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Better Homes and Gardens Canning special issue

Anyone seen this on a local newsstand? I got it recently and bookmarked about a dozen things I really want to try.

I just finished the Cider 'n' Spice jelly and I'm up late waiting for the jelly in the jars to thicken enough to hold cinnamon sticks in suspension. Can't wait to try it. I looks so pretty and smelled fabulous when I was boiling it. The prep and water bathing didn't take all that long. The cooling to the gel stage is taking forever! If anyone decides to give it a whirl I highly recommend not waiting until 9PM to get started...

The recipe specifies freshly pressed cider but I used bottled apple juice from the refrigerated juice section of Trader Joe's. That stuff is great and tastes like the fresh pressed cider I remember from growing up in the Hudson Valley. Plus, it's so available that this stuff can be made year round.

Next will be peach jam. There are cardamom and chipotle variations. Will have to think about which way to go.

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  1. I'll look for it on the newstand at the grocery store. Thanks for the head's up......

    5 Replies
    1. re: jeanmarieok

      Hope you can find it. It's got a ton of interesting recipes. And, pretty wonderfully I think, it's arranged by the type of produce: tomatoes, tropic fruits, vine crops, root crops, etc. Also lots of mouth-watering photos. I think canned foods can be so gorgeous.

      1. re: rainey

        I didn't see it at Kroger, but really they are mostly big on People and US Weekly. I am going to check Lowe's - believe it or not, they have a big magazine section.....

        1. re: jeanmarieok

          Lowes had it ! Nice magazine - I want to make the tomato jam - looks delicious!

          1. re: jeanmarieok

            Yes, that tomato basil jam does look terrific. I'm thinking of doing the onion & maple thing too.

            I see they're recommending 4oz jars for their savory things. I use a lot of 4 oz. jars myself for jam. We don't eat a lot of it and I like getting to the bottom and cracking a new jar rather than having something languish in the fridge and take up space forever.

            1. re: rainey

              I haven't seen 4oz jars in my usual places. I'll have to look for them.

    2. Oh, thanks for the heads up--I have a bounty crop of peaches, so may make both the cardamom (which I love) and chipotle jams. I'm also in a saffron & peach craze now, so may make that too. Getting hungry!

      1. I just picked it up. I do like some of the recipes (pickled blueberries with bourbon!). They have some interesting flavor combinations. But to me too many of the recipes call for liquid pectin. I've used that before and I am not a fan. I'll have to look around for equivalent recipes to see if it's possible to switch it to powdered or Pomona's. Also, I find most of their jam recipes to say 5 minutes of processing. I have *never* seen that. The lowest processing time I've ever come across in a reputable source is 10 minutes. So I will be wary of their procedures (and I'll probably process for 10 minutes anyway).

        13 Replies
        1. re: LNG212

          Sorry if I steered you in a wrong direction.

          As for processing, you should certainly process until you feel good about it. I canned for the first time back in the 70s when we still "fresh packed" things like tomatoes and often didn't water bath jams at all due to the high sugar content and high temperatures of the fruit mixture. So 5 minutes sounds fine to me for jam. But it's certainly not fun if it makes you apprehensive so better safe than sorry. ;>

          I hope there will be some recipes worth trying. (And I had the impression it was about half liquid pectin and half powdered. I had to go out and buy liquid because the pectin I keep on hand is powdered too.)

          1. re: rainey

            Oh no steering wrong at all. I looked at the issue before purchasing so I knew what I'd be getting. And I do think many of the flavor combinations sound really good (esp. the one you wrote about above which I'll try when it's apple season).

            Maybe I just noticed the recipes using the liquid pectin because those were the ones that interested me! I just wasn't happy with the results when I used it previously but I'm certainly willing to give their recipes a whirl.

            As for processing times, like you say, if it makes me feel better to do jams for 10 minutes then that's what I'll do. I still do some raw pack but always with enough processing time that I'm okay with it. I just try to look at someplace reputable (like Ball) to make myself feel comfortable with the safety issues. I don't want to make friends and family ill. :)

            But thanks for posting about the issue. I really do like a lot of their ideas and plan on doing that pickled blueberry-bourbon one this coming week.

          2. re: LNG212

            I've seen quite a few recipes for the 5 min processing (of jams). The 5 min. is fine IF the jars, etc. have been sterilized. Anything processed for 10 min. or longer just requires clean jars.

            (I ran that by my canning instructor at the coop ext. office when I first saw the 5 min. recipes.)

            1. re: meatn3

              meatn3, thanks for the info. I do sterilize my jars. Maybe I'm a freak but I think I'll still do the 10 min. 'cause it makes me feel better! :)

              And I'm jealous about the coop ext offices that everyone else seems to have (you are not the first to talk about them). When I called ours here, I was told they don't do that sort of thing (meaning anything related to canning). Bummer! (Just to clarify, I'm in Manhattan and I guess this isn't their top priority.)

              1. re: LNG212

                My county seems to have dropped the classes. I've been attending "Canning College" once a month at the next county over. Its an hour drive each way, but it has been very worthwhile!

                I imagine each county has to decide how best to use their yearly budget. It would be nice if they reassessed the need in urban areas. While city residents probably aren't trying to preserve their harvest, there are so many people interested in canning for many other reasons! Perhaps there is an office a reasonable distance from the city that could make for a nice field trip?

                An aside, I always get a kick out of your avatar! I buy one of his calendars each year and never get tired of them!

                1. re: meatn3

                  Hey! I grew up in an area of NYS with a reasonable amount of agriculture AND Extension Offices (and granges). But now that I've been living in Los Angeles for 3 decades I still like to preserve the fresh produce I can grow in my backyard and buy at the farmers' markets.

                  How interested you are in fresh food and adventurous you are about mastering new things has nothing to do with city/country. ;>

                  1. re: rainey

                    I agree with you on your last comment. And I do know there are plenty of people canning here in the city (evidenced by the various "where can I find canning jars" questions on the local boards!). But as meatn3 said, I guess with a limited budget they have to set their priorities and here, at least, those priorities tend more toward nutrition classes and obesity prevention, eating on an ebt budget and things like that.

                    @meatn3, I should definitely look at counties upstate or something (somehow I think the suburban counties immediately outside the city wouldn't be fruitful either). Then it would just be a matter of transit - like convincing DH to rent a car and drive me so that he can continue having his canned jams and fruits and the like through the winter! :)

                    1. re: rainey

                      I'm saying this is most likely the logic the powers that be are using when trying to decide how to best utilize an ever shrinking budget. In urban areas they may assume few gardens = little interest/need.

                      If you read my post more carefully you'll see I noted (hoping ag offices will realize) that there are many other reasons people want to can besides the traditional/rural need to preserve a harvest in order to eat later in the year.

                      1. re: meatn3

                        Absolutely! I use only produce from my farmers's market to do my canning. So even though I don't have a garden, I'm "preserving the season" too.

                        You are probably right that they don't realize the interest. Then again, maybe they are stretched so thin already that they just can't do canning classes/lectures. I don't know which (or combination) it is. Too bad for me. I may take your advice and look into other counties's extensions. Thanks for pointing that out.

                        1. re: meatn3

                          Yes, of course. I was just saying that wherever the resources are targeted, canning is something that crossed the city/country divide.

                          No offense intended.

                          1. re: rainey

                            None taken! Wanted to be sure you didn't think I felt only folks with homegrown surplus should be canning....


                            With my gardening dramas I'm always amazed that people actually have enough surplus to do anything with it!

                2. re: LNG212

                  LNG212--quick question for you. In step 2 of the pickle blueberries with bourbon, it says to let the cook blueberries to sit fo 8-12 hours. Then, in step 3 it says to spoon the hot blueberries into hot jars. How did you do it? I mean, if the blueberries have set at room temperature for 8-12 hours, they're not going to be hot! did you reheat them? I really want to make these, but I'm not sure about this...Thanks for any help you can provide.

                  1. re: IndeliblePoet

                    I had the same question you had about the "hot blueberries" step. I did not reheat - I figured the syrup was going to be boiling again and that would be okay.

                    btw, I ended up with about maybe a cup of the syrup leftover. It works really nicely as a salad dressing!

                3. It looks gorgeous, but wasn't it like 11 bucks? That seems like a lot to shell out. I could be persuaded, though.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: LauraGrace

                    It was 9.99 cover price. But there are no "articles" or ads or anything - just recipes. So I didn't mind the price.

                    1. re: LauraGrace

                      It is well worth the price, in my opinion. Lots of recipes. And, if you can find it at walmart, they discount cover prices of magazines....

                    2. Does it contain information for first time canners/preservers? This is something I've wanted to get into for awhile but am a little nervous about the whole process. I'll take a look for it today at lunch!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: ladooShoppe

                        Yes. At the back there are pages with info about the equipment and process. But, in truth, it's not extensive.

                        If you've never done it before the Ball Blue Book or any of the more recently published books on preserving will give you lots more specific info about the process of canning. The US Dept of Agriculture also has info on the web. That said, even the directions on a box of pectin will give the info you need to make a basic freezer strawberry jam that will have excellent flavor and lovely color. And, for what it's worth, I started with a recipe for bread and butter pickles in an old cookbook and didn't poison a single person. ;> So I moved on to corn relish. I was rather proud of not killing a single loved one until I had teens and might have benefited from a convenient "excuse" for their disappearance...

                        Seriously, there are very, very important points of sanitation and preparation to take care of but once you do that -- and it's not all that challenging --- it's not difficult and many, many generations have survived home preserved foods. Give it a whirl!

                        1. re: rainey

                          Glad you didn't kill anyone, Rainey! LOL

                      2. Any idea if they have the issue available on the ipad? US magazines are quite expensive here in Canada.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: josey124

                          I couldn't say. I did look for the recipe I've used online thinking they might have pulled from their library to assemble a new mag but I couldn't find it and had to type it into my database by hand.

                          Could be that when the pull it from the newsstands they'd publish the recipes online. I dunno but I"m hoping.

                        2. rainey - Thanks so much for posting about this issue. I just made the Honey-Bourbon Pickled Blueberries. And if the taste of the leftover syrup is any indication, these recipes are going to be awesome. This one certainly is. Thanks again.

                          17 Replies
                          1. re: LNG212

                            Ooo! Sounds good. How will you use them?

                            I just finished strawberry preserves. I used the Marsala recipe but substituted Chambord and a splash of balsamic.

                            I'm thinking peaches might be next. The recipe for the Carrot Cake Jam is really calling to me but I think I could do that with a winter pear after all the lovely fruit is a memory. In fact, a winter pear might be sturdier and hold up to the heat better. I want to try the Onion and Maple Conserve too.

                            More canning jars are on my shopping list for today. I have to stock up in the summer because they're aren't available here once that supply is gone.

                            1. re: rainey

                              Well, I'm thinking for the people I know who like roast pork, the blueberries would be perfect. As for me, I think they will be great with a strong cheese on good bread. Your chambord w/strawberries sounds like it will taste delicious.

                              The instructions for the recipe said to discard the leftover syrup. There was probably a cup left over and I was hating to just throw it away. DH suggested we use it for salad dressing - after all it's vinegar, honey, bourbon, and whatever blueberry "juice" was left in there. What a perfect idea - it was great.

                              I think the next one I'll try from the book is the Peach Bellini jam. I have a friend about whom we all joke (directly to him, not behind his back or anything) about his love of Prosecco. So I'm thinking that jam will be my personal holiday gift to him. :)

                              I too have to get more jars. I order them online from the Ball website. That's cheaper than any I can get here. I'll also have to go through that book to tag any other recipes I want to try so I am sure to buy enough jars!

                              1. re: LNG212

                                Fabulous idea using the syrup for salad dressing. I occasionally make salmon poached in olive oil. It takes a lot of OO and I use what I don't store the fish in for salad dressing too. I figure it's like mashing in anchovies so long as it's going to remain refrigerated anyway.

                                I'm surprised to hear that you find it cheaper to buy from the Ball site. I'll have to check it out. My favorite jars of all are the lovely German Weck jars and I can only get them by ordering but shipping makes the prices prohibitive.

                                1. re: rainey

                                  Yeah, I know it sounds weird given the shipping and all that from the Ball site. But I live in Manhattan (NYC). There aren't that many places that carry the jars at all and they usually aren't terrifically priced. Believe it or not, in person the best price I've found has been at Zabar's! Oh well. In the end, it all works out.

                                  1. re: LNG212

                                    Have you checked out Target? The Targets here in Los Angeles have Ball pint- and half pint-sized jars with the narrow shoulders, wide mouths and platinum lids and bands. They're only sold in packages of 4 jars but they still might be easier to find and cheaper than paying shipping.

                                    Here in LA independent hardware stores also have them. ...at least in the summer. And don't forget Sur la Table if there's one near you. They carry an Italian line plus the glass jars with the hinged bail-closure glass lids. Got Cost Plus Markets in NYC? They also have affordable jars.

                                    I've been looking for attractive bottles for liqueurs and syrups for years and falling in love with things online that cost as much to ship as they do for the merchandize. =o

                                    1. re: rainey

                                      Thanks for all the suggestions. A Target recently opened here (we didn't have one) but it is so far out of the way and hard to get there that I've only gone once and gave up. I've not heard of Cost Plus Market but I'll google around and see if they are here. The hardware stores here do also carry the jars - they just aren't that cheap!

                                      I made meyer limoncello this year and was looking for nice bottles too - ones that were nice but weren't really expensive. I ended up ordering a case from this online retailer: http://www.specialtybottle.com/ . And I'm really happy with the bottles. They're actually quite pretty and were a price I could accept. Check it out.

                                      1. re: LNG212

                                        When I lived in NYC, I only ever bought half-pint jars and not in great quantity, generally from Vercesi Hardware on E 23rd St, but because it was close by; I didn't really shop around.

                                        Here in the SF Bay Area, I've found that my local Walgreens carries Ball/Kerr from 4 oz to quarts, year-round. I have also bought mail order from Specialty Bottle for liqueur bottling.

                                        ETA, no Cost Plus in NY.

                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                          Caitlin, it never even crossed my mind to look at Walgreens. Who knew?!? I'll check and see if they carry things as well before I place my next order at the Ball site. Thanks for the heads-up.

                                          1. re: LNG212

                                            Oh, that's right - Walgreen's is in NYC now. No idea if they stock them there. Check the biggest stores; only bigger ones here carry them.

                                        2. re: LNG212

                                          If I'm just buying a dozen or so, Fish's Eddy and Broadway Panhandler had the best prices--shipping them from anywhere made them more expensive than just paying the nyc retail prices. But when I needed a bunch (like 10 dozen) for wedding favors, I scoured the internet and found this random place: http://www.jaxmercantile.com/, which seemed to have the best combo of price and shipping. I think you can get free shipping coupons if you google, too. I know this is weird but I have been trying to find a magical solution to the NYC jar problem for a while and I thought I'd share my notes.

                                          1. re: auds

                                            I found Fishs Eddy to be very expensive and a poor selection (Zabar's is better and cheaper). Bowery Kitchen wasn't that great either. I didn't try Bway Panhandler but I'll give them a look. The site you linked to is actually more expensive than the ball site itself. The ball site had cases for 8.79. Yes, there's shipping but I didn't think it was that onerous.

                                            I agree that the jar problem here can be annoying. I've just resigned myself to buying in large quantities online. <<sigh>> It's really too bad that there seems to be quite a number of people canning here yet no stores have decided to embrace that market. Oh well.

                                        3. re: rainey

                                          I don't know about in your area, but second hand thrift stores and also the lower end antique stores (sometimes the line is thin) around here usually have many different bottles for sale. I can usually pick up as many as I need for about a dollar.

                                          1. re: rainey

                                            Ikea often has nice ones for reasonable prices.

                                            1. re: meatn3

                                              Walmart has an off brand I've used already this season, a dozen (pint or half pint) jars with lids and bands for about $6.00. That's the best price I have found this year.

                                              1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                I'll say! I paid $15 for Ball and Kerr this summer.

                                    2. re: rainey

                                      I made the Carrot Cake Jam yesterday--it's DELICIOUS! Use it with cream cheese, and it does taste just like carrot cake.

                                      1. re: IndeliblePoet

                                        I am really looking forward to making that too! It sounds so unique besides being a great spicy combo. Only I'm concentrating on the things that will only be available for the summer first and doing that a little later when carrots and winter pears will still be around.

                                        Great to hear that it worked for you!

                                  2. Yes! I saw and picked one up at my local independant IGO grocer, Spencer's Fresh Markets on Calif's Central Coast.. $9.99 with no ads, all recipes, with a short section at the back about tools and techniques.

                                    This is a 'Best Of', taken from the BH&G Canning book. The graphics are great, good layout (no "cont on p 132)" with the main recipe usually having three to six variations, simply spelled out. I grabbed another copy for my niece whose hubby has a large garden this year. Her mom was a champion canner/preserver and not sure any of that talent got passed along. I think this is a good starting point, with encouraging text and gorgeous photos.

                                    It's not a magazine per se, so you can't compare price to a monthly chock full of drug and cosmetic ads. No foolishness, just great looking recipes.

                                    I made the peach jam yesterday and am going to do the White Choc Rapspberry spread. Going to do some pickles as well. Haven't made pickles in over 20 years. These are truely drool-worthy recipes and variations.

                                    I think I'm going to take a book-making workshop and make a hard bound cover with the pages in protectors in a sprial binding for my niece. Should be fun!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: toodie jane

                                      Which peach one did you do? I'm interested in trying their Peach Bellini recipe (with prosecco!) which sounds awesome.

                                      1. re: toodie jane

                                        I loved the pages printed with just the lovely graphics too. I was wishing they could be cut out like a fabric for decorating the jars. So retro and homey!

                                        1. re: rainey

                                          scan it and print it , gal! Lots of labeling ideas, too. I love it, graphically speaking.

                                          I used to recipes and riffed on them--I did Peach & Raspebrry Jam with Chipotle and a mashup Peach Melba Jam with Jalepenos, both without pectin. Just cooked till they jelled lightly. (I prefer loose jams) This morning I made Apricot-Valencia Orange jam with 2 gingers. Gorgeous color!

                                          Tues when the local farmstand opens, I'll get some raspberries to do the Rasp-White Choc Jam(IF I can refrain from nipping away at the TJ's white chocolate bar.) I too want to try the carrot cake jam and osme of the conserves. I sure wish I could get blueberries that tasted like something. Like huckleberries--sigh!

                                          I found that the jalepenos that I used were too mild, so will add some chili flakes next time.

                                          p.s.: just pulled some peaches off the bbq as I'm doing dinner--what do you think about roasting some peach halves lightly, then jamming with them? I might do some jalepenos too for a nice smokey flavor. (Love raspebrry and jalepeno with smoke)

                                          1. re: toodie jane

                                            Wow! It all sounds fabulous!

                                            An intriguing idea grilling the peaches first.

                                      2. What is the publication date for this issue? I have been looking for it everywhere .... Thanks!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: hillarystarbright

                                          2011 is the only date I see on it. Here's a pic of the cover in case that helps with visual recognition: http://www.thecouponbarn.org/2/post/2...

                                        2. Just wanted to post back that I made the Bellini Jam from the Better Homes special issue. It is seriously delicious. And it really does kinda taste exactly like a bellini. Wow. I'm glad I tried it even though I was skeptical (I usually don't like liquid pectin recipes). And bonus for us - we had 1/2 a bottle of prosecco left over to have tonight! :)

                                          1. I used the basic peach jam recipe to come up with my own variation that's a conserve of white peaches and yellow nectarines made with Moscato wine, a vanilla bean and pecan pieces. In some of the jars I experimented by dropping in freeze-dried blueberries in the hope that they'll rehydrate without bleeding too much color into the light fruit.

                                            We sampled the overrun (without blueberries) and the reaction was BIG thumbs up.

                                            I also did the basic strawberry jam and added a splash of Chambord just for the fun of it. Not quite so pretty an appearance in the jar but yum-mee. ;>