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Jun 19, 2012 09:41 AM


I enjoy pickling and making jams,jellies,salsas, etc.
Is there any interest in sharing experiences, recipes and cookbooks?

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  1. I just purchased Food in a Jars
    by Marisa Mc Clellan
    I am looking forward to preparing the recipes.
    Most books have recipes for large amounts and I need to adjust them for small batches

    1 Reply
    1. re: jpr54_1

      We had a bumper crop of Kentucky green beans this year and I just pickled and put up. Also, if I buy fruit and it isn't getting eaten, it's easy -- for me it's therapy -- to take the time to make a jam: I had cherries and some concord grapes that were edging on turning, so I simmered them together, mashed through a sieve and then again through cheesecloth with pectin and sugar. It only made a jar and a half so I didn't process them, just put em in fridge. I love canning -- wish my garden was larger and more abundant this year, but because I don't use pesticides, I deal with a lot of demise. (My tomatoes sucked this year, too). Don't forget to try making PICALLILY with your greenies at the end of summer.

    2. I just got Tart and Sweet and Paul Virant's Preservation Kitchen. I have not pickled anything but quail eggs. I do hundreds of jars of jam each year for gifts, so I look for simple recipes that I can make quickly in bulk. I get bored of making the same jams, so I also look for variety.

      So far, Chef Virant's Rhubarb Beer jam has not made it to my list. I just don't know how I would use it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chrishel

        I also do a lot of canning which I use as gifts. In addition to you figuring out to use something like Rhubarb Beer Jam you have to consider your audience. I felt bad for my young nephew when my sister was out of maple syrup and she put my hot and spicy banana ketchup on his pancakes. (http://notdabblinginnormal.wordpress....)

        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

          Oh, no! :) My son would love that. His favorite is Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapenos). He likes to eat one, run around the house with his tongue hanging out, then come back for more.

          I agree about the audience. The majority of our gifts go to people who want strawberry jam or grape jam. That's it. BORING! I don't want to make 100 jars of strawberry jam. I want to make strawberry pinot noir, strawberry balsamic, strawberry raspberry, strawberry mint, strawberry margarita...

          1. re: chrishel

            Love cowboy candy! It is on my to do list this summer!

      2. WOuld go to Ball web site for the do's & don't. Tomatoes are one of the simplest things to can. Already fairly high in acid, so not a lot of concerns with finished product. Pickles are also easy... I like bread & butter. Other veggies work well in the same brine... cauliflower or green beans (after a brief blanch).

        1 Reply
        1. re: kseiverd

          The current thinking is that with the new varieties of tomatoes, the acid levels are not guaranteed so ReaLemon bottled lemon juice or vinegar needs to be added to ensure the proper acidity.

          Check the labels on bottled lemon juice as well if you are using it to adjust acidity. So far, I've found only ReaLemon lists and controls their acidity level. I get bottled lemon juice from Costco (Volcano) and it is not acidity controlled. I contacted the manufacturer to confirm this. I use it for jams and jellies but I wouldn't use it for things where the acidity is questionable for food safety.

        2. For pickling I love the pickl-it check out their website

          My husband raved about the red sauerkraut I made in the pickl-it
          As for canning, I use some of my own recipes but follow the times in the Ball canning book. I mostly can, jams, dried beans, stock and tomatoes.

          My next project is sweet hot pickles.

          5 Replies
          1. re: rasputina

            As a result of your recommendation I ordered and received today six in total of jars. I am looking at these bail wires recalling how dishwashing really makes bail wires rough. I also am of the opinion that one should not put rubber into a dishwasher; i.e., the bands that fit around the lid, and the red rubber grommet inserted into the glass.

            How do you sterilize all these parts, or do you just wash and rinse in very hot water.

            1. re: Rella

              Yea! I'm glad your order came already! I just wash in hot soapy water. Here is the link to the safety and handling page on their site


              If you want to put the jars in the dishwasher there are instructions with pictures on how to remove the metal bail.

              1. re: rasputina

                I must digest everything on that site. I'm such a scare-ty cat when it comes to something new, but spouse helps so much.

                Thanks for showing me where the bail removal is located. I've ruined some nice bail-wire jars in the past.

                I do like the fact that these jars are made in Italy.

                1. re: rasputina

                  I should ask specifically: do you wash your jars with the bail wire attached in hot soapy water? That is what I think I'd like to do. Thanks.

                  1. re: Rella

                    Yes, I hand wash with the bail attached. I just remove the gasket and wash it separately.

            2. The early cherries are in season here. These tend to be a bit tarter than the late-summer cherries, and I think they make better jam.

              I follow a no-recipe recipe from David Lebovitz: .