9.28.2011

the art of canning.


i have always been a fan. i remember one summer my mom and me went gang busters on canning and had so much food on hand it was glorious - i am very partial to stacked shelves. mind you a lot of it was never eaten because even though everyone cans peaches does everyone eat canned peaches? we found out they do not. and yes it was fun making brandied cherries but they were never eaten either. the jams and pickles are what was devoured and i decided this summer i wanted to make some of the same.

for me it started with the bounty. i have been wanting to can for some years now but didn't have to proper equipment or really the motivation to invest in such equipment {i actually thought it was more expensive than the reality}. a friend had the fortunate experience of taking her family to disney world {dream moment} and she called me up and graciously asked me to raid her garden while she was away because everything was going to hit it's peak that week and she hated to see it go to waste. oh and could i pick her mail up for her to while i was there?.....no problem.


so being a good friend i did as i was told. you only have to ask me once if i would like to shop in your garden - home grown produce is becoming quite a favorite and i'm sad to say my garden didn't fair as well this year - next year will be mine to shine. upon arriving at her house i was under the impression i was going to grab a few tomatoes and maybe a cucumber or two, for a nice summer salad, seeing as this was her first year with her garden. was i wrong! we left stacked to the nines. we had a basket full of tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers and banana peppers. then and there i was bowled over with inspiration that i was going to put up all these lovely vegetables and enjoy them all year long.

from left to right: pickled banana peppers, tomato jam, salsa, pickled red onions, tomatoes, bread and butter cucumbers.

it was actually fun. well i find anything to do in the kitchen - even dishes now thanks to my new faucet!! hahaha. we scoured the internet, an old family cookbook that just landed in my possession {thank you mary for putting that together} and old stained recipe cards i had and got to work making our recipes. satisfied with our outcome, we went out and stocked up on jars, a pot and some spices and vinegars and this is some of what we got. yummy yummy yummy!

front: bread and butter pickled cucumbers. back: bread and butter pickled red onions.

bread and butter pickled cucumbers.
i love bread and butter pickles. always my pickle of choice. remember that question people always ask "if you were on a deserted island what three foods would you want there?" i always answered "crackers, herb pate ad sweet pickles." so it's fitting that we made this variety. i think i was the only 10 year old that answered that way. 

4 pounds field cucumbers
1 large onion sliced into rings
1/3 cup kosher salt
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/12 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
6 cups ice cubes

slice all your field cucumber to desired thickness (1/8 inch slices is most common) and place in a large bowl or roasting pan. toss with the salt and onions; cover with the ice. cover it up and let sit for 4 hours or refrigerated overnight.

Prepare the boiling water bath. Add water to a large canner with rack and heat to about 180°. The water should be high enough to be at least 1 inch above the filled jars. Wash jars thoroughly and dump the jar and lids into the water till the water comes to desired temperature of 180. remove jars and place on a dish towel next to the stove - not directly on the counter or they could crack. keep the lid tops in the canner to keep them hot till use.

Drain the cucumber mixture. In a large pot (nonreactive) over medium heat, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the drained cucumber mixture and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, loosely pack the vegetables in prepared jars. Ladle the liquid into jars, dividing evenly among the jars. With a clean damp cloth wipe away any drips around the rims of the jars then cover with 2-piece jar lids - now is when you pluck them from your water using tongs. Adjust the screw on rings firmly but do not over-tighten. Place filled in the prepared hot water bath, adding more hot water as needed to bring the water up to about 1 inch above the jars. Bring the water to a boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Lift the jars out of the water and place on a rack to cool.
Makes about 6 pints.


bread and butter pickled red onions.
i am an onion lover. maybe this comes from the fact that my dad alwys had a sprig of green onion on the side of his plate at meals or that they are know to cut the fat taste in meals. whatever it is i am sold. i am excited to crack these open on a cold winters day to enjoy with some local brie, grainy crackers and a glass of cold white wine or even with some holiday bubbly.

4 pounds red onions
1/3 cup kosher salt
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/12 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups ice cubes

slice all your onions to desired thickness (1/8 inch slices is most common) and place in a large bowl or roasting pan. toss with the salt; cover with the ice. cover it up and let sit for 4 hours or refrigerated overnight.

Prepare the boiling water bath. Add water to a large canner with rack and heat to about 180°. The water should be high enough to be at least 1 inch above the filled jars. Wash jars thoroughly and dump the jar and lids into the water till the water comes to desired temperature of 180. remove jars and place on a dish towel next to the stove - not directly on the counter or they could crack. keep the lid tops in the canner to keep them hot till use.

Drain the onion mixture. In a large pot (nonreactive) over medium heat, combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add the drained cucumber mixture and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, loosely pack the vegetables in prepared jars. Ladle the liquid into jars, dividing evenly among the jars. With a clean damp cloth wipe away any drips around the rims of the jars then cover with 2-piece jar lids - now is when you pluck them from your water using tongs. Adjust the screw on rings firmly but do not over-tighten. Place filled in the prepared hot water bath, adding more hot water as needed to bring the water up to about 1 inch above the jars. Bring the water to a boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Lift the jars out of the water and place on a rack to cool.
Makes about 6 pints.

1 comment:

ArtsyNina said...

Oh I was bit by the bug, too! I did a lot of water bath things; pickles and jams and jellies. But a week ago I received a pressure canner as a gift. Watch out world! I can can anything now! LOL