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What have you canned this season?

This is my first garden, I moved to Boulder and have a yard!!! I did some pickled Bush Beans, a summer squash, onion, and pepper deal that is pickled, some shredded summer squash relish that is spicy, regular and lemon cucumber dill slices, and spiced crabapples. Next up will be a curried crabapple chutney. Still waiting on the tomatoes to ripen. I am looking forward to doing some sauce and salsa'a. What are your favorite things to can?

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  1. Nice photos! I haven't taken photos yet of anything this year.

    I've done pickled ramps and pickled garlic scapes. Strawberry Orange Compote. Strawberry Bay Leaf Jam. Blueberry Lemongrass Syrup. Raspberry Rosewater Syrup. Carrot Scotch Bonnet pepper Hot Sauce.

    I've also done several no and low sugar things for my mom -- Strawberry Jam. Strawberry Bay Leaf Jam. Berry Cherry Jam. Bing Cherry Spiced Jam.

    Next up is Ginger Cardamom Nectarine Jam. Green Zebra Tomato Jam. Plum Tomatoes. Bellini Peach Jam. Maybe one more peach thing and definitely something in the fall when the pears come in.

    Oh and I also made Meyer Limoncello back in March. Yum. I'm thinking I need another chutney type thing. I usually do a spiced plum chutney but I've done it for two years now and need another idea.

    9 Replies
    1. re: LNG212

      Could I get the carrot / pepper sauce recipe from you please?!

      1. re: JEN10

        Okay, I just reread the sticky at the top of Home Cooking to be sure I'm allowed to post someone else's recipe. I used the Carrot Habanero Hot Sauce recipe from "Tart & Sweet" by Geary & Knadler. But I changed the peppers because my farmers market did not have habanero but they did have scotch bonnets.

        By the way, I highly recommend this book for some really interesting flavor combinations both in jams/chutneys/syrups/sauces and also in pickling.

        HOT SAUCE
        1 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and sliced to 1/4" coins
        1 large white onion, roughly chopped
        1 1/2 c. water
        2 TBS lemon juice
        2 TBS kosher salt
        3 TBS minced garlic
        2 TBS finely grated fresh ginger
        4 habanero peppers, seeded and chopped - I used equal amount of scotch bonnet peppers
        2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
        5 c. white vinegar
        grated zest & juice of 1 lime
        ground black pepper to taste

        -- In a pot, combine the carrots, onion, water, lemon juice, salt, garlic and ginger. On medium high heat, bring it up to a simmer. Cook until the carrots are very soft, about 25 minutes. I had to watch it and add more water (probably a few tablespoons) until the carrots were actually very soft. Do not let the mixture dry out.
        -- Once the carrots are soft, add the hot peppers and cook another 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add the vinegar, lime zest, and lime juice. Put the mixture in a blender and puree until smooth. Put the mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
        -- After 24 hours, blend the sauce again. Using a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, pour the mixture through. Use a rubber spatula to press all the liquid through and to scrape the bottom of the strainer. Return the sauce to a medium pot and cook again. Simmer the sauce until it is thick and glossy, about 25 minutes.
        -- Have your jars sterilized and the usual canning stuff ready. Ladle the hot sauce into the hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Check for air bubbles and wipe the rims clean. Seal jars. Process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.
        -- For me it yielded 14 of the tiny little jelly jars (the 4-oz. jars) which I think are perfect for gift giving. But I'm sure you could do the regular 1/2 pint jars too.

        1. re: LNG212

          Thank you, I will check the book out and the recipe!!!

          1. re: LNG212

            Unless I'm mixed up, habanero and scotch bonnet are the same pepper, with different names (Mexican vs Jamaican)

            1. re: julesrules

              Oh is that right? I had no idea. I just used what the farmer's stall had that day. Good to know. Thanks.

        2. re: LNG212

          I made the Ginger Cardamom Nectarine Jam this a.m. (The recipe is from "Tart & Sweet".) I think the flavor is quite nice; especially that the ginger gives it a little bit of spiciness.. But two minor complaints -- the yield was maybe half what the recipe indicated. Youch. And the consistency is a little strange - more like a butter than a jam. I actually think it would have a better consistency and even a prettier look to it had the recipe not called for blending it. If I make this one again, I'll definitely not blend it.

          1. re: LNG212

            The low and no sugar recipes sound good; I've never had success with that (except a pear vanilla jam with apple juice concentrate).. I'd like to try making "healthier", but my one effort was a freezer jam with Splenda that was awful and went mouldy quickly out of the freezer. I couldn't give it to the intended recepient.. it wasn't good enough! Where do you get your low/no sugar ideas from??

            1. re: rstuart

              This group of recipes came from the Ball book and the new "Tart & Sweet" book (though the latter weren't specifically designed as no-sugar, I just used their ideas with the Ball no-sugar guidelines).

              Personally, I find there to be a slight metallic taste to the no-sugar pectin jams. But my mom for whom I made these says she doesn't taste that. So it might just be me! I've never done anything with a "fake sugar" product. These no and low sugar ones use the no sugar pectin (or Pomona) and just the fruit/juice/etc.

              Sorry if that's not as much info as you'd like. I just usually follow the Ball guidelines. Good luck with what combinations you try. I do hope you'll report back if you do any because I'm always up for trying new flavors for my mom.

              1. re: LNG212

                Good to know.. might wait until next year to try, since I am running out of storage space with the jam that I do have!
                This is the one no sugar recipe I have had a lot of success with..

          2. Wow..you guys are amazing! I had a hernia surgery followed by an infection in May, so my garden was non-existent this year. :( But! My beautiful saskatoon bush yielded a nice amount of berries, and I managed (with some help) to can 10 jars of low-sugar saskatoon jam.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Godslamb

              Saskatoon? I am unfamiliar with that, what may I ask is it?

              1. re: JEN10

                It is a berry grown alot in Canada and apparently in Alaska and mid States. Maybe you know the name Serviceberry?
                It becomes a dark purple, and has 1-2 little seeds in it, and has a sweet/slightly tart taste. It is almost like a blueberry, but not as sweet, a little m0ore..."wild".

              2. re: Godslamb

                I'm impressed you did that much after surgery!!

                And just to clarify, I don't have a garden (I live in Manhattan). But I buy at the local greenmarket.

                1. re: LNG212

                  I do believe that near the end of September I am going to a farmer's market and buying tomatoes and canning them using Laura Calder's recipe for canned tomatoes. So easy, but looks so yummy. :)

                  1. re: Godslamb

                    I went and googled that recipe and I'm very curious about. The method sounds intriguing and easy but I'm concerned about safety, as there is no acid added. Any feedback?


              3. I don't have my own garden but I'm addicted to canning so I buy locally grown.

                Right now Im drying the last few pounds of tomatoes. When it's all said and done, I'll have turned 180 lbs into 30'pints of crushed, 20 pints of pasta sauce, 20 pints of salsa and a few freezer bags of dried.

                I also have done 15 pints of peaches. I can't remember the numbers of jam but we did a few batches of plain strawberry and a few of strawberry balsamic. The latter has been a huge hit.

                Not exActly seasonal but I can dried beans so I have them ready for stews, soups, chili and such. Mostly black beans and garbanzos.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MamaCrunch

                  That is impressive to say the least!!! I am finding that canning is humbling, makes me realize how easy we have it these days. It is satisfying to know that this winter I will be eating what I grew over the summer.

                2. For the first time in more years than I can count, I'm not canning anything. We don't have much for a garden this year and the heat and dry weather haven't helped. I feel really strange. So many hours of my summer days have been given over to food preservation in the past.My married daughter,however, has been canning and freezing from their garden,all while working full time and taking classes.

                  1 Reply
                  1. I went to a u-pick farm and picked 9 lbs of blueberries with my fiancee on a day off last week. So far have made 7 jars of jam, just very plain: blueberries, sugar, lemon juice. One batch came out a little more firm than I like, but it will still be tasty.
                    2 more batches to go... the rest to eat fresh :-)

                    Usually we make strawberry jam but this year I missed the u-pick season for our best Quebec strawberries, so if I want to do jam I'll have to buy boxes and pay that little extra...

                    I'm hoping to do some pickles too: my grandma's Bread and Butter pickle recipe is amazing, as is her Branston pickle recipe. And I might put up some corn relish to have with tourtiere.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: LittleBee

                      If you have any blueberries left, try mixing it up and a bit and give lime a go. I've done blueberry lime jam for a couple of years and everyone raves about it. I use both the zest and the juice. I think the original recipe is from the Ball Blue book.

                    2. Crunchy Dill Pickles, Pickled Beets, Strawberry Rhubarb pie filling, Blueberry Pie filling. Left to do are tomato things. Pasta Sauce, Canned tomatoes, Salsa, Bruschetta, Chicken Wing Sauce, and Ketchup. Plan on giving our boys and my father-in-law a basket at Christmas full of their favorites. Haven't completely decided on everything yet as I would like to do some really fancy (gourmet) items. I heard that there are some great recipes in the Better Homes and Gardens Special Edition but I am unable to obtain a copy in Canada and Amazon does not carry it.

                      1. In June I did pickled sugar snap peas and pickled chipotle asparagus.

                        Today I did a batch of peach Melba jam (from the Jamlady Cookbook--new recipe, and definitely a keeper!!) and a batch-and-a-half of spiced peach jam (more-or-less from the Pomona Pectin instructions, with added grated ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon). Tomorrow I'll make the rest of the raspberries (I bought a flat and a half--didn't plan to buy so many but I got to the farmers market just before closing and the vendor made me a heck of a deal!) into raspberry-cassis jam (Pomona Pectin again, with a little creme de cassis thrown in to make things interesting). I also froze enough sliced peaches for two pies, and I'm making a pie tomorrow with the last of the crate.

                        1. Just wanted to post that I canned the Bellini Jam from the Better Homes & Gardens new canning booklet. It's delicious. It really does taste like a bellini. A good addition to my group of peach items this year!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: LNG212

                            Is this available on their website? Peach and raspberry? Sounds fantastic!

                            1. re: rstuart

                              It was peach & prosecco. I'm not sure if it's on their website. I got the recipe from their new special Canning Issue that came out earlier this year. (I think there was a whole thread on that issue but I can't find it right now.)

                              And that bellini jam certainly is fantastic. I think it might be my favorite one so far this year.

                              1. re: LNG212

                                Peach and prosecco sounds awesome! I made strawberry and cava this year (was supposed be strawberry and champagne but come on.. I wasn't shelling out for "real" champagne for jam!)
                                I've read from other posters that this particular publication wasn't available in Canada.. looks like I"ll have to do a little research..

                                1. re: rstuart

                                  Ooooh. Strawberry and cava sounds great too. I may try that one next strawberry season. Thanks for the idea.

                                  And I agree with you on the champagne for jam - just too expensive for the real stuff. The prosecco we like (for mimosas, bellinis, and even straight) is about 13 (USD) a bottle and that was just fine for me for this recipe.

                                  1. re: LNG212

                                    it worked out pretty well.. I think that I just google strawberry and champagne jam recipe, and used a few I found on-line as a jumping off point!

                          2. This is my first year to try canning. I love it. I've already made Sweet Pickle Relish, Sweet Zucchini Relish, a moditifed recipe using both cucs and zucs with just a bit of hot pepper, Fruit Ketchup - so good! All for the Ball book I think. Raspberry Chocolate Jam to die for! Tomato Marmalade, Cherry Tomato Preserves, Tomato Relish.

                            The relishs are so much better than store bought. I've made hamburgers twice this past week just to eat more ketchup and sweet relish. Also used 3 of my 8 oz jars of tomato relish in a large pot (40 cups) of chili. Yummy.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: chocolatejam

                              Zucchini relish is one of our favorites-used everything we made last year so have done about 16 half pints so far this year and need to do a bunch more. My husband loves to have it with brots and homemade mustard.

                              Done some peaches so far-need to do a bunch more, as they are a big hit in our house. I've also done plum jam, a bunch of plain applesauce, and dried some peach leather, plus frozen a bunch of peach slices. The tomatoes are just starting to come on, so I need to do something with a counterful today; probably sauce for the freezer, and will start canning later this week when I get the big quantities in. Husband grew a bunch of sweet corn, too, so will freeze that in our favorite way (corn from 36 ears, 1 pint half and half, 1 pound butter, roasted for an hour in two bit roasting pans, then frozen). Three huge zukes on my counter today, too, so I think I'll make some zucchini candy in the deyhdrator and maybe another batch of relish.

                              1. re: girlwonder88

                                Girlwonder88, What is zucchini candy? That sounds interesting.

                                1. re: chocolatejam

                                  It should ideally be in a thread about horrible ingredients that we use anyway, like cool whip or something, since it uses Kool Aid :). You basically make cubes of any huge zucchini, boil 'em in a sugar syrup with koolaid for color and flavor, then dehydrate them. They turn out like gummy candies, slightly less unhealthy. My kids love 'em and couldn't guess they were made from a vegetable, and it gives me something to do with the monster zukes.

                                  Here's the recipe, which I found on gardenweb:
                                  Zucchini Candy
                                  10 cups peeled diced zucchini 1/2 inch cubes ( I use "worms" about 3 inches long and 1/12 inch thick and wide. The little dice would be good in muffins, though.
                                  3 cups water
                                  2 pkgs. unsweetened Koolaid
                                  2 1/2 cups sugar
                                  Peel zucchini,
                                  diced, removing seeds. Mix the liquid syrup together. Add zucchini. Bring to
                                  a boil and them simmer for 25 min. Drain. Put on dehydrator trays. Dry 14
                                  hours at 125 degrees. Turn pieces over and dry another 4 hours. This will
                                  feel dry and not sticky when done. Store in jars or other tightly sealed
                                  containers.If you dip in sugar when you turn them, they will be more like
                                  "gum drops" on the outside.
                                  You can do the same thing with the zucchini
                                  but use 48 oz. pineapple juice
                                  2 T. pineapple extract
                                  2 1/2 cups sugar
                                  1/4 cup lemon juice

                            2. I so far I've done strawberry preserves with Chambord, white nectarine & yellow peach conserve with pecans and blueberries flavored with mostacto, spiced apple cider jelly, sweet bell pepper relish, and an onion and maple syrup conserve. That last one makes a great appetizer baked on puff pastry and elevates a grilled cheese sandwich to bliss.

                              I have plans to do a carrot cake flavored jam and s nutmeg & apple conserve later when it gets cooler and the weather is more appropriate for filling a room with boiling water and humidity.

                              I was really inspired this year but the special issue on Canning that Better Homes and Gardens put out. Serious food porn and some recipes that were great as published and great as jumping off points.

                              27 Replies
                              1. re: rainey

                                I just put up 8 pints of pickled peppers (jalapeno, Hungarian, Bell, and Cherry peppers). I would love to get the onion and maple conserve recipe from you Rainey. That would make a GREAT gift!!!

                                1. re: JEN10

                                  Yes, this stuff has "gift" stamped all over it.

                                  I'm happy to provide my version of BH&G's recipe but I must add the caveat that when I made it as directed I had a problem with the amount of liquid that was rendered from the onions. The result was that I had to cook them to death before I got the evaporation required to continue on. This could be some mistake I made, the character of the particular Walla Walla onions I used or the need to disgorge the onions before beginning the cooked portion of the recipe. I'm not sure which so proceed with that caution.

                                  • 1/4 cup butter
                                  • 1/4 cup olive oil
                                  • 2 1/2 pounds Vidalia, Walla Walla, Maui or other sweet onions, quartered and thinly sliced to yield about 8 cups
                                  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
                                  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
                                  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                                  • 1 cup of maple syrup
                                  • 1/4 cup of sherry vinegar

                                  I will begin my next batch by tossing the onion in the salt and letting it disgorge for an hour or more. And then I will add an extra teaspoon of salt to the cooking pan to replace what runs off with the onion juices.

                                  The onions get sweat in the butter and oil in a very large skillet until they begin to soften. Reduce the temperature to low, cover the pan and proceed to cook them, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft.

                                  Increase the heat again to medium-high and add the syrup. Bring to boiling and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated and you're left with a syrup that coats the onions. This could take 15 minutes or more. For me, on my first attempt it was *hours*, thus the experiment with salting and disgorging.

                                  Pack hot onions into hot, sterilized 4-ounce jars. The jars will need 1/4" of headspace and to be water bathed for 5 minutes from the time the water comes back up to a boil.

                                  For the sweet-tart mini pissaladières, cut puff pastry into pieces that are 2- or 3-bite size. Spoon on a bit of the relish and bake at 400˚ for 10 minutes or so or until golden brown. Remove from oven and dab on bits of cheese. The BH&G version is goat cheese. I used a very sharp pale cheddar.

                                  1. re: rainey

                                    Thank you so much, I will be looking to get me some onions this coming week. How many jars did one recipe make?

                                    1. re: JEN10

                                      The recipe says 5. I got 6.

                                      I always prepare a couple extra jars and make sure to have one smaller or bigger so that I get everything packed without scrambling at the last minute.

                                      1. re: rainey

                                        Sounds perfect, I think I will do a doulble batch so I have plenty to "share".

                                        1. re: JEN10

                                          I'd advise doing it twice. Eight cups is a LOT of onion. It *fully* maxed out my largest sauté pan that's 13" across.

                                          IF you don't have the watery onion issue that I did you could get a batch of these in their jars inside of an hour.

                                          1. re: rainey

                                            If I were going to caramelize that much onion, I'd use the oven method - there are several threads about it here on Chowhound. Much easier for a large amount.

                                    2. re: rainey

                                      I didn't think it was safe to can things with added fats. I've been looking for a good caramelized onion spread to can.

                                      1. re: sarahcooks

                                        That's a caveat I don't think I've ever heard but by the time the onions are cooked it's been absorbed if that makes a difference.

                                        You know, thinking about this issue, I've often seen the advice to put a bit of butter into fruit preserves to keep foaming down. I don't do it, but it's a time worn canning technique.

                                        1. re: sarahcooks

                                          you are correct - that recipe is NOT canning safe by USDA guidelines...besides the fat, there's not enough acid in them to keep them food safe for the water bath processing. I am surprised BH&G would publish it.

                                          1. re: momskitchen

                                            I don't take the potential for salmonella or botulism lightly. Still, this is a Better Homes and Gardens recipe and I'm sure they have a legal liability that would ensure they'd test, test, test before they published something unsafe.

                                            In addition to the vinegar this has a high ratio of sugar and a considerable boil to inhibit beasties. But NO ONE should ever prepare anything they're not going to be comfortable about.

                                            1. re: rainey

                                              What is the official name of the recipe and what publication was it in? I'd like to research this a little further. I'll let you know what I find out. Thanks.

                                              1. re: momskitchen

                                                It appears on page 57 of the special interest BH&G issue called Canning. They call it Vidalia Onion and Maple Conserve.

                                                I'd love to know what you learn.

                                                1. re: rainey

                                                  Thanks - I can't buy it it is sold out. Here's why this I personally wouldn't can this recipe. Quite simply is that it doesn't meet the USDA guidelines - they don't recommend using fats while canning. More importantly is the pH .There's not enough acid in the recipe to make it food safe (sugar or boiling doesn't prevent botulism only acidity or pressure canning does), The pH of onions is (worst case) 5.85. Maple syrup pH is 5.15. The best case acidity of vinegar is 2.4. So a mixture of 8 cups of onions at 5.85 and 1 cup maple syrup and only 1/4 cup vinegar would only yield a mixture of a pH of 5.68 which is waaaaay tooooo high to process in a BWB canner safefly. The pH needs to be 4.6 or less. So while I'd like to think that BH&G tested this recipe , there's no way it could have generated a pH that would make it food safe. My guess is that they have a typo in it. Might it have said 4 cups vinegar instead of 1/4 cup? According to my math, that would get it in the ball park of a somewhat safer recipe....assuming that sherry vinegar has a pH of 2.4, which might be a big assumption. I saw on your other post that you have had other issues with this recipe, too. I think there's something seriously wrong with it. If I bought this book, I'd be writing them a letter right now! Best of luck with your canning ventures....

                                                  1. re: momskitchen

                                                    I guess you have good reason to be concerned. And there are lots of other canning recipes to explore so there's no real need to get invested in something that makes you feel skeevie.

                                                    Me, I grew up in a tradition of my family making all kinds of preserves and vegetable relishes in the 50s. They served things that had been in their cellar sealed with only parafin for the previous year or in the zinc topped or rubber gasket & wire bail type jars that were then in common use. The preserves where delicious and appeared on the table every Sunday with the baked beans with no adverse effects.

                                                    When I started canning in the 60s I fresh packed tomatoes and I canned tomatoes with added green peppers, celery and onions. All things the USDA now advises against. My husband still misses them as I won't do them anymore. I'm not interested in courting problems when there isn't sugar or salt to stand in for the natural acid of produce or added vinegar.

                                                    IF I were just beginning now and didn't have my own practical experience to draw on I could get a decent case of the heebie jeebies about all this stuff so I understand where you're coming from. As it is, I survived all of it before the advisories came along or came to my attention so I'm just fine about it for myself and my family.

                                                    As for increasing the amount of vinegar 16X, doesn't seem likely as this stuff was just yummy exactly as the recipe indicates.

                                                    And, I did have a problem but it was about getting the onion liquids to evaporate. Not something that, eventually, changed more than the texture of the onions and certainly not the final pH.

                                                    If anyone else cares to write to BH&G I think that's a reasonable thing to do and they may have additional information or may need to consider their own advice. I just don't have that concern personally. This stuff is great and it's in small jars so I don't see it lingering at my house.

                                                    1. re: momskitchen

                                                      Just an afterthought: if 9 cups of onions and maple syrup are concentrated to 24 oz or about 3 cups, what would that do to the concentration of acid in the finished product? Is there an allowance for that in your calculations?

                                                      Meanwhile, if anyone were so inclined, they could quarter the amounts and just prepare enough to keep in the fridge for a month or so and do an end run around the whole acid question. I'm telling you, this stuff is pretty great.

                                                      1. re: rainey

                                                        Rainey sorry if I am sounding more cautious than you might be - it's just that I am a canning instructor and I like to keep people safe with the latest knowlege. I keep up to date on this stuff. Many people did all sorts of things in years gone by, but I am so glad we know better now! Happy canning...

                                                        1. re: momskitchen

                                                          I understand that's the responsible and professional way to approach this but I'm curious how you adjust your calculations for reducing the volume/concentrating the acid by a factor of 3?

                                                          1. re: rainey

                                                            I am not sure - cooking down the onion/maple syrup mixture volume would in theory directionally help the pH, but one should never cook down vinegar because the acetic acid will boil off and raise the pH of the mixture. When canning, you just heat the brine until boiling and take it off the heat to make sure. There's just too many variables for me to figure out a way to make this a canning safe recipe. Instead, you might want to consider looking at a recipe for pickled onions from a reputable source like Ball or the National Center for Home Food preservation and see if you can adjust the spices and sugar to make it taste similarly.

                                                            1. re: momskitchen

                                                              The vinegar doesn't go in until the onions are removed from the heat for packing into the jars. Oops! I can see I left that out of the recipe I retyped. (I wish Chowhound didn't insist on removing things that don't get rephrased.)

                                                          2. re: momskitchen

                                                            Momskitchen, since you are a canning instructor I thought you could answer me this: My Bernardin book has a recipe for canned tomatoes packed with no added juice except the required lemon juice to bring up the acidity level. It says it is the best way to preserve the flavor of the tomatoes and does require extra processing time to make sure the heat from the water bath penetrates the insides of the jars. I have never heard of this and am leary that the tomatoes would rot with no added liquid. Any thoughts on this matter?
                                                            Also, I want so bad to can vegetable soup but do not have a pressure canner. Is there nothing I can add to the jars to bring up the acidity so it is safe. I was thinking lemon juice, high acidic vegetables, or something else. I have found nothing on the web that says you can do this. Again, your expertise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

                                                            1. re: 02putt

                                                              Yes, you can do that - here's what the USDA says about it http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_03/t... I don't can tomatoes because my family doesn't like them that much, so I haven't tried it. Let us know how it turns out.
                                                              With regard to soup, no, you can't can it without a pressure canner here's some recipes for soups that are safe to can http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_04/s...

                                                              1. re: momskitchen

                                                                Thanks so much for the speedy reply. The last of my tomatoes are done. 3 bushels of romas yielded 12-250ml jars of bruschetta, 10-500ml of Salsa 12-1L jars of Tomato sauce, 4-500 ml jars, and 6-1L jars of tomatoes. I didn't make pizza sauce, chicken wing sauce or chili sauce this year and I still have quite a few jars left over from last year. I have a grandson who is autistic and is on a special diet that basically requires natural food in its purest form. No additives, gluten, he can't eat berries etc. etc. I always feel bad when he comes over because I am not sure of all the foods he can't eat and wouldn't want to upset his diet. My son normally brings already prepared food he has made for him. I plan on giving him a basket at Christmas that should make meal preparation easier for him.

                                                2. re: momskitchen

                                                  momskitchen, So ... as I'm new to canning, what is the formula or ratio or what is the 'secret" in knowing if there will be enough 'acid to other' in a recipe. (Other than using a tested recipe! I made a tomato relish that I wasn't real sure about, as it was an old on and said to invert the jars.... so I'd really like some science to the what water bath method when using somehing with a lot of onion as in the one I tried? Thanks a lot.

                                                  1. re: chocolatejam

                                                    The best way to be safe is to start with a proven safe recipe and don't mess with the ratios of content....you can always safely add more acid (vinegar/lemon juice) or spices to a canning recipe, but not water, or maple syrup, or onions, or peppers or anything that might dilute the acid. Tthe National Center for Home Food Preservation is the USDA's site....the recipes and techniques there are all okay http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/. You are right to be suspicious of any vegetable or meat recipe canned in a boiling water bath, because vegetables and meat have a pH of higher than 4.6. That includes onions, peppers and even tomatoes. The method of inverting the jars is also something that isn't considered food safe anymore. Generally, you want to look for canning recipes published after 1998. The only safe ways to can food are boiling water bath for pH less than 4.6 (that includes most, but not all, fruits) and pressure canning (vegetables and meat).

                                                    How I could tell that onion recipe wasn't safe was just by looking at the ratios of contents of high pH items (onions, maple syrup) by volume. If there's not enough acid in the mix, there's no way the final product will be acidic enough to be safe...here's a chart of pH content of fruits and vegetables. http://www.foodscience.caes.uga.edu/e... and if the pH is >=4.6, it can't be safely canned in a boiling water bath. Also, some foods can't ever be canned at home by any method safely because of their texture....i.e. pumpkin butter, pickled eggs, etc. The NCHFP has lots of info there....

                                        2. Frost last night, frost tonight and heavy frost the night after. So, that means harvest time! So far I am canning:

                                          Roasted Golden Plum Preserves
                                          Herbed Red Wine Jelly
                                          Pear Almond Chutney
                                          Nectarine Caramelized Onion Jam
                                          various salsas
                                          pizza sauce
                                          Green Tomato Salsa
                                          Apple Juice
                                          Balsamic Red Pepper Jelly
                                          Honeyed Yellow Tomato Butter
                                          Roasted Apple Butter

                                          Lots more planned! Mmmmmmm...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: chefathome

                                            Oh man.. the roasted plum preserves sound fantastic... where's the recipe from?

                                          2. Short on time so I'm sticking with mostly classics, no much energy to play around this year. So plain old raspberry jam; blueberry jam; red raspberry and redcurrant jam; raspberry-and-wild-blueberry jam; a four fruits jam (green gooseberries, raspberries, red currants, and blueberries) that was awesome! Some plain canned tomatoes (those heirlooms again!) and some roasted tomatoes in the freezer. I decided that i didn't have the energy to do peaches but I think I will regret it by deep winter.

                                            I have my eye on some chutney recipes, but who know if I'll ever get to it :-(

                                            PS love your pics too, and your kitchen tile and cupboards!

                                            ETA: just re-read yoru post and saw you comment about needing chutney inspiration. The two I am thinking of trying are in "Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning." One is a green tomato/green apple chutney, the other is a Mediterranean with tomato and eggplant. Both use apple cider vinergar, brown sugar and various spices, but the exact details are vague.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: gimlis1mum

                                              The tomato apple one sound interesting, have you done it before?

                                              1. re: JEN10

                                                Nope...if I give it a whirl, I'll post the results :-)

                                              2. re: gimlis1mum

                                                That's how I'm feeling, plus I've realized that, with a few exceptions, the things I most want to have in my pantry are simple things that I can use in recipes. I've done a little jam, and the above-mentioned zucchini relish that we love, but right now am focusing on things like plain applesauce, canned tomatoes, peaches. Not fancy, but I tend to use these a lot more than I do jams and chutneys. I would do more in my freezer, but we've had freezers fail twice in the past, causing us to lose a bunch of food that I'd labored to preserve. Plus, canning is better preparation for the zombie apocalypse :).

                                                Today, picked all the tomatoes I found in my garden-only about 8 lbs-and did 5 pints of canned tomatoes. Not a lot of work-I had 'em picked, prepared and bubbling away in the canner in an hour-and didn't completely trash my kitchen like most sugar based canning tends to do :). Earlier this week, I made a triple batch of Marcella Hazan's tomato butter onion sauce; ate it for two nights and put some in the freezer.

                                                1. re: girlwonder88

                                                  I love Hazen's sauce! Discovered it last year and it's sitting on my pile to make any day now...

                                              3. This is my first year preserving anything (though not my own garden, only farmer's market bounty), and I don't quite have an instinct for processing via water bath so I've been limited to the space that is in my freezer. I've done in small batches:
                                                - Strawberry jam
                                                - Blueberry jam
                                                - Peaches in vanilla bourbon syrup
                                                - Peach Butter
                                                - 8 pints of tomato sauce
                                                - 2 pints of oven dried tomatoes

                                                I hope to do a batch or two of fridge pickles and a few batches of gazpacho before the season ends. I've had so much fun!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: nickelndime

                                                  This is my first year canning and I have found it to be pretty easy. I did get the Ball Blue book on preserving, it is extremely helpful and full of recipes. I know I will appreciate the work done now, in the dead of winter.

                                                  1. re: JEN10

                                                    Agreed! I've held off touching my preserved stash (except for a few oven dried tomatoes for stuffed zucchini) and am pretty excited about all those great summer flavors with a foot of snow on the ground.

                                                    I've read a ton on the canning process (including very helpful instructions on CH) but I don't feel 100% comfortable doing it solo - botulism is terrifying. I did a water bath on my peaches, and they sealed, but I got nervous and ended up shoving them in the freezer anyway.

                                                    I don't have a ton of pantry space so I won't be expanding my quantities too much next year, but Blue Ball and hopefully some indispensable lessons from either Mom or Grandmother can give me the confidence.

                                                    1. re: nickelndime

                                                      @nickelndime you will be relieved to know that you can't ever get botulism from water bath canning any kind of fruit (except for figs), because it's too acidic. Botulism spores can't survive in pH of less than 4.6. CHeck the chart I linked to above if you are concerned. The one thing that not acidic enough to can safely in a water bath canner that may surprise you is tomatoes. They are actually less acidic than fruit - so you always need to add an acid (vinegar, lemon juice, etc) . Check the NFHFP for more info on how to safely can tomatoes. Happy canning!

                                                2. Stating for the record that I AM AT THE END OF MY TOMATO PROCESSING ROPE.
                                                  So there's been those, mostly into the freezer.
                                                  I started with blood orange and meyer lemon-thyme marmalade early early in the year. Both are so delicious on crusty homemade sourdough. Breakfast bliss.
                                                  I've also done salsa for the first time. I opened a can from my first batch (processed in early Aug.) it tastes weirdly of cinnamon, which obviously I did not add. WHY? I did use a few green tomatoes that had fallen as I figured they'd add texture. Could that be it?
                                                  There's been way too many pickles--cornichon with French pickling cukes which, for the record, are the weirdest cukes I've ever grown. Prickly to the point of needing gloves to pick them and bitter when fresh, regardless of size. This seems to resolve once they're pickled, fortunately. Also dill slices, spears and whole cukes, some spicy, some not.
                                                  And bread and butter pickles, B&B zucchini/onion (new to me), spicy dill beans, radishes and finally, cocktail onions using the wee top bulbs from my Egyptian onion plants lest they take over the garden.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: splatgirl

                                                    That marmalade sounds divine, I would ask for the recipe but I am not a jam eater. Still it sounds so lovely!!! The cornichon sound interesting enough, may I ask for that recipe? I do love those little buggers.

                                                    1. re: JEN10

                                                      Cornichon are really just a sour pickle AFAIK, possibly with tarragon included in the brine which I did not do. I just use a basic fresh pack pickle recipe. What makes them special is the type of cuke and the small size, plus being really crunchy which is mostly about the cucumber. I grew "Parisian Pickling Cucumbers", a variety of Cucumis sativus I got from Seed Savers Exchange). As I said they are spiny and quite a bit different from most other cucumbers I have grown or eaten--very crunchy and dense with a tender, thin skin but inedibly bitter when fresh which is usually only a problem with cukes when they get too big.
                                                      Anyway, this was my first wee pickle adventure, and what I learned is although the couple of vines I planted of this variety were very productive, you really need several so that there are enough tiny cukes at any given time to make processing a batch worthwhile--meaning it takes A LOT of wee fruits to fill a pint or quart jar.

                                                      1. re: splatgirl

                                                        I grew those (Parisian Pickling) one year..they were cute indeed but I also did not plant enough vines to get pickling quantities of cukes. I have more garden space now so I might try them again next year...thanks for the reminder!

                                                        1. re: gimlis1mum

                                                          I will keep that in mind, Thank you!

                                                  2. So far, this year - 6 jars of nectarine chutney, 5 jars of plum jam, 4 jars of hedgerow jelly, 2 kilos of pickled red cabbage.

                                                    Just picked all my apples so I'll have a full week of various apple chutneys and jams, and the local hawthorns and rowans are just about ready so there will be another batch of hedgerow jelly, rosehip jelly, green bean picallilli and pickled beetroots this week too... after this it will quieten down until December when the shops get cranberries in. Mostly because I'll have run out of jars :P

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: DunkTheBiscuit

                                                      what is hedgerow jelly?

                                                      pickled beets, my favorite. Actually beets in any form. I guess the weekly bunch of beets that I would wish for in our CSA box wouldn't go over well with most people :). Ours never got farther than being eaten raw the day they arrived :)