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Canning And Preserving

Canning Preserving

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#251 KeithA

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:27 AM

We have been on a jamming/canning tear this summer after doing it for the first time last summer. A few weeks ago when strawberries were still ripe and available at the farmers market and for picking at Larriland, we made a couple of big batches of jam with the Ball low-sugar pectin that turned out great.  Even better was the addition of a fresh vanilla pod (scrape out and then the pod thrown in) to the fruit while cooking - delicous strawberries and cream like falvor. The plain strawberries with fresh picked from the farm were really good too.  Can't wait to do blackberries and peaches again later this summer.



#252 ktmoomau

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 03:06 PM

What vegetables have people put in leftover pickle juice with success?  And did you do anything to them first?


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#253 KeithA

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:06 PM

What vegetables have people put in leftover pickle juice with success?  And did you do anything to them first?

I've tried sliced cucumbers in a few different leftover brines and mostly been failures. I think if you have a stronger brine and maybe cooked the vegetables in it for a bit (as I've seen some recipes call for 3-8 minutes of simmering before ladling into the jar) that you might have some success.  I do need some help here too as I'm about to finish eating through 3 jars of great homemade pickles and would love to not waste what is likely a quart plus of brine. 



#254 ktmoomau

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 09:17 PM

I've tried sliced cucumbers in a few different leftover brines and mostly been failures. I think if you have a stronger brine and maybe cooked the vegetables in it for a bit (as I've seen some recipes call for 3-8 minutes of simmering before ladling into the jar) that you might have some success.  I do need some help here too as I'm about to finish eating through 3 jars of great homemade pickles and would love to not waste what is likely a quart plus of brine. 

I am trying radish and onions in a leftover jar of maille gherkins.  I will let you know how they go.  They are still sitting, it's been about a week now.


But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#255 zoramargolis

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 08:47 PM

The salt in the brine draws water out of the cucumbers and dilutes the brine. The resulting leftover brine is then watered down and doesn't have the necessary salt:water ratio to pickle a new batch of cukes. Either add more salt, or start new brine for the next batch.



#256 Pat

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 08:24 AM

What vegetables have people put in leftover pickle juice with success?  And did you do anything to them first?

 

I saw someone suggest that hard-boiled eggs in leftover pickling liquid from jalapeƱos makes great pickled eggs, but I haven't tried that myself.  (And jalapeƱo juice would be spicier than plain pickle juice.)

 

Lately, I've made a couple batches of quick-pickled banana peppers.  My husband loves banana peppers, and I've been finding them a lot at the market.


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#257 ktmoomau

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 10:31 AM

Banana peppers are a good idea.  I tried some of the onions out of the jar and they weren't bad.  I may try adding a bit more salt now and see if that aids anything.  I haven't tried any of radish yet.  


But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#258 ktmoomau

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 08:27 PM

Adding more salt helped, but it wasn't really any better than just quick pickled that I do with salt and vinegar.

 

I hot water bath canned some salsa this weekend.  I really love canned peaches and keep thinking about trying to do some myself.  I really miss my grandads canned green beans.  Anyone know a good pick your own farm for beans?


But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#259 lperry

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 09:01 PM

No, and for even more of a buzz kill, you have to have a pressure canner to put up green beans. :(



#260 astrid

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:08 AM

If you are in the market for a nice canner, Costco.com is selling All American pressure cookers at pretty good prices right now.  I'm almost tempted to get one but I have an unsuitable glass cooktop plus I've basically stopped bothering to can anything other than jam and jellies.  (Blanching and freezing or refrigerator pickles are just so much easier to do in a pinch).



#261 ktmoomau

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:34 AM

No, and for even more of a buzz kill, you have to have a pressure canner to put up green beans. :(

Yes, I know.  Luckily I have some framily who has a pressure canner who will help with this, my Mom also wants to make beef vegetable soup, so we may pick a day for that and the green beans- if I can find a good farm for that.  http://www.pickyourown.org/VA.htm looks like a promising site.  But I will probably try the peaches on my own.


But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#262 Pat

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 01:35 PM

Yes, I know.  Luckily I have some framily who has a pressure canner who will help with this, my Mom also wants to make beef vegetable soup, so we may pick a day for that and the green beans- if I can find a good farm for that.  http://www.pickyourown.org/VA.htm looks like a promising site.  But I will probably try the peaches on my own.

 

You could check with Great Country Farms in Bluemont.  I did pick-your-own there in conjunction with a CSA I had some years back.  Currently they are featuring yellow free-stone peaches, but the more general schedule indicates that they could also have green beans now.

 

They proved to be too far away to be reasonable for frequent trips for me, but I was always satisfied with the quality of the produce.



#263 zoramargolis

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 02:07 PM

If you have the freezer space, blanching and freezing green beans is so much easier and you end up with a much better product than with pressure canning.


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#264 ktmoomau

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 03:00 PM

If you have the freezer space, blanching and freezing green beans is so much easier and you end up with a much better product than with pressure canning.

I just like the taste better, it's what I am used to, I don't love the flavor of blanched and frozen in comparison.  But I grew up with a family that put up a huge amount of produce because we lived/live in the middle of nowhere.  


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But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
www.rrbmdk.com
www.katelintaylor.com


#265 KeithA

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 04:05 PM

My kirby cucumber plants are starting to wane but I'm not done making pickles just yet. Anyone know of a good farm stand (or even a farm) in DC or not too far outside where I could get a large quantity of kirby/pickling cucumbers?

 

I've really gone a bit nuts making pickles this summer. I experimented with all different kinds of brines and spices, but since I didn't know which ones I'd like I didn't can any of them. So I have about 8 pints of assorted pickles in my fridge that are getting devoured. Now I want to make some more with the flavors that worked best and actually can them for eating later in the year.  Here are some of my trial by error tips I discovered by reviewing and breaking the rules in recipes:

 

1. Don't use premade pickling spice - it is boring. Make your own blend of whatever you like.  I found that I like about 5 black peppercorns, 2-3 garlic cloves (whole or crushed a bit, but not chopped), a big heaping TB of mustard seeds and another TB of coriander seeds were great as an all purpose blend.

2. Don't slice vegetables into rounds (except for same hour/day quick pickles) - they get floppy and there is no need.  If the cucumber or other vegetable is too big, then slice into spears

3. Don't use dill seeds, celery seeds or other spices that you don't really like just because they are traditional.  I did use dill seeds in some recipes and found them to be ok.

4. Be adventuresome with your spices - fresh or ground spices both work (if ground you need to shake it up occasionally).  I liked using ground curry powder, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, pieces of ginger to make Indian spiced pickles (worked especially well with zucchini spears) and I also add fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano for an Italian spice blend.

5. Add heat - 2-3 dried fiery chili peppers like chili de arbol worked great in a pint jar (possibly a bit hot for some) - sliced jalapenos don't work as well.  Or add some heaping TBs of prepared horseradish for horseradish pickles.

6. Try all kinds of vegetables - I had great success with cucumbers, zucchini, okra.and Vietnamese style carrot/daikon radish.  This was a great use for oversized garden zucchini (you know that spawn on you all of sudden when you are out of town or that hide under a bush till too late) - just cut them down to size and cut off a bit of the extra seedy center.  Next batch is beets.

7. When not doing more complex spice blends, it is better to ferment for a cheaper and tastier sour pickle.  Out of 4 fermented pints I made, 3 successfully fermented (I think I messed up the covering on the 4th) and were some of the best pickles all summer.

8. Use a variety of vinegars - I found plain white vinegar to be too harsh, so I switched to cider and milder rice vinegars depending on whether it was a sweeter pickle (cider) or more sour (rice).  Also, I found blending in balsamic with white vinegar to give a flavor boost.  I'm sure you could use other more expensive vinegars too.

9. Don't cook the vegetables in the boiling brine - some recipes call for this and it ruined the crispness of the veggies. It is much better to cook the brine to dissolve any sugar and infuse liquid with whole spices, and then pour over veggies packed into jars.

 

Finally, I know I sound like these guys:

http://youtu.be/yYey8ntlK_E


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#266 lperry

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 04:17 PM

I just like the taste better, it's what I am used to, I don't love the flavor of blanched and frozen in comparison.  But I grew up with a family that put up a huge amount of produce because we lived/live in the middle of nowhere.  

 

I tried making my Grandmother's three bean salad with fresh beans once.  Never again.  It just wasn't right.  Even after she got a freezer, there were canned beans for that salad.

 

KeithA, that's a lot of pickles.  :)



#267 Anna Phor

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 06:53 PM

Let's say a person was too pressed for time to do any serious canning or jamming this summer. Let's say that same person just wanted to stuff jars full of summer fruit and top them off with booze. 

 

So far have 4-5 peaches sitting in about 2/3 of a bottle of vodka, well covered. I plan to do something similar with blueberries and gin (and maybe a little lemon peel and/or ginger). Per the advice of the internets, I froze the blueberries first.

 

What do I need to know to keep this safe? I'm assuming high-test booze is pretty safe, but could I do this with, say brandy? 



#268 astrid

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:32 PM

No direct experience with either fruit, but I put up raspberries and sour cherries (unpitted) in booze every year.  Never had any problems with spoilage.   I use vodka for raspberries and Seagrams 7 for everything else, so about similar proof as brandy (I think they're all around 40% alcohol).  Top it off with a spoon or two of sugar and wait a few months for things to settle.

 

Sour cherry is hands down the favorite, followed by raspberries (the firm California berries tend to do better than softer PYO raspberries from local orchards).  Tried with sweet cherries and blackberries, but the results tasted too much like cough syrup for my liking.  Sweet cherries are much better pickled.


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#269 lperry

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:26 PM

My Mom used to make brandied kumquats every year, and they lived in the brandy with no issues other than being brandified.


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