HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Has anyone ordered the bulk pectin from nuts.com? I'd love to hear someone's experience with it before I buy it. The price is so much better than anywhere around here.

    1. I was just checking in to see if someone had started this year's canning thread and, low and behold, here it is!

      I haven't done anything yet, but it's been a cold spring here in the Midwest and everything is behind a typical schedule. I'm looking forward to the organic beets coming into the farmers market--plan on canning a few jars of pickled beets and onions (using a modified recipe from Robin Mather's The Feast Nearby--I double the brine, because I've run out in the past). And, while I was hoping to do LOTS of jars of peach salsa, apparently the peach trees have suffered a bit this year (in terms of less budding).

      Anyway, thanks jpr54_1! I'll be checking this thread periodically, both to report my progress and to get some inspiration!

      1. I don't do any canning but I have started getting into quick-pickling of various things. I just put some rhubarb in a quick pickle last night - apple cider vinegar, sweetener, salt, a little tarragon and some chiles de arbol. Looking forward to hearing what other Hounds are preserving!

        4 Replies
        1. re: biondanonima

          You are just a small step away from canning pickles. Do it, you will never look back.

          1. re: biondanonima

            I tasted my rhubarb today, after 4 days in the fridge - delicious! The rhubarb is crisp-tender and tart-sweet-spicy. Yum!

            I put some radishes in a quick pickle last night - white vinegar, salt, a pinch of sugar, peppercorns and chiles. DH loves these and they're pretty much the only way I like to eat radishes. Anyone else have any interesting things they like to add to a basic pickled radish?

            1. re: biondanonima

              You should post about your quick pickles (including queries) on the June dish-of-the-month thread, biondanonima!

            2. We will be doing our first batch of canning this year over the weekend; strawberry jam.

              1. Hood River Strawberries are in season in the Northwest so I did my first canning this weekend - straight up Strawberry Jam using a low-sugar pectin.

                I'm debating getting more Hoods this weekend - I'd be freezing them for using later this summer with raspberries and blueberries but it seems like a such a waste to freeze such a fragile and wonderful berry.

                1 Reply
                1. re: sebetti

                  Frozen berries are fine for preserves or pies.

                2. One jar of currant pickle from "Saltie" is currently being enjoyed on ham sammiches. It's a nice sweet and tangy addition.

                  1. I took the plunge and upgraded my pressure canner this year. Now I'm able to can quart sized jars of stock!

                    My CSF offers fish trimming so I put up 5 quarts of fish stock. Just used the last of my chicken stock last night so I need to replenish.

                    I made duck confit but am letting it mature a bit, If the dregs from the pot are any indicator it will be very good!

                    So far my preserving has been largely fish related for 2014. I made a pickled shrimp which was pretty good - just need to tweak the recipe a little. I also made potted shrimp for the first time. Unbelievably good! Lastly, I made tuna confit which has been a delicious way of extending the bounty.

                    Looking forward to this years posts!

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: meatn3

                      I'm thinking of getting a pressure canner eventually. Is it only for meats and tomato, or could I use it for jams etc too?

                      1. re: coll

                        yes you just don't use the pressure feature

                        1. re: daislander

                          Thanks! Right now I have a big open tub I got at Salvation Army, with the lid and insert, but it has rust spots so I think I'm ready to move up in the canning world!

                          1. re: coll

                            They are pricey. I wouldn't have upgraded if I didn't can stock. Plus the pressure canners are pretty heavy.

                            If you do investigate this area be aware that there are pressure cookers and pressure canners. Some will do both. I have a small combination canner/cooker. But it would only can jelly size jars...I find quart sized jars of stock handier hence the upgrade.

                            1. re: meatn3

                              I already have a pressure cooker, but it was gifted me by my MIL in the 1970s so it's sort of small. Wouldn't be worth the effort. Things are so much BIGGER nowadays!

                      2. re: meatn3

                        I have a pressure canner, and one year I canned my homemade chicken stock (which I usually store in the freezer). I was a little disappointed because it lost that "gelatinous" character that it keeps in the freezer.

                        But it would be nice to have shelf stable stock, rather than dealing with the freezer. Have you found you are happy with the canned stock?

                        1. re: dkenworthy

                          I've been canning my stock for a few years now and I'm really happy to have ready to use homemade stock.

                          1. re: rasputina

                            I just freeze it in 2 cup portions in vacuum sealed bags and lay it flat in the freezer.

                      3. I canned some turkey stock this week. My garden isn't producing yet so I'm still waiting. Tomatoes are on sale though at 75 cents a pound and if they look great I might get a jump start on some crushed tomatoes.

                        1. So far this season I've pickled asparagus, made strawberry jam, apple rosemary jam, and pickled beets. Need more beets!

                          1. I canned 5 jars of ginger peach jam last night. The peels were boiled into a simple syrup today that I'm adding jalapeno and serrano chilis to for a glaze. I did that on the fly, though, so it's for the fridge.

                            I pulled a jar of last summers balsamic pickled eggplant to go with tonight's dinner- that is SO on the list to make a bunch of this year.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: weezieduzzit

                              I'd love to hear more about this pickled eggplant!

                              1. re: meatn3

                                Here's the link:

                                http://flamingomusings.com/2012/04/me...

                                It's delicious! The bite of the vinegar softens as it sits. It's a great item for an antipasto platter. I can't wait for my hot cherry peppers to be ripe to pickle and serve with the eggplant, good cheeses, cured meats, etc. for an easy meal on a really hot summer night.

                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                  Wow, that looks great! I'll have to do it once local eggplant comes in.

                              2. I can't wait to get started.. but haven't been to the farmer's market yet. Of course, the only fruit that is out is rhubarb locally.. a cold spring here in Ontario. I will probably freeze it, or buy frozen raspberries to make jam with that.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: rstuart

                                  Even colder East of you! I am looking forward to putting up some jars this year. Hope to get inspiration from this thread.

                                2. I've done pickled chipotle asparagus so far. Next up: quick-pickled sugar snap peas.

                                  I found a local grower who, in addition to their weekly CSA, does a "Ten Pound Club." In the spring you can pre-order ten pounds of a given crop, and know in advance (with the possibility it will change by a week or so, due to the vagaries of the growing season) when you can expect to pick it up. I ordered pie cherries, because they're so damned hard to find and they disappear so quickly; and Italian plums, because I can never seem to remember when to go looking for them. I will make cherry-amaretto preserves in July with some of the cherries, and freeze the rest in one-pie portions. The plums will become spiced plum butter in September.

                                  I'll buy raspberries in June or July and make raspberry-cassis preserves.

                                  And in August I'm going to make one more run at giardiniera, and maybe pickled peppers. I've finally given up on boiling water-bath processing--there just doesn't seem to be any way to do that and come out with veggies with any crispness left. So this time I'll settle for quick-pickled, and see how that goes!

                                  21 Replies
                                  1. re: MsMaryMc

                                    Could you share your recipe for the cherry preserves recipe? Thanks.

                                    1. re: geminigirl

                                      Sure! It uses Pomona Pectin, which I love. I'm seeing it in a lot of grocery stores now, but Amazon also carries if. It lets you vary the amount of sugar, or use another sweetener, and it still gels.

                                      Sour Cherry-Amaretto Preserves

                                      4 cups pitted sour cherries
                                      1/4 c. lemon juice
                                      2 tsp. Pomona calcium water
                                      1-1/2 cups sugar (or to taste)
                                      2 tsp. Pomona pectin powder
                                      1/4 cup Amaretto

                                      Wash jars and rings in the dishwasher; leave them there until ready to use (or boil them if you're more cautious). Bring the lids just to a simmer; turn down heat and let them stand in hot water.

                                      Roughly chop some of the cherries in a food processor. Leave the rest (maybe 1/4) whole, and mash them.

                                      Heat the cherries and lemon juice in a large pan. Add calcium water; stir well.

                                      Measure sugar into a separate bowl. Thoroughly mix the pectin powder into sugar.

                                      Bring fruit to a boil. Add pectin-sugar mixture; stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin. Add the Amaretto. Return to a boil and remove from heat.

                                      Fill jars to 1/4" of top. Wipe rims clean. Top with lids. Add rings and finger-tighten. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Bring back to a boil and boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals–lids should be sucked down.

                                      Refrigerate or freeze jars to store (this is because there isn't a whole lot of sugar in this version--it's less necessary if you use more). Lasts about 3 weeks once opened.

                                      1. re: MsMaryMc

                                        Thank you! We have Pomona here, but I've never seen the calcium water in recipes, what does that do. I'm so looking forward to cherry picking season!

                                        1. re: geminigirl

                                          It's part of the Pomona process. The package comes with two envelopes: a larger one of pectin powder, and a smaller one of calcium powder. You mix the calcium with water and add a little bit to your preserves (you can keep the leftover in a jar in the fridge for a few weeks and use it for your next batch). It helps the pectin jell. I'm not a chemist, so I can't tell you how it works, but I believe this is what allows you to alter the amount of sugar with Pomona Pectin, or to use other sweeteners (honey, agave, stevia, Splenda, etc.). You can't do that with regular pectin--you have to go strictly by the recipe or you'll end up with jars of syrup.

                                          Enjoy!

                                          1. re: MsMaryMc

                                            Oh, yes, I do remember reading about this on the box, but had totally forgotten, thank you!

                                    2. re: MsMaryMc

                                      Have you tried Pickle Crisp, the Ball product? It really works with pickles. Maybe it'll work with vegetables too.

                                      1. re: LNG212

                                        I haven't tried it, but I'm going to now! After I read your suggestion I looked it up online, read some more reviews, and it sounds great. I may try doing a few jars of giardiniera as quick pickles, and process a few others, to see if that works better with the Pickle Crisp. I'd like to be able to store it longer, but the mushy stuff I've made before wasn't really worth storing!

                                        I've tried making giardiniera for the past three years, and it's been nothing but a disappointment. There's a local Italian restaurant that puts some on their antipasto platters, and the veggies are SO crisp and tart and good--that's what I'm aiming for. I was thinking that they must just be making it as they use it, quick-pickled, because they go through it fast enough. Mine has never come out anything like that!

                                        If anybody has a great giardiniera recipe they'd like to share, I'd love it. I've tried several but I've never found one I loved. Besides the mushy veggies, the last one had another problem: the pickling solution contained vinegar and olive oil, and when I chilled the jars, the oil floated and solidified and looked disgusting! The olive oil might be tasty in the mix, but I'll do without it because of that. I do a lot of my canning as holiday gifts (though if I ever get giardiniera to come out right, it may not last that long), and those jars were NOT gift-able!

                                        Anyhow, thanks for the suggestion!

                                        1. re: MsMaryMc

                                          Here is the recipe I used last year, and it worked pretty well for me with crisp vegetables. It came from the book The Art of Preserving. My recipe does include olive oil at the top of the jar (which did not negatively affect the taste in my opinion), but I imagine you could leave it out and maybe add some fresh before using or just not use it at all. http://www.leenaeats.com/blog/recipes...

                                          1. re: MsMaryMc

                                            Please report back the results if you try it. I've only ever used it for pickles. Last year I made several batches using it which came out great. But then I made another batch and just (absent-mindedly) forgot. The difference was astonishing - and not in a good way. Good luck!

                                            1. re: LNG212

                                              I definitely will. The local sugar snap peas are just starting to show up at the farmers' markets, so I'll make those in the next week or two. They're quick-pickled, so they usually stay pretty crisp, but there's no such thing as "too crisp" with those! The big test is going to be the giardiniera and the pickled peppers, probably in August. I'll keep you posted!

                                              1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                Ladies and gentlemen, we have achieved giardiniera.

                                                After making mushy, unappetizing giardiniera by various recipes for three years straight, I finally gave up on processing it in a boiling water bath and making it shelf-stable. This time, I didn't process it, and I didn't cook the veggies at all. I just brined them overnight, rinsed, packed them in the jars, boiled the vinegar and spices, and poured the liquid in the jars, right off the stove. I put 1/8 tsp. of Pickle Crisp in each pint jar, put the lids on, and put them in the fridge. My plan was to wait at least 2-3 weeks to let the flavor develop, but I couldn't wait--after three days, I had to open a jar and sample. DAMN, this stuff is good! Crisp, firm but not too firm, really nice flavor, just what I was hoping for. At last!!

                                                Good thing--I made 20 pint jars of the stuff. The recipe was vague about the yield, and I'm not much good at eyeballing a recipe and figuring it out for myself. So, as I often do (and ignoring the fact that if it came out like last time, that's a lot of inedible veggies to be throwing out), I got ambitious and doubled it. I ended up with so much I had to mix the veggies in a plastic storage tub because I didn't have a large enough bowl or pot. It's just a good thing we have a second refrigerator in the garage--this stuff is taking up a lot of room. It's totally worth it this time, however!

                                                So, as promised, that's my report. I am definitely a fan of Pickle Crisp now!!

                                                1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                  Congratulations! Your perseverance has paid off!

                                                  1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                    So glad to hear it came out so tasty. I'm definitely a fan of Pickle Crisp too.

                                                    1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                      Fantastic! Report back on how long it holds up - if it lasts that long!

                                                      :-))

                                                      1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                        recipe? have always wanted to try that. Have you thought about lacto-fermenting? it's a non-heat process, so things stay crisp, but also not shelf-stable. I have had lacto pickles stay good for up to a year, though.

                                                        1. re: JuliaTheJeweler

                                                          Here's the recipe. It's a work in progress--I tweaked it some from the original one I found (which says it was already adapted from the Sunset Italian Cookbook), and I'll probably keep fiddling with it. Next time I may use less sugar in the pickling liquid, for starters--it's a tad bit sweet.

                                                          I've never tried lacto-fermenting. I've read about it a few times, and it sounds a little tricky. But maybe that will be my next pickling project, now that I've finally succeeded at this one!

                                                          Giardiniera #4 - Pickled Vegetables

                                                          makes 10 pint jars

                                                          10-12 small carrots, about 3/4" in diameter at the top
                                                          1 bunch celery
                                                          1 large red bell pepper
                                                          1 large green bell pepper
                                                          1 large cauliflower (about 2 lbs.)
                                                          1 lb. small boiling onions, peeled
                                                          2-3 Serrano peppers

                                                          1 gallon cold water
                                                          1 cup pickling salt

                                                          3 quarts white wine vinegar
                                                          3 Tablespoons pickling salt
                                                          3-3/4 cups sugar
                                                          1/4 cup mustard seeds
                                                          3 Tablespoon celery seeds
                                                          1 teaspoon peppercorns
                                                          1-2 small dried hot red chili pepper
                                                          2 bay leaves
                                                          30 garlic cloves
                                                          small sprigs of thyme
                                                          Pickle Crisp

                                                          Peel carrots; slice on the bias in 1/2-inch pieces; measure 4 cups. Remove strings from celery; slice lengthwise and then into 1-inch lengths; measure 3 cups. Remove seeds and stems from bell peppers and cut into 1/2" wide strips. Break cauliflower into 1-1/2" thick flowerets and trim stems. Slice Serrano peppers crosswise on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces

                                                          Stir salt into the cold water until dissolved. Add vegetables. Let stand, covered, in refrigerator for 12 to 18 hours (overnight); then drain, rinse in cold water and drain again.

                                                          In a 6 qt. stainless steel or enamel pan, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, peppercorns, chili, and bay leaves; bring to a boil and continue to boil for 3 minutes. Discard chili and bay leaves.

                                                          Put 3 garlic cloves and a sprig of thyme in each jar. Pack sterilized pint jars with vegetables. Stir boiling vinegar mixture to blend seasonings, then pour into jar, filling jar to within 1/2" of rim. Add 1/8 teaspoon Pickle Crisp per jar.

                                                          Store jars in the refrigerator and use within a month. Store sealed jars in a cool, dry place. Delicious as an appetizer or with cold meats.

                                                          Adapted from Sunset Italian Cook Book

                                                          1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                            Thanks very much, I am going to try it shortly.Do try lactofermenting: it is not difficult and not dangerous. Sauerkraut is the easiest: Shred cabbage. Add salt and let sit a couple of hours. Mix and squeeze cabbage with your hands.Pack into a jar or crock, pounding veg down with a dowel so the liquid level stays above the veg. Add something that keeps the veg submerged-- I use a ziplock bag filled with brine. Wait a coupleof days.You will see bubbles rising to the surface,a sign of active fermentation. Taste every day until desired level of "sour" is reached. Cover and put in the fridge.May need to add alittle more brine after fermentation slows down in the fridge. Consult the very good book The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz for more info. Any white mold may be safely removed, according to the USDA.

                                                2. re: LNG212

                                                  I've heard that adding grape leaves also keep the crispness, but I've never tried as I don't make many pickles.

                                                  1. re: geminigirl

                                                    I've heard that, too--but I don't know where to get fresh grape leaves that I can be sure haven't been sprayed with anything I don't want in my pickles!

                                                    1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                      Oak leaves and sour cherry leaves can also be used. I have one recipe that calls for a tea bag, too.

                                                    2. re: geminigirl

                                                      when I was pregnant (ages ago), I went on a pickle making binge . . . I used grape leaves in my dill pickles to keep them crispy. I find that the pickle crisp does a better job - and people don't ask about the leaves in my jars of pickles.

                                                3. I just canned 22 pounds of organic Chandler strawberries from Swanton Berry Farm in California, hand picked on my family's annual trip. Made strawberry jam, strawberry-jalapeño jam, strawberry vanilla butter, and strawberry lemonade concentrate.
                                                  Apricot jam was last night. Also did five spice pickled cherries, which I forgot to can last year and then regretted all year long. Haven't had a chance to do any pickles yet, but asparagus and beets are on the list, and giardinara, which is just a great excuse to make muffelatas :) Hoping I'll have time for peach butter and plum butter, and maybe some more fruit pickle experiments. Come fall, I'll do my annual batch of caramelized onion jam. Happy I found this thread, looking for motivation to try new recipes! Happy canning, everyone!

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: LeenaTrivediGrenier

                                                    Could you share your strawberry vanilla butter recipe, pickled cherries and onion jam? Thanks.

                                                    1. re: geminigirl

                                                      Pickled cherries:http://www.leenaeats.com/blog/recipes...

                                                      Onion jam: http://www.leenaeats.com/blog/recipes...

                                                      Still need to write up the strawberry butter recipe. I believe I did an internet search for a safe, tested recipe, took the measurements down, and cooked it in my slow cooker overnight until it was done (when it heaped up on a spoon instead of fell back down). Will post it once I finish it.

                                                      1. re: LeenaTrivediGrenier

                                                        Thank you, I've never used 5 spice powder, anything you would compare it to?

                                                        That onion jam looks delicious!

                                                        Thanks for the recipes!

                                                        1. re: geminigirl

                                                          Chinese five spice works similar to cinnamon with fruit, it is a warming spice. I have found that it gives the pickled cherries an addictive flavor that is difficult for people to pick out, yet really delicious. I use it a lot in pies and crisps with apples, pears and cranberries. If you are worried you might not like it, any warm spice would work, like cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger. I believe the original recipe used cloves, but since I find cloves a bit overwhelming and reminiscent of potpourri, I switched it to 5 spice.

                                                          1. re: LeenaTrivediGrenier

                                                            Thanks for the helpful explanation. I was just at penzys last night to restock the dill seed, I will have to head back before cherry season to pick up some 5 spice!

                                                            Ps, one more question, I've canned sour cherries before, but I find they get a bit mushy so I prefer to freeze them. do these stay fairly firm or soften up a lot? Thanks.

                                                  2. there is interest in jamming, canning and preserving-
                                                    why not also vote on home cooking dish of the month-
                                                    pickled seasonal vegetables

                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/976968

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                      pickled seasonal vegetables won in the home cooking dish of the month-

                                                      join us and post a recipe and results

                                                    2. I made loquat jam a few weeks ago but it was pretty bleh without much flavor.
                                                      Can mangoes be made into a jam? Would I need pectin or boil the pits? My neighborhood is awash with them and I hate to see them wasted.

                                                      1. It was a long cold winter so I think things are slow to come out here too. This week our farmers market had strawberries for the first time. Yay and damn are they good! Next weekend will be simple Strawberry Honey jam. Then maybe Strawberry Margarita jam after that. Then I'll wait to see what looks good from the farmers which will dictate what I make.

                                                        Happy canning, everyone!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: LNG212

                                                          Strawberry Honey was definitely lovely. Also did Strawberry Margarita jam which tastes fantastic! So glad I tried that one!

                                                          Up next Mixed Berries. I've got a little strawberries leftover plus cherries and blueberries were at the farmers market too. Yay!

                                                        2. I have lots of rhubarb growing in my backyard and each year struggle to find something besides desserts to use it for.
                                                          I just came across this recipe for Rhubarb Ketchup:
                                                          http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/rh...

                                                          I should be able to 10 or 20-min-water-bath-can this, right?

                                                          Might be my homemade holiday gifts this year!

                                                          TIA for the input!
                                                          Pam

                                                          1. My 2014 canning season started last evening with strawberry-vanilla jam, made with local organic berries. Tonight I'll can some radish relish. I will probably can fewer jars of preserves and jams this year (I don't eat them often enough, though I do send some to my parents); still, I find jam preserving to be a fun activity.

                                                            1. I put up 4 jars of hot dill green pickles last week. I've got to make about 8 more jars to put aside as Christmas gifts. They are something people ask me to make or to bring along to a pitch in dinner.

                                                              I was eying local strawberries at our local farmer's market and thinking about strawberry preserves. They were asking $6.00/box or 2 for $10.00. Maybe next week I will succumb next week.

                                                              1. Just getting started this year. U-picked strawberries last weekend and did a double batch of spicy strawberry jalapeño jam. It's everyone's favorite-give it away and folks usually use with cream cheese or goat cheese as an app.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: girlwonder88

                                                                  That sounds really different. Would you mind posting a recipe? Thanks.

                                                                  1. re: LNG212

                                                                    Sure! I use this: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/jalapeno...

                                                                    However, I usually use pomona pectin or do the lower sugar alternative on the Ball website, as too much sugar makes the spice less noticeable. This time, I used Ball classic pectin, with 8 cups fruit, 6 c sugar, and about two cups chopped unseeded jalapenos....gelled fine.

                                                                    1. re: girlwonder88

                                                                      Thanks! I might give that a whirl.

                                                                2. I canned a few jars of radish relish yesterday--and used the bit that was left over to spice up a chicken salad. Radishes, onion, ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar, spices (I used coriander and dill seeds, plus mustard seeds). The basic recipe was from Sherry Brooks Vinton's Put 'Em Up (her first book--she's since added to her preserving collection). I dropped the sugar to 1 cup, since 1.5 cups seemed a bit much and I wanted to make relish, not candy. I don't think it really needed the extra 1/2 cup. But I really liked the relish and am looking forward to using it as an interesting burger topping or side for sausage.

                                                                  1. I want to can tomatoes this summer but I'm afraid. Can anyone help dispel my fears? (Btw, my boyfriend has a giant canning kit in our storage space, so I plan on using that.)

                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                    1. re: pistachio peas

                                                                      If you follow a good set of instructions such as the Ball Blue Book it's a piece of cake. Tomatoes were the first thing I canned (last summer.) Go for it!

                                                                        1. re: pistachio peas

                                                                          Definitely just follow a good book like the Ball Blue Book. Tomatoes are actually pretty easy, just a little time consuming.

                                                                          One good tip I got the first time I did tomatoes was to keep a kettle of boiling water on the side. If you are water bath canning, tomatoes go for like 30 minutes (don't quote me exactly, go by the recipe). In that time a lot of water can boil off. So keeping a kettle at the ready to top off as necessary was perfect.

                                                                          Good luck!

                                                                          1. re: LNG212

                                                                            Excellent tip! I might try tomatoes this year as well, assuming that it actually stops raining and we get some warmer temperatures.

                                                                            More strawberry-vanilla jam today--my farmer set aside a couple of quarts of berries for me!

                                                                      1. re: pistachio peas

                                                                        Try beets later in the summer, very easy.

                                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                          Spiced pickled beets and onions are a favorite of mine to can. I'm looking forward to beets coming in at the market.

                                                                          1. re: pistachio peas

                                                                            I was the same, it took me a while to try tomatoes, but I've done canned crushed for the past 2 years with great results and easy. I used the ball recipe as others have mentioned and very easy. The tip about the extra boiling water is a good one.

                                                                            Just a side note, I recently used 2 jars of them for a tomato vodka sauce that was delicious. Good luck!

                                                                          2. We picked about 11# of strawberrys last weekend & made jam out of most of them. The stragglers got made into strawberry-rhubarb pie.

                                                                            1. This recipe for candied jalepenos looks really good to me. I especially like how she takes out the peppers and cooks down the syrup before pouring it over the jalepeno slices. I haven't ever done that but it reads like I'd enjoy the texture more.

                                                                              What do you, the experienced, think?

                                                                              http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2010/...

                                                                              PS I'm thinking a mix of red and green jalepenos would be pretty.

                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                              1. re: miss louella

                                                                                I was looking at that recipe today, too. I like the addition of the vinegar (but I think I'll skip the spices so it will be more versatile.)Reducing the syrup after removing the peppers *should* keep them from turning to mush.

                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                  We think alike... I may add some of the granulated garlic, though. I've purchased the peppers, now I just need a chunk of time and some stove space.

                                                                                  1. re: miss louella

                                                                                    I thought I had more cider vinegar... oh, well, I'll pick some up tomorrow. I have 34 pepper plants this year (8 different varieties,) so I'm looking for all kinds of recipes for preserving them. If you see any other pepper recipes that look good please post them!

                                                                                2. re: miss louella

                                                                                  :( Much too sweet and not hot enough for us.

                                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                    Oh yikes. Thanks for taking one for the team, but sorry you ended up with sweet not-so-hot peppers. What a disappointment. Well, now I need to look around for another recipe because I already have the three pounds of peppers. Thanks for saving me!

                                                                                    1. re: miss louella

                                                                                      I decided to add a few habanero if I make another batch. We love the idea, I just can't find a recipe that isn't too sweet for us. It may not be too sweet for you- you should try a half batch or 1/3 batch (that's what I did,) as written and then make your changes from there.

                                                                                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                        Thanks for the ideas, but I'm not really a fan of sweets, so I'm going to try a small batch of this one: http://leitesculinaria.com/82089/reci... which was recommended either here or on the DOTM thread. (Though I'm using slightly diluted apple cider vinegar instead of the rice vinegar because I already stocked up for that other recipe.

                                                                                        )

                                                                                        In the past I've made a fair amount of jam, but don't really eat is, so this year I'm determined to preserve things that go well with cheese. I'll let you know how it works out.

                                                                                3. Produce has been slow to come in here in Southern Ontario.. strawberries are just starting here, and still quite pricy. But rhubarb is in, and I made raspberry rhubarb ginger jam (using frozen raspberries). Very nice...

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                    A great part of the country for produce.

                                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                      That is true: I am from Manitoba, which has a much shorter season and is colder, so I am really spoiled for choice here! There's no way you could have gotten a local peach in MB. That said, I think that the best blueberries around are from Northwestern Ontario..

                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                        About 40 years ago an Ontario farmer loaded up his truck with peaches and came to the suburbs in Montreal and sold them right off the truck. I have never had peaches that tasted as food as those ones. I love local produce and the summer and fall seasons.

                                                                                  2. Today I pressure canned 4 quarts of chicken stock and 4 pints of chili. There was enough chili to can another 3 pints but I didn't have enough jars...

                                                                                    My lavender is in bloom! Prepped the ingredients for a lavender blueberry syrup and letting them macerate over night. Tomorrow I'll finish it and HWB can the syrup.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: meatn3

                                                                                      I finished the blueberry syrup - oh my! The flavor is lovely. I basically followed the lavender variation at the link below. My lavender was very strong so I used less than called for. A touch of vanilla in this would be nice too.

                                                                                      The left over pressed fruit/zest/lavender would make a nice fruit leather. Not sure I want to lug out the dehydrator for such a small amount. We'll see how ambitious I feel tomorrow.

                                                                                      http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/butte...

                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                        I make a blueberry vanilla syrup and it's so good! This is a reminder-haven't made it in awhile. My brother-in-law actually likes to brush it on grilled salmon though I use it mainly with ice cream, pancakes, and soda water.

                                                                                        1. re: girlwonder88

                                                                                          Blueberry jam is fantastic on duck and wild game too.

                                                                                      2. re: meatn3

                                                                                        That lavender blueberry syrup sounds wonderful.

                                                                                      3. I made these pickled jalepeno peppers today: http://leitesculinaria.com/82089/reci...

                                                                                        Well, almost made them. I had purchased cider vinegar for another recipe weezie tried and found too sweet, so I used it instead of the rice vinegar called for. Also, the recipe called for thinly sliced garlic, but I had granulated so I used that.

                                                                                        You're supposed to wait at least a day (and preferably a week) to try them, but I did some as straight fridge pickles and couldn't help myself. They taste great already!! Very much looking forward to where they go from here.

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: miss louella

                                                                                          These may be my new favorite thing. Loved them with cheese, loved them with salami, loved the juice that soaked into my bread. Next up, garnish for scrambled eggs. Oh, and I need more jars. i put these up in half-pint jars and that's a solid mistake. I could probably take down a half pint all by myself. More jars, more jalepenos, and awaaaaay I go!

                                                                                          1. re: miss louella

                                                                                            I printed the recipe. Your enthusiasm about them has me very interested!

                                                                                            1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                              Well, I have you to thank for keeping me from the too-sweet ones. (I should have known when they had candy in the name.) Anyway, these are spicy, salty, touch of sweet amazing. Even with my deviations from the recipe. I even think I'll use the liquid for slaws. Every bit about these things makes me happy.

                                                                                              Though I found the 8 jalepeno measure iffy. I'm guessing I bought large jalepenos because I needed to make more liquid to finish things up. Next time I'll use larger jars and smaller peppers (if available).

                                                                                              1. re: miss louella

                                                                                                Do you think I would need to increase the other ingredients when I leave the Sprite out?

                                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                  I did two batches--one with sprite and one without. In the one without I added more lemon and lime juice to equal sprite volume. I think I mentioned I ran out of solution, so I would definitely make sure you start with the original volume.

                                                                                          2. re: miss louella

                                                                                            These are awesome! Thanks again for posting the link. :)

                                                                                            1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                              So glad they worked for you too! I think I'm going to do a mixed batch of jalepenos and carrots next. Enjoy!!

                                                                                          3. I have wanted to pressure can meat for several years. I remember eating my grandmother's pressure canned pork and it was tender and delicious. The recent rise in the price of beef and pork has me more reluctant in buying a pressure canner.

                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                              I'm in the dreaming process of getting a pressure canner, if only for home made broth which fills half of my freezer at this point. My BIL in San Diego catches tuna and pressure cans that, nothing like it! I see the pot I want (cheap 23 quart Presto) just looking for the best deal.

                                                                                              1. re: coll

                                                                                                I am considering a pressure canner for this very reason--stock taking up too much real estate in the freezer!

                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                  Canning stock was the primary reason I bought a bigger pressure canner. I simply don't have room in the freezer and homemade stock is such a necessary ingredient for much of my cooking.

                                                                                                  I bought the All American 15 Quart - which will process 7 quart jars. If I had more storage space I would have considered going a little larger. I am really happy with it and wish I had bit the bullet years earlier.

                                                                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                    Thanks for the rec. I have plenty of shelving in the basement dedicated to canning supplies so I can afford to go large!

                                                                                                  2. re: coll

                                                                                                    I really like my 23 qt Presto. It's served me well.

                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                      I got mine from Amazon this week, $75. The UPS man spent five minutes quizzing me on what it was and what I was going to do with it (it came in the original packing with all the blurbs on the outside); we may have a new convert!

                                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                                        That sounds like a really good deal (I'm starting to look so I can can stock.) Could you post a link to it and report back on how you like it?

                                                                                                        1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                          Sure, here it is but I won't be using it until at least next week.

                                                                                                          I can't link it without being in my own account, but here is what it is listed under on Amazon


                                                                                                          Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

                                                                                                2. I have surely enjoyed this thread. I have made the onion marmalade, the pickled balsamic eggplant, and now have my eye on the blueberry-lavender syrup. Thanks to all for their comments, recipes, and suggestions.

                                                                                                  1. This rhubarb orange ginger sauce / jam has me sneaking spoonfuls from the fridge. So far it's been good on toasted English muffins, shortbread cookies, saltines, and wheat crackers. For me, a little ginger goes a long way so I'm quite surprised how much I love this jam. I seldom make preserves of any sort - this is new territory for me.

                                                                                                    Paraphrased from Rhubarb Recipes compiled by Jeanne DeMars, "Rhubarb-Ginger Sauce" listed as sauce to accompany a ginger souffle.

                                                                                                    3 C. chopped rhubarb
                                                                                                    1/3 C. orange liqueur (Triple Sec)
                                                                                                    1/3 C. granulated sugar
                                                                                                    1/3 C. (or as needed) water
                                                                                                    add for last 15 min. of cooking:
                                                                                                    2 T. finely chopped crystallized ginger (or less)

                                                                                                    Simmer rhubarb, liqueur, sugar and water about 30 minutes, until the consistency of applesauce. Add chopped crystallized ginger and additional water, if needed, and simmer 15 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature and store in refrigerator. Makes about 1 1/2 C.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                        I have everything on hand and making tomorrow.

                                                                                                    1. Summer in a jar, apricot almond marmalade. Apricots, sugar, and toasted almond slivers.

                                                                                                      ...and a batch of chili sauce.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                                        Laughing - what a combination! I was aaaahhing at the marmalade, then read your last sentence. Sounds like quite an eventful day in the kitchen.

                                                                                                        1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                                          Curious - what makes it marmalade? Can you share the recipe?

                                                                                                        2. Does freezing count? I vacuum sealed and froze 5 quart bags of sliced zucchini today. I had picked all those plus some we ate over the last 2 days from my garden. My next plan is to pickle or ferment some haven't decided which yet.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                            You are preserving the bounty of the season - counts for me!

                                                                                                          2. Well, today we picked 22# of sour cherries. So far - one batch of jam. More tomorrow. I also put up 10 pints of Giardienera.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: JoeBabbitt

                                                                                                              Wow! Sour cherries aren't out yet here..

                                                                                                            2. Blueberry rhubarb ("bluebarb") jam.. very good and easy. Of course, right before I started making it, I realised that I only had lower sugar pectin instead of regular.. so had to make another trip to the grocery store to get it!

                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                I made that last year, got the recipe here; my neighbors are hinting about when it's going to appear in their mailboxes again.

                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                  the flavours go very well together.. and it was dead easy (I used frozen blueberries, since they aren't in season yet)..

                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                    So funny, blueberries are on sale everywhere here (not local but close), but I had just remembered I have lbs of them in the freezer! The rhubarb will be from my garden so hopefully it balances out.

                                                                                                                    The recipe I have (or cobbled together?) calls for a cinnamon stick, a star anise, a vanilla bean and a bit of maple syrup. Sounds like overkill but it worked out very well.

                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                      Did you get that from Serious eats?http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                                                                                                                      I tried that recipe last year, but wasn't sure how I felt about it... (and didn't get much feedback from testers). Sounds like it worked well for you though: maybe I'll try it again next year!

                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                        I got it here, but obviously someone else got it there ;-)

                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                          Ha! I'm glad you reminded me of it.. will make it again next year..

                                                                                                              2. I made a low sugar strawberry-blueberry-cherry jam that is tasty. Destined for my mom.

                                                                                                                I also made a truly lovely blueberry lemon verbena compote. It's awesome. That will go on my list to make again. I should also remember to save a small jar for the farmer who saved me the bundle of fragrant lemon verbena.

                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                    Low sugar strawberry blueberry cherry jam

                                                                                                                    1QT strawberries
                                                                                                                    2c blueberries
                                                                                                                    2c cherries (pitted)
                                                                                                                    2c sugar
                                                                                                                    3 tsp Pomona pectin
                                                                                                                    4 tsp calcium water
                                                                                                                    3 tsp lime juice

                                                                                                                    Put fruit, calcium water and lime juice in a big pot. Crush the fruit. Turn on heat. In bowl mix together sugar and pectin. Add to fruit. Bring to boil. Simmer, stirring, 20 min. Then put into sterilized jars, etc. Process 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                    I find Pomona Pectin at Whole Foods.

                                                                                                                    1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                                      Looks good.. thanks LNG212! How many jars did it make?

                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                        The low sugar one made 5 1/2-pint jars. The blueberry lemon-verbena made 3 1/2-pint jars plus one tiny jar (I think they are 4 oz?).

                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                            You're welcome! I love these canning threads - always so many good ideas.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                        Blueberry Lemon-Verbena Compote
                                                                                                                        (This is from Better Homes & Gardens Canning but I couldn't find a link)

                                                                                                                        4c blueberries
                                                                                                                        3c sugar
                                                                                                                        1/4c water
                                                                                                                        2 tsp finely shredded lemon zest
                                                                                                                        3 TBS lemon juice
                                                                                                                        3 TBS snipped fresh lemon-verbena

                                                                                                                        Combine blueberries, sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, 25 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reduced to about 3 cups. Stir in lemon zest and lemon-verbena. Put in sterilized jars, etc. process 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                        1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                                          Question please....

                                                                                                                          If you don't do the final step - ie process the filled jars - how long will the contents keep?

                                                                                                                          About a week ago I made some strawberry jam - without pectin - came out fantastic. I only made 2 small jars of it and am wondering how long it will be okay for.

                                                                                                                          Thanks!

                                                                                                                          1. re: millygirl

                                                                                                                            I think most "refrigerator jam" lasts a couple of weeks. Maybe someone else can say whether you could freeze it (I've never tried that). Good luck!

                                                                                                                    2. Hopefully this is the right place to ask this question: I've been canning mango jam for some years now with great success but decided to raw pack some for later use/pies, etc. Tried it the first time with four quarts packed in light syrup. Even after following the directions with using a spatula to firmly pack and rid the jar of bubbles, I had noticeable bubbles after the boil bath. I also had loss of volume/siphoning, about an inch worth! Further, one jar popped it's lid today, three days after processing. The questions: 1) is this jar now bad? or can I just refrigerate and use within the week. 2) Are the visible bubbles in the other jars of any concern? 3) Can I repack/reprocess? or even use the contents of the popped jar to make more jam? Thanks!!!!

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: carolnason

                                                                                                                        1) If your jar pops its lid after sitting out for three days, DO NOT eat it. Throw it away. This is an indication of spoilage.
                                                                                                                        2) The bubble are of little concern if the jars are sealed and remained sealed. Siphoning could indicate that you didn't leave enough headspace in the jars. It happens and I wouldn't worry as long as the jars sealed.
                                                                                                                        3) I don't re-process any jar that pops its lid after sealing. This means the contents are spoiled and could make you sick or kill you. If the lid fails to seal within 24 hrs, I either refrigerate the jar to use or reprocess.
                                                                                                                        4) I do lots of canning and always check my contents carefully before using. Does it have mold on top? Does it smell right? Does it taste right? If anything seems off, I throw out the contents. Better safe than sorry.

                                                                                                                      2. I bought a flat of local strawberries on Friday, and made strawberry vanilla jam, and strawberry champagne jam.. and ate the rest, tossed with sugar.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. I have never canned or pickled anything before but decided to give it a shot this year with some of the cherries from my tree I water bather canned some that were cooked down into a preserve with cognac

                                                                                                                          I have also been playing with refrigerator pickles but I have not processed any yet cukes from the garden and extra asparagus from the CSA - the asparagus made super tasty pickles

                                                                                                                          This weekend as luck would have it I stumbled on a presto 22 quart pressure canner on half off at the thrift - about $16 I ordered the weights to convert it to weighted from gauge and now I am faced with the terrifying prospect of pressure canning

                                                                                                                          hopefully the cukes and the tomatoes will give me enough production to warrant putting some up for the winter - I am also waiting to my concord grapes to ripen and hopefully make jelly
                                                                                                                          I picked up a food mill and some pectin this weekend too :) so here we go

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                            JTP, you're going to have a lot of fun with this! Just be sure to *use recipes* from reliable sources such as the Ball Blue Book or University extension publications. BHG puts out some good ones, too. Some older recipes use methods that aren't recommended these days for safety's sake.
                                                                                                                            My food mill was the best investment I made in canning tools, especially when we had three weeks of 40 lb harvests in our tomato beds.

                                                                                                                            1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                                              LOL I have read enough to be duly terrified of the pressure canner - most of the things on my agenda are water bath safe - jelly, tomatoes etc so It will be a good starting point - I have done WB canning a grand total of once ever. It would be cool to do stocks soups and sauces though. I figured it was a good tool to have in the arsenal even if it only gets used a few times a year.

                                                                                                                          2. This weekend's canning yield:
                                                                                                                            4 pint jars maraschino cherries
                                                                                                                            7 half pint jars sweet cherry jam
                                                                                                                            6 pints mustard/sweet corn relish (I made 7, but one blew its bottom off in the water bath)
                                                                                                                            8 half pints and 4 half cup jars black currant/almond jelly

                                                                                                                            I'm interested to see how the black currant jelly comes out. It seemed a little one-note, so I added a quarter tsp of almond extract to each jar.

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                                              My mother had a jar of jam explode in the hot water bath once: it's very messy!

                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                I lost a jar of sour cherries that way, so sad to see all those nicely pitted cherries go to waste...

                                                                                                                                1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                  I briefly considered straining all the corn and good stuff out of the water!

                                                                                                                            2. Today I made twenty-one half-pint jars of raspberry-cassis jam, plus eleven of sour cherry-Amaretto preserves. And in my spare time today I defrosted the freezer!

                                                                                                                              I'm done with fruit for a while--I'll do some spiced plum butter when the Italian plums are ripe in mid-September, and that should do it for the year.

                                                                                                                              I'm going to make another run at giardiniera, and maybe pickled peppers, in August. I tried Pickle Crisp in my sugar snap peas, and they came out great--lovely and very crisp. Thanks for the recommendation--maybe now it will help me finally get these other two right!

                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                                                                Glad to know the pickle crisp worked on the veggies. I hope it works on the rest too.

                                                                                                                                Could you post your sour cherry recipe? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                                                  Sure...

                                                                                                                                  Sour Cherry-Amaretto Preserves

                                                                                                                                  4 cups pitted sour (pie) cherries
                                                                                                                                  1/4 c. lemon juice
                                                                                                                                  2 tsp. Pomona calcium water
                                                                                                                                  1-1/2 cups sugar (or to taste)
                                                                                                                                  2 tsp. Pomona pectin powder
                                                                                                                                  1/4 cup Amaretto

                                                                                                                                  Sterilize the jars and the lids.

                                                                                                                                  Roughly chop some of the cherries in a food processor. Leave the rest (maybe 1/4) whole, and mash them.

                                                                                                                                  Heat the cherries and lemon juice in a large pan. Add calcium water; stir well.

                                                                                                                                  Measure sugar into a separate bowl. Thoroughly mix the pectin powder into sugar.

                                                                                                                                  Bring fruit to a boil. Add pectin-sugar mixture; stir vigorously 1-2 minutes while cooking to dissolve pectin. Add the Amaretto. Return to a boil and remove from heat.

                                                                                                                                  Fill jars to 1/4" of top. Wipe rims clean. Top with lids. Add rings and finger-tighten. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Bring back to a boil and boil 10 minutes (add 1 minute more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool. Check seals–lids should be sucked down.

                                                                                                                                  Refrigerate or freeze jars to store (this is because there is relatively less sugar in this version than in many preserves--it's less necessary if you use more). Lasts about 3 weeks once opened.

                                                                                                                                  Makes 4-5 half-pint jars

                                                                                                                                  1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                                                                    Thanks! I do like to use the Pomona and have it on hand.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                                                                      For half-pint jars, because the boiling time is >10 minutes, sterilizing before filling is not necessary. As per USDA National Center for Home Food Preservation http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/general/reco...

                                                                                                                                      Also, because fruit + lemon juice = a high acid environment, these preserves are shelf stable at room temp. Refrigerate after opening. Sugar is not a preservative.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: KarenDW

                                                                                                                                        Good to know! Looks like I don't need to sterilize my jars anymore (and that works for pint jars as well--I only use 4-, 8-, and 16-oz jars.) Thanks!

                                                                                                                                  2. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                                                                    Can you post the raspb-cassis recipe, please? That sounds like a tasty variation.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Splendid Spatula

                                                                                                                                      Sure...

                                                                                                                                      Raspberry-Cassis Jam

                                                                                                                                      6 cups red raspberries
                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup water
                                                                                                                                      1 Tbl. Pomona calcium water
                                                                                                                                      ~3-1/4 cups sugar (or to taste)
                                                                                                                                      1 Tbl. Pomona pectin powder
                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup crème de cassis liqueur
                                                                                                                                      1-1/2 Tbl. lemon juice

                                                                                                                                      In a stainless steel pot, combine whole raspberries, water, and Pomona calcium water. Begin heating on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally, then frequently as the fruit gets hot.

                                                                                                                                      In a small bowl, combine Pomona pectin powder with the sugar. Mix thoroughly. When the fruit boils, add the sugar-pectin mixture slowly and stir vigorously to dissolve. Stir for another minute or two.

                                                                                                                                      Add the crème de cassis and lemon juice and bring the mixture back just to a boil. Remove from heat.

                                                                                                                                      Ladle into sterile jars, leaving headspace of 1/4 inch. Cap each jar and finger-tighten lid ring.

                                                                                                                                      Process the filled jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. After processing let the jars cool undisturbed for 12 hours.

                                                                                                                                      Makes about 9 half-pint jars.

                                                                                                                                  3. Cherry rhubarb jam with grand marnier last week-end. Red and black currant jam with cassis this week-end..

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                      I have got to get a cherry pitter as the cherries are so good right now and jam would be nice!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                        Definitely worth the investment. It took me ages to find one though..

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                          Had a fair amount of black currants, and a smaller amount of red currants left: about 3.5 cups. Looked up some recipes on the internet.. and winged it (a bit). Good thing about currants is they are so high in pectin, they are pretty much guaranteed to set! My only mistake was deciding to strain the cooked currants (since I don't have a food mill) to make it seedless. That was a lot of work for only 2 jars of jam!
                                                                                                                                          I am saving it for someone who really, really likes black currant!

                                                                                                                                        2. 6 jars of spicy dill beans. First time using Weck jars and I really like them. I'm going to order more of them for other canning projects. I like the little round bellied ones for hams and jellies. I ordered them on Amazon, as my DH says classy jars.

                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                            I like the Weck jars also but we can so much they are too pricey.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoeBabbitt

                                                                                                                                              Hi all--I just started canning this summer because mr. diva and I finally got space for a garden, and I love it! I've made refrigerator cucumber dills, spicy jalapenos, and green tomatoes with no problems.

                                                                                                                                              A few questions--how do you know when those Weck jars seal when waterbath canning? I have gotten used to hearing the Ball jars ping, and then checking the seals by removing the bands after cooling.

                                                                                                                                              As far as jam goes, I have made black- and blueberry, peach, and mixed berry (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, and a few strawberries from the garden--this tastes great). I am kind of making my jams more like preserves by keeping some of the ingredients roughly chopped or crushed so there is some texture, which has seemed to work fine. My question here is: what is the difference between instant and classic Ball pectin? At first, I was using the instant even though I wasn't supposed to because that is what I found in the store.

                                                                                                                                              I have also put up jars of 3-bean salad, green and red salsa, herbed tomatoes, and red-hot sauce, which is kind of like a grown-up spicy ketchup with lots of serranos and jalapenos. Tomorrow I'm planning to jar some BBQ sauce. I've mostly been using online Ball recipes and the Ball _Complete Book of Home Preserving_.

                                                                                                                                              My other questions include the following: so long as I don't mess with acid ratios, can I tinker a bit with approved recipes, such as adding more hot peppers to suit our tastes for salsas and hot sauces? Is it OK to reduce the amounts of called for sugar slightly in jams, say by 10% because I like tasting the fruit more? Most of the Ball recipes for processed tomatoes call for blanching, peeling, and dicing tomatoes and *then* pureeing them, but wouldn't it be a lot easier to blanch the tomatoes at first, run them through my food mill, get the required liquid cup measure, and then reduce and proceed with the recipe as usual?

                                                                                                                                              TIA for any advice from those more experienced, and I am happy to report that all my jars have sealed so far.

                                                                                                                                              We know we shouldn't use lids twice when canning, and we have extra lids on hand. But how do you know if you need to replace your bands and jars? I am going through these faster than I thought I would, and I've just been putting them in the dishwasher and using them over. I never thought I would be getting so interested in home preserving, but as my aunt said when she saw a picture of all we've put up, "my grandmas would be proud," and that both made me happy and made me want to do a good job.

                                                                                                                                              Finally, is there another home preserving book folks here would recommend? I don't see myself buying a pressure canner, although the idea of putting up stock is intriguing, so just water-bath resources would be appreciated.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: diva360

                                                                                                                                                The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich

                                                                                                                                                1. re: diva360

                                                                                                                                                  Better Homes and Gardens has some canning books. I have used several recipes from "You Can Can".

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: diva360

                                                                                                                                                    " But how do you know if you need to replace your bands and jars? "

                                                                                                                                                    Check your jars before each use. Look for cracks and check the rims for chips. I discard bands if they become bent or rusty.

                                                                                                                                                    Check out :

                                                                                                                                                    http://nchfp.uga.edu/

                                                                                                                                                    If you have a Cooperative Extension Office they may have classes and probably have a home economist who can answer questions. They are a terrific resource.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: diva360

                                                                                                                                                      I've never had a problem with the Wecks sealing. You can check them by (gently) trying to open them. Any that pop open didn't seal but I suspect you'll find them all sealed.

                                                                                                                                                      I put less sugar in jam than most recipes call for because I like more fruit flavor. But it seems I wind up cooking it longer so I bet it winds up the same anyway.

                                                                                                                                                      As far as altering recipes, you just want to be sure you don't alter the amount of vinegar and or salt. You can do pretty much anything EXCEPT lower the ph.

                                                                                                                                                2. Hey all! I've been canning jams and jellies for a while, but I'm new to pickling. I got the Dirt Candy cookbook for Christmas and am now finally able to put it to good use! I've made two of the pickles in it so far, zucchini and squash blossom. I love the blossoms and was wondering if anyone had any ideas for pressure canning them? They are so delicate and expensive that I don't want to throw my time, and money, in the compost! Any thoughts or am I dreaming?

                                                                                                                                                  1. I spent 45 minutes last night pitting enough sour cherries (what a PITA!!) for jam.. ended up with 5 jars. Tastes pretty good! It's a lower sugar recipe, uses Pomona pectin..

                                                                                                                                                    16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                      And plum-cherry tonight.. sweet cherries are bigger and easier to pit. They make a bigger mess though!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                        I have a couple of lbs of Washington cherries that are going nowhere and are kind of overripe. Do you think they would make some kind of good spread? I hate to throw them away.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                          pit them and make a bread-or jam

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                            I'm going to do something in the next day or two, thanks for the inspiration!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                              Absolutely! Cherries make great jam.
                                                                                                                                                              Of course.. mine hasn't set yet!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                My jams all are most likely not to set. They make nice toppings though! Think I'll throw something together this morning, with a bit of liqueur of some type. Kirschwasser maybe?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                  Ooh, that sounds good! Yes, I pitch the jams that haven't set as "sauce for ice cream or yogurt!". Don't know why this one didn't set though: Used commercial liquid pectin, which usually always works. I aam out of town right now, will see if they are set when I get back!!

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                  I do not seem to be able to make jam, mine never sets but I have had good luck making apple and grape jelly. They had red currants in the farmer's market here, a little box was $4.00. I would love to make something with currants.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                    Quince is the one thing I do that always sets, and without pectin. So whether I feel like it or not, I hunt down a half dozen or so and make it Persian style every fall.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                      Ruthie, nothing sets better than currants! They are full of pectin.. my jams with currants don't move, even when you hold the jar upside down!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                            I wish I could find sour cherries here. sigh

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                              Where do you live? They disappear as fast as they show up in the farmers markets here (Seattle), but I finally found a grower that lets me pre-order and reserve mine.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                                                                                                We have one farm stand that always has them, never seen these in the store though.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I had to hand carry them to my mother in Ottawa, so she could make peach and sour cherry jam. She couldn't find them anyway, although I am sure that they are available..

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                    The sours had a tough winter, lost half their blossoms, so the orchard where I usually pick them didn't have PYO this year but I still got them to reserve a few pounds for me, to add to the ones I still have in the freezer from last summer....

                                                                                                                                                                2. I put up 4 jars of spicy okra pickles yesterday. The recipe was in Pickles, Pork, and Whiskey, a new and delightful book by John Currence.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Not doing as much jam making this year, as I still have a lot from previous years (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, apple, peach, blackberry/apricot). But I did make a couple of batches of strawberry jam so that my dear nephew could have some (the boy takes PB & jam sandwiches every day for lunch). And will try Jalapeno Strawberry Jam as recommended further up.

                                                                                                                                                                    I am thinking of trying Bread and Butter pickles. Anyone have a tried and true recipe? I would like to make them spicier than those I buy in the store.

                                                                                                                                                                    Will also make pepper jelly...gave away most of what we had as gifts and it wasn't spicy enough. Anyone have a good ration of jalapenos in a pepper jelly...want it spicy but still a bit wimpy.

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                                                                                                      I can't help with the ratio but can pass along a tip I learned a few years ago! When choosing jalapenos the smoother the skin the milder the heat. The theory is stress helps make a hotter pepper so those with skin showing stretch marks or webbing should be hotter. It's been working for me!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                        What a great tip! Thanks for sharing it, mn3.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I picked grapes Monday so made four batches of concord jelly yesterday. I tried to use up my liquid pectin, I prefer dried. I'm glad my mama taught me to make jelly otherwise I'd have been out of luck.

                                                                                                                                                                      Also made two good batches of purple plum jam.

                                                                                                                                                                      That's it for now. My Armenian melon plants look happy & have tons of blooms but no fruit, so maybe no pickles. I have lots of pollinators, so who knows. It is weird not making pickles! I'm thinking about pickling chard stems, never tried it.

                                                                                                                                                                      Regarding tomato preserving, I dried four cookie sheets overnight and have mostly blanched, peeled, halved, squeezed out, tossed in olive oil and frozen. Today I froze -measured by tart-pan- a mix of red, good, and black cherries (tomatoes). This isn't my tomato harvest, I timed mine for June. This is for a friend who is out of the country, so bonus!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I made 7 jars of sliced dill pickles. I used the recipe from Pickles,Pig, and Whiskey. The brine tasted very good. A Caveat about Currence's pickles, he says to water bath can for 45 mins. 15 minutes is sufficient. I also made pickled okra from his book. They will be great in Bloody Marys.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                          Wow.. 45 minutes is a long time: you'd for sure have to top up the water level..

                                                                                                                                                                        2. I've been putting up yellow wax beans and red okra and dehydrating cayenne and red bell peppers from my garden.

                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                            I need to pull out my dehydrator, I use it mostly for fruit and tomatoes. I did some peppers last year but didn't use them much over the winter, curious how you use yours?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                                                              How I use my dried peppers? The cayennes I'm planning on grinding into powder, the bell peppers I was experimenting with drying them diced to use in chili ect later. Celery is great dehydrated and then added to soups ect.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, I mostly threw mine into soups or ramen, to make me feel a little better about eating it.....good idea on the celery, I never can use a whole one at once!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: geminigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  That's why I started dehydrating celery. It was just getting limp and tossed because it never got finished. Now days I save what I think I'll need and the rest goes right into the dehydrator.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Has anyone made pickled peaches? I got a recipe that sounds tasty but I'm not sure what I'd do with them after I've made it. Thanks for your thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LNG212

                                                                                                                                                                              It's been awhile so I don't recall the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                              I think pickled fruits have a great affinity with fatty meats and roasts. Nice with charcuterie too. Makes an interesting addition to a relish tray.

                                                                                                                                                                              Once I started looking at pickled fruit as a similar ingredient as pickled lemons it opened up a lot of possibilities. I add them to stuffed vegetables, grains, sauces, glazes. Pickled pears in chicken salad is quite nice too.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                Okay those are great ideas. Thanks! I usually give away my jams and pickles during the holidays and for more unusual items I like to have a few usage suggestions too. If I give this recipe a go, I'll post it here. Peaches are in season here now and I've had some really tasty ones.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Ok, I want to get some tomato talk started here....what are people's secrets for good tomato canning? The times I've tried I get a watery mess. I grew San Marzano's this year and crushed them with a Roma tomato crusher. I hot packed them in pint jars and, again, water city!!! I actually don't mind skins/seeds, so maybe I should save the crusher for my fall applesauce blitz instead. Any suggestions? I also have some lovely Purple Cherokees, and will be getting a ridiculous amount of heirloom and modern tomatoes from our CSA over the next month.

                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Science Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                When I make pizza sauce, I use canned but I let them strain in a colander for awhile before use. I'll save the watery juice for soup or something similar if it's the right season.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, although I'm not really looking for ways to use watery canned tomatoes.....looking for better canning methods.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Science Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                  Did you can them right after processing them in your 'tomato crusher'? I always cook down my tomato puree and sauces (pasta, pizza) after processing the tomatoes with my Victorio strainer. I always use plum tomatoes - Amish paste, Romas, etc. I'm growing San Marzanos this year (although they're still quite green, the season is quite behind here in NW PA). Even with using the dense tomatoes, I always find it necessary to simmer down my tomatoes before jarring and processing them. I also hot pack peeled & chunked tomatoes (and pack the jars fairly dense) so that I have tomatoes that will cook down but still add some texture to chili, chunky pasta sauces, or casseroles.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AGV61

                                                                                                                                                                                    The Kitchn had "tomato week" all of this week: I have only scanned it, but it looks like they had some recommendations on tomatoes and canning..

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Science Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                    I did my first-ever canning last night, making 5 pint jars of tomatoes. I think I may have created a watery mess too. This morning, the seals are just fine but there is a 1/2 layer of water/liquid at the bottom of each jar. I used a mix of tomatoes, including some cherries which were pretty watery.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I used this cold pack method, maybe not a good choice?

                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.thebittenword.com/thebitte...

                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                      Apparently the liquid at the bottom is a result of pectin break down and is fairly common.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, Mine look alot like that and I do hotpack. I used one the other day for an enchilada sauce and it worked just fine. I just cooked it a little longer than normal with the lid ajar to cook off some of the excess liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Science Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, good to hear. I plan on using mine in soups and sauces so extra liquid is not a deal killer. Still, one hopes for a nicer look, ya know?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                            Definitely....I agree! But the flavor was still to die for!

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Last night I canned 3 small jars of ground cherry-ginger preserves. If my grower has more this week, I'll pick another 2 pints and make this again, only using fresh ginger (I used minced crystallized ginger this time).

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                                                                                                                        I have never heard of ground cherries! I had to google them.. I have seen them before, but only as garnish on desserts at fancy restaurants..

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                          I saw them at the farmers market--I'd seen the plants before but had no idea that there was edible fruit in those husks. Here's to hoping that I can get some more at the market today--I'd like to make another small batch of preserves. BTW, I actually prefer the ground cherry-coconut preserves, as the coconut melds nicely with the "tropicalness" of the cherries.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I put up 5 jars of raspberry jam today.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                          Mmmmm--raspberry jam is one of my favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I made a (very small) batch of ground cherry-coconut jam tonight. I'd never eaten ground cherries before this summer (apparently, they are much more beloved in the Midwest than on the East Coast, where I grew up). The melon-mango flavors of the ground cherry pair nicely with the coconut. I might have to buy more ground cherries at the farmers market this weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. This tomato jam is awesome, I can't recommend it enough. It's ketchup for grownups.

                                                                                                                                                                                            If your tomatoes are really sweet you can cut back on the sugar. It's savory/sweet/spicy and just really really good!

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://foodinjars.com/2010/09/tomato-...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                Interesting article. I've got quite a few blue mason jars I'd happily sell for $30,000 each.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I cooked my Kieffer pear chunks too long, so I had to turn them into jam. I added a whole lot of sugar, lemon juice, crystallized ginger and pectin. Am now hoping it all sets up and is wonderful. I have another five pounds of pears to process, so I'll keep a better watch on the softening timing. I love canned pears in the winter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Pressure canned 6 pints of chopped pork. I'd happened upon a great price on a Boston butt but the smallest size was just under 10 pounds. I just love being able to pressure can - my freezer is no longer packed to the point of ridiculousness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have recently become brave enough to use my large pressure canner, which has a 6-7qt jar capacity. First thing I did was get 14qts stock out of my freezer! I am curious to know the process by which you canned the pork. Did you cube it first? Did you just brown it or fully braise it before canning? Did you season it or leave it plain? Just curious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JuliaTheJeweler

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I applied a rub. A day later I roasted it low and slow at 225 F. I took it out once done but before it was falling apart (ran out of time). The next day I cut it into strips and put it in the crock pot for several hours on low adding several cups of water mixed with Penzey's Pork base.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I loosely packed the jars with the pork strips and added enough broth to cover leaving 1" headspace. I'm close to sea level, so pressure canned 75 min. at 11 lbs. as directions said. (Followed my canners directions, got headspace from an University Extension program publication.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      During the process I read that if the meat is fatty to can an extra 10 min. I had trimmed away most of the fat but decided an extra 5 min. was a good compromise since Boston butt is pretty fatty. Even with trimming there is a 1/4 inch layer of fat covering the contents in the jars.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have canned raw meat before. It just looks very unappetizing to me in the jar. Canning it with a broth or sauce appeals to me more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This was the first time I used Penzey's pork base. I had some of the broth and pork from the crock pot for dinner and it was delicious. Figure I can always drain the broth and reserve it for later if I opt to use the canned meat for bbq, casseroles or dumplings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hope that helps!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, thank you! I will have to give it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Is anyone fermenting with The Perfect Pickler? I just want small batches. Just made half sours but didn't put in as much fresh dill as recipe called for. Pickles are crispy but I'm not thrilled with the flavor. Probably my fault for not using enough dill.