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Anyone know where I can get canning supplies in the Silver Spring/Tk Pk area? I need two piece lids, and half-pint jars. Strosniders was the first place that came to mind but they don't have them.

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Anyone know where I can get canning supplies in the Silver Spring/Tk Pk area? I need two piece lids, and half-pint jars. Strosniders was the first place that came to mind but they don't have them.

That's very surprising. Strosnider's usually carries them--perhaps they were just temporarily sold out. It is a little bit early in the season for canning. That's where I usually get them. Have you called the Bethesda store? Sometimes Safeway and Giant sell them--they may not have the "quilted" decorative jars that Strosnider's has, but that's another option. I can't remember seeing them at The TP/SS Co-op, but it might be worth a phone call to see if they have any.

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Strosniders does carry them. I was looking in the wrong place.

I picked up four quarts of strawberries from Toigo yesterday and spent the morning making jam. I have ten beautiful little ruby jars cooling on the counter now.

BTW, they sold me a half flat for $4 a quart, rather than $6. Not a bad price.

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I picked up four quarts of strawberries from Toigo yesterday and spent the morning making jam. I have ten beautiful little ruby jars cooling on the counter now.

Do you use pectin, or the long-cook method? I think that pectin has the advantage of fast-cooking leaving you with fresher-tasting fruit and more bang for the buck, since the long-cooking method thickens by evaporating much of the water out, leaving you with smaller volume of preserves. But I'm interested to hear from people who think otherwise.

I made preserves yesterday, too. I had picked wild cherries in Battery Kemble Park on Saturday--my first official foraging coup of the year. There are a couple of very old cherry trees (Queen Anne-type) there, one of which is probably a feral tree, growing in a clump of other trees and the other was probably planted when the land around this part of DC was still farmland. Both trees have a lot of fruit on them but only the one that was more in the sun had ripe fruit on it. Most of it is up very high, inaccessible without a tall ladder, and must be left for the birds. The few cherries I was able to reach are smaller than last year's--due to much less rain this year. And even though the variety is not known to be a cooking variety, they work as preserves because they are very sour. The cherry flavor is not as intense as a Montmerency or Morello-type sour cherry. But, still the fun of it is that it is wild and "free."

Have you noticed, though, that the days you choose to do canning are invariably the hottest and muggiest of the season? It never fails, as far as I can tell. All that boiling and sterilizing, and heat and steam. I really understand the concept of the "summer kitchen"--imagining when this operation needed a hot fire in a wood-burning stove, and there was no air conditioning. Since it isn't even June yet, our only allowable cooling comes from open windows and ceiling fans and the kitchen feels like a sauna, and I don't feel as if I've come a long way, baby. But when those juicy, jewel-like jams are in their sealed jars, the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction --not to mention the deliciousness--makes it worth all the sweat and toil.

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I always use pectin, for the reasons you mention: fresher tasting jam and larger yield.

Canning is wonderful. I'd love to have a bunch of people over for a prep and processing session. We could split the cost of the jars and the fruit & veg, make a jam, a relish, and some kind of pickle and send everyone home with a jar or two of each. Would anyone be interested? I have two canning kettles and alll the accessories.

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Count me in... I have everything too ( and lots of jars). This summer I will can tomatos, hot pepper jelly, hot pickled beans, rosemary jelly, several pickles, applesauce and who knows what else!

I always use pectin, for the reasons you mention: fresher tasting jam and larger yield.

Canning is wonderful. I'd love to have a bunch of people over for a prep and processing session. We could split the cost of the jars and the fruit & veg, make a jam, a relish, and some kind of pickle and send everyone home with a jar or two of each. Would anyone be interested? I have two canning kettles and alll the accessories.

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I'd be interested, too. My maternal grandmother did a lot of canning and I always enjoyed a visit to Little Rock that included some of her awsome preserves. My mom wasn't a fan of the process, I guess, because we never did it at home. I'd love to learn more and would chip in for suppliese, etc. of course.

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I am interested in canning but scared to death of botulism. Do any of you know if there a canning class around where I can learn to can, and increase my self confidence that I will not poison my friends and family?

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I am interested in canning but scared to death of botulism. Do any of you know if there a canning class around where I can learn to can, and increase my self confidence that I will not poison my friends and family?

Depending on what you want to can the risk of botulism is rather low. Start with simple fruit preserves and move on from there. Don't know of any specific courses, but here are a couple of books that explain things well. You can probably pick them up from your library.

Book 1

Book 2

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I made some cranberry ketchup right after Thanksgiving. It turned out great! But I did not realize how

seasonal cranberries are. What seasonal something should I try to make next? ;)

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The USDA publishes a fantastic, free, and comprehensive guide to home canning.

I just made a batch of strawberry jam. I used about a quart of strawberries; yield was about three 8 oz jars. It jelled nicely, but it's a tad sweeter than I'd like.

(p.s. Hi. Newbie here.)

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I'll be taking care of the nieces for a week. One thing they enjoy about my visits -- besides later bedtimes -- is cooking with auntie. I'm thinking making jam or pickling would be a great activity. Is it okay -- or even advisable -- to make a small quantity of jams, jellies or even pickles and not can or preserve them? The products would only be around for a week or so and then tossed.

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I'll be taking care of the nieces for a week. One thing they enjoy about my visits -- besides later bedtimes -- is cooking with auntie. I'm thinking making jam or pickling would be a great activity. Is it okay -- or even advisable -- to make a small quantity of jams, jellies or even pickles and not can or preserve them? The products would only be around for a week or so and then tossed.
They should keep for quite some time in the fridge. You might consider freezer jam. It's super easy, makes smaller amounts, and doesn't involve giant vats of boiling water. Any package of Sure-Jell brand pectin will have the instructions inside.

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Make 9 jars of strawberry jam this afternoon from berries picked at Homestead Farms this morning. If you have not been out to pick there is very little time left. They did say that sour cherries will probably be ready by next weekend. I guess I need to block off some time next weekend to can some of those.

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I grabbed a pint of chillies from the farmer's market on Sunday, and I'd really like to have a jar of chopped chillies to hand in my fridge. I made up this recipe from the USDA. I didn't actually bother with sterilizing & putting it up, since I'm planning just to keep it in the fridge, but does it sound a bit suspect to anyone else? Just chillies, water and a teeny bit of (optional) salt?

How come this won't just rot in the fridge? Is the capsaicin content in chillies enough to retard spoilage? I know they typically don't rot in my fridge if I keep air circulating around them -- they just dry out and shrivel up, but I have a shaky gut feeling about this recipe (pun entirely intended).

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I grabbed a pint of chillies from the farmer's market on Sunday, and I'd really like to have a jar of chopped chillies to hand in my fridge. I made up this recipe from the USDA. I didn't actually bother with sterilizing & putting it up, since I'm planning just to keep it in the fridge, but does it sound a bit suspect to anyone else? Just chillies, water and a teeny bit of (optional) salt?

How come this won't just rot in the fridge? Is the capsaicin content in chillies enough to retard spoilage? I know they typically don't rot in my fridge if I keep air circulating around them -- they just dry out and shrivel up, but I have a shaky gut feeling about this recipe (pun entirely intended).

Since you didn't pressure-can your water-pack chilies, they will eventually mold in the refrigerator. It may take a month or more, but it is inevitable. A better, simpler method is to peel the chilies, lay them on parchment on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer. When frozen, peel them off the paper and pack them in a freezer bag and keep them in the freezer for up to 6 months. If you want them in a jar, and you don't want to pressure can them, you need to pack them in a vinegar brine--as chiles en escabeche, or pickled chiles. Then they will last for a year in the fridge, or you can process them in a water bath canner (loosely sealed jars, submerged in a kettle of water and boiled for 20-30 minutes or so, removed and the ring twisted tight). Then, they can be kept in a cupboard, and do not need refrigeration. Remember, if you are not freezing, and you want to process any low acid-vegetables: water-pack requires pressure canning; acid packing can be done in a water bath canner. Only red tomatoes have enough acid in them that they can be canned in a water bath without adding acid. In any case, you need to sterilize the jars,

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I bought a box of Honeycrisp apples yesterday at the Arlington Farmer's market (for a mere $15!) and am thinking about canning some of it as a pie filling or chutney. Anyone done this before? Google has found a lot of good information but if someone has any good recipes they'd like to share I'd be grateful.

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It's begun...I have made strawberry jam so far, and beets pickled in red wine with ginger and star anise. Various sour cherry concoctions coming up this weekend.

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We now own one of these, which substantially increases our production capacity for canning. Yay!
Scott picked up a fancy new pressure canner this weekend. I haven't had the nerve to try it yet; I need to look up how to convert the cooking times for jams, etc. I am looking forward to canning some green beans and other veggies this summer, and I'd like to figure out how to can my rillettes so that we can have them year 'round.

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I have two quarts of strawberries giving up their juice on my stove right now. I did an earlier batch of jam this summer, but it was very watery -- as others have theorized, perhaps due to the very rainy spring we've had this year. My first batch I also got fancy with the measuring, measuring the berries (by volume) by the amount of water that they displaced. I don't think my Joy recipe needs that much precision. Presumably that also upped the berries:sugar ratio.

My coworker tells me that I can save my runny jam by adding a smidge of cornstarch to the finished produce. Any thoughts from folks here on that? (I've been saving it by putting it on pancakes, which has also worked very well.)

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Scott picked up a fancy new pressure canner this weekend. I haven't had the nerve to try it yet; I need to look up how to convert the cooking times for jams, etc. I am looking forward to canning some green beans and other veggies this summer, and I'd like to figure out how to can my rillettes so that we can have them year 'round.

Pressure canning is fantastic. I have jars of roasted red peppers as well as poblanos for emergency chile potato soup. I've canned lots of things, and have only been disappointed in the pesto. The Ball blue book has times, and I also have a little book from the USDA. We are still unpacking from a move so I can't find it to tell you the name.

The one trick I can suggest is that you do a test run with an empty canner to learn the settings on your stove that will make it work. It is OK to turn the heat down if you need to, but if you have to turn the heat up during the process, a lot of the food will make its way out of the jars and into the pot. Not fun after all that work.

I've never used it for jams - I had the luck to find a steam canner at a garage sale years ago for a few dollars. It's wonderful to be able to process all the high acid foods with less water. That means less energy and less heat in the kitchen. Some day I'll be as smart as my Grandmother and do it all outside. :lol:

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I'm making cherry and blueberry jam this weekend. Anyone have any tips for making blueberry jam? It's the one fruit that has failed me repeatedly over the years, despite following the recipe. I'd prefer not to wind up with another six pints of blueberry syrup.

And does anyone have a good pickled peach recipe they would like to share?

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I'm making cherry and blueberry jam this weekend. Anyone have any tips for making blueberry jam? It's the one fruit that has failed me repeatedly over the years, despite following the recipe. I'd prefer not to wind up with another six pints of blueberry syrup.

Have you tried using homemade pectin? It's basically apple jelly. I use Christine Ferber's recipes that usually call for a kilo of fruit to 800 grams of sugar. You bring it all to a simmer, macerate overnight, then cook to completion the following day. This makes the fruit clear and sparkling - a very nice product. That's a rambling way to get to this point - her book has recipes that call for adding 8 oz of this homemade pectin to low-pectin fruit recipes to help them gel. It has worked for me in combination with using a candy thermometer to insure that the mixture gets to 20 degrees above boiling.

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