Sunday, July 31, 2011

3 Secrets to Conquer Soggy Home Canned Dill Pickles

Home canning has been a part of our family traditions for as long as I can remember. Each year, when the harvest was complete and preserved in our family cellar I loved to be the one to give the final count on the fruit of our labors - peaches, pears, applesauce, beets, green beans, strawberry jam, and....PICKLES! I loved the pickles.

One particular day I wandered down to the cellar. I looked around the room, it was loaded with perfect home canned fruit and vegetables right out of our family garden and orchard. But...I had my mind set on one thing. I carefully scanned the shelves - Ah ha I found what I was looking for -- a bottle of dill pickles I had canned myself.

As the bottle came off the self, my mouth started to water. Those pickles looked so good, I could hardly wait to get the lid off the bottle.

I finally made it to the kitchen and popped off the lid - immediately the smell of those home canned pickles wafted through the room - I couldn't wait an y longer. Out came the biggest pickle and I sunk my teeth into it.

Surprise! My joy quickly turned to despair when my teeth squished into a soggy dill pickle - not even worth eating! Almost weeping I ran to mother. What bad thing had happened to my pickles?

With a twinkle in her eye and a half smile, she started quizzing me down: "How long did the cucumbers wait before you pickled them?" "What size were the cucumbers that you used?" "Did you get them right out of the hot water bath when it started to boil?" Etc.

After playing detective for a couple of minutes, she laughed and gave me these important keys:

3 Family Secrets for Crispy Home Canned Pickles:

1. Harvest your cucumbers early in the morning and pickle them within 24 hours. The quicker the better. If you start with fresh, crisp, firm cucumbers you will have a better pickling experience.

2. Don't let the cucumbers get too big. Smaller cucumbers become better pickles.

3. When y ou process the bottles of pickles - make sure you DON'T over cook them. The less they are cooked, the more crisp and crunchy they will be.

Believe me, I learned a valuable lesson - one I never forgot! Next time I canned my dill pickles I followed these guidelines religiously. My dream came true - to bite down into a crispy, crunchy, mouth-watering home canned baby dill pickle

I wanted to share these family secrets with you so your pickling experience can be a successful and happy one. Good luck fellow pickle lovers!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Canning - How To Make Homemade Apple Chutney

During the fall season, we love to visit our local fruit orchard and pick our own apples so that we can make some homemade apple chutney.

We enjoy using this chutney as a sandwich spread or as an addition to our homemade chicken, turkey and tuna salads. If you are using it as a salad spread, cut your mayonnaise or salad dressing in half and replace the other half with the chutney.

This recipe requires the basic home canning equipment: half-pint or pint-sized mason jars, water bath canner, jar lifter, seals and rings, ladle and a funnel.

Apple Chutney Recipe

2 quarts apples
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 lbs. seedless raisins

Canning - How To Make Homemade Pear Marmalade

When it comes to home canning, one of the easiest recipes you can make is some type of fruit marmalade and this pear marmalade recipe is no exception.

You will need your basic home canning supplies: water bath canner, half-pint or pint-sized mason jars, seals and rings, jar lifter, ladle, silicone nonstick spatula and a funnel.

If you enjoy giving homemade food gifts during the holiday season, this is a nice one to make and give as a gift. If you seal your mason jars correctly, this marmalade should last for up to 1 year.

Pear Marmalade Recipe

4 lbs. fresh pears
8 cups granulated sugar
2 cups tap water
4 fresh oranges
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange rind

Wash an d remove stems and leaves from pears. Peel off the skins and chop the flesh up into small pieces. Peel the skin off the oranges and discard the seeds and membranes. Reserve one small piece of the orange rind and finely grate it until you have 1 1/2 teaspoons of finely grated orange rind. Chop the flesh of the oranges into small pieces.

In a large stock pot, combine all of the above ingredients and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until the mixture thickens. You will need to stir the mixture every 8 to 10 minutes using a nonstick silicone spatula to keep it from sticking to the pot.

Wash and clean your half-pint or pint-sized mason jars. You will want to warm up your jars using your oven set at 200 degrees F. Remove jars from the oven, one at a time. Ladle the hot mixture into clean warm jars leaving a 1/2" head space. Wipe the jar rim clean with a soft cotton towel. Place ring and seal onto the jar.

Process jars in your water bath canner for 10 minutes or according to manufacturers instructions.

This recipe will make approximately 4 to 5 half-pint jars of marmalade.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Home Canning is definitely Making some sort of Comeback

Having been lifted throughout non-urban Alabama, I ought to confess, I'm a tad domesticated. Growing way up on my personal Grandmother's farm, I invested countless a the summer months shelling peas and canning these folks inside your ex kitchen. As I bought older, we changed far from near my Grandmother, along with my personal canning nights were ended.

About 20 ages ago, I bought the outdoors thought to test house canning again, right after getting a demand canner inside a catalog. I bought a couple along with I were canning ever since. Every year or so at Christmas this husband and I could related to 75 quarts connected with pasta sauce and give them available since gifts. All involving my pals and spouse and children will enjoy it. I love to can easily and also have also been accumulating canning formulas for years.

Home canning wonderful solution to help save Summer's bounty, plus looking for the best fruits and vegetables from regional farmer's r eal estate markets can help you save money. Using local farmer's markets also help this ecosystem because the your meals are regionally grown, and therefore very little shipping is definitely involved.

For those of everyone who're brand new to canning, or those who need a refresher, get the Ball Blue Book involving Home Canning, as well as look at that USDA webpage and also acquire their own Complete Guide to Home Canning. Both worth mentioning tend to be excellent resources.

To plenty of people, dwelling canning can be intimidating, however quotes for quality products your own measures well, plus obtain all your equipment before starting up it may be an exciting career for the whole family. You will even require good quality quality recipes for you to follow. Always double examine ones tested recipes and read the manufacturers directions with a person's canners. This may help in order to avoid mistakes.