsamic strawberry jam with fennel, sweet corn relish and 14 quarts of tomato sauce. We have a lot of agriculture here!

                                                                                                                                      next? Waiting for a good deal on Elberta peaches.

                                                                                                                                      1. So far I've done:
                                                                                                                                        a bunch of quarts of whole plum tomatoes
                                                                                                                                        marinated roasted red peppers
                                                                                                                                        a roasted pepper-roasted tomato spread
                                                                                                                                        szechuan green beans
                                                                                                                                        dilly beans
                                                                                                                                        dill pickles
                                                                                                                                        spicy garlic pickles
                                                                                                                                        strawberry jam
                                                                                                                                        blueberry jam
                                                                                                                                        pickled red onions
                                                                                                                                        hot cherry peppers

                                                                                                                                        and I have some tomatoes on the stove that are going to be canned as puree this afternoon. Next week I'm doing crock pot peach butter, quarts of peaches in syrup, peach pickles (I saw the recipe in the ball book and had to try it), spicy pickled beets, some pickled hot peppers and some strawberry jam if the farm by my house has any strawberries left.

                                                                                                                                        I haven't even started think about apples yet :P

                                                                                                                                        1. So far:
                                                                                                                                          Whole Strawberry Preserves w/Vanilla Syrup
                                                                                                                                          Strawberry Jam
                                                                                                                                          Strawberry Jam, Balsamic & Black Pepper
                                                                                                                                          Strawberry Jam with Basil
                                                                                                                                          Strawberry Vanilla Syrup
                                                                                                                                          Dried Strawberries

                                                                                                                                          Cherry Vanilla Pie Filling
                                                                                                                                          Black Forest Cherry Preserve
                                                                                                                                          Smokey Chipotle Cherries
                                                                                                                                          Dried Cherries

                                                                                                                                          Asparagus Soup
                                                                                                                                          Pickled Asparagus

                                                                                                                                          Frozen Blueberries
                                                                                                                                          Dried Blueberries

                                                                                                                                          Red Current Jelly
                                                                                                                                          Red Current & Raspberry Jelly

                                                                                                                                          Seedless Black Currant Jam

                                                                                                                                          Peach Halves in Earl Grey Tea Syrup
                                                                                                                                          Peach Jam with Lime Basil
                                                                                                                                          Spicy Peach Maple Jam w/ Cherry Peppers
                                                                                                                                          Peach Butter
                                                                                                                                          Dried Peaches

                                                                                                                                          Cabbage Roll, plain (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Cabbage Roll, cranberry walnut (frozen)

                                                                                                                                          Dried Plums

                                                                                                                                          Leek & Potato Soup

                                                                                                                                          Dill Pickles

                                                                                                                                          Tomato Lime Salsa
                                                                                                                                          Tomato Paste

                                                                                                                                          Wild Garlic Paste (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Wild Garlic Dust
                                                                                                                                          Sage Paste (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Chive Paste (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Fines Herb Paste (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Genovese Basil Pesto (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Lime Basil Pesto (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Lemon Basil Pesto (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Sage Poultry Blend Paste (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Tuscan Blend Paste (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Boursin-style Cheese Spread (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Canadian Salt Herbs (Herbes de Salee)

                                                                                                                                          Pickled Shallot Scapes
                                                                                                                                          Shallot Scape Pesto (frozen)

                                                                                                                                          Summer Squash Casseroles (frozen)
                                                                                                                                          Zucchini Cake Batter (frozen)

                                                                                                                                          Sweet Corn (frozen)

                                                                                                                                          Our tomatoes, green beans and limas, sweet and hot peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, etc. are just coming in after a late start so there's going to be a whole lot of veg preserving going on from here on out. We lost the winter squash to the squash bugs. Again. :-(

                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: morwen

                                                                                                                                            Ditto on the squash bugs at my house too! They've been epic. Here's what I've canned this year:
                                                                                                                                            tons of strawberry jam
                                                                                                                                            cherry blueberry spoon fruit
                                                                                                                                            lots of McClures style pickles
                                                                                                                                            stewed rhubarb

                                                                                                                                            On deck is salsa and BBQ sauce - I've got some GREAT recipes for both

                                                                                                                                            1. re: morwen

                                                                                                                                              What are squash bugs? I just dug through my garden to move some basil and I found these horrible, 1-inch long, metallic, shiny larvae curling up into balls about 3 inches beneath the soil surface. There were what appeared to be miniature centipedes scurrying about so I wasn't sure if they were those or something new (not to mention horrible looking and sinister).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                Dunno....but if you google squash bugs you will find a picture

                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                  We've found those larvae you described in our raised beds. No idea what they are but we removed and squashed them as we found them. Until we can positively identify what they are (and hopefully they weren't a good bug) they're on the search and destroy list.

                                                                                                                                                  Squash bugs are a shield-shaped brownish grey adult beetle type thing. They first appear as brown-orange egg clusters on the backs of the leaves, hatch to a light blue shield shaped immature bug and turn into the above adult. They suck the life out of (mostly) winter squash and pumpkins practically overnight leaving you with a withered plant loaded with immature fruit.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: morwen

                                                                                                                                                  Use some Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew. It's organic and it will get rid of the bugs.

                                                                                                                                                3. Found a new cranberry recipe - pickled cranberries. Unusual and delicious, it's our new favorite. Boil 3 cups cider vinegar and 3 cups sugar. Add 1 cinnamon stick broken into small pieces, 1 tbs. cloves, a few petals of mace. Boil for 10 minutes. Add 2 bags fresh cranberries and simmer about 15 minutes, just til cranberries start to burst. Add 1/4 cup orange liqueur. You can store these in jars in the fridge or hot water bath in pints for 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Every year I can. In 2011, I put up Sauerkraut, Spaghetti Sauce, Ketchup, Apple Butter, Green Beans, Corn, Beef Broth, Chicken Broth, Carrots, Potatoes, Dill Pickles, Sweet Pickles, Hot Peppers, Tomatoes, and Beans. I didn't make any jelly this year. . .