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Preserving the Harvest - Page 8

post #141 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic~mama View Post
oh, hmm, i had some, was good, i'm fine. she said she cooks for 3 hours...I have no idea, I've never canned...it was yummy and I'm alive thats all I know
I'm glad you survived! But seriously, I would be much less afraid of a pressure canner than of water-bath canned meat!
post #142 of 688
Anyone know if pectin can go bad? My mom had some with a date of 2001 on it in her pantry, is it still okay to use? I did get some fresh Pomona's after reading the raves here, but I will use up the old stuff if it's still good.
post #143 of 688
Pectin seems to relatively cheap. I would probably replace it because you're going to have a lot more invested in quality produce than pectin and throwing away a batch of goodness would stink.

That's just me, though.

I'm so glad to see the thread pop back up again!
post #144 of 688
Another question: If we are going to use one jar of jam right away, do I need to process that one too or is it okay right after the jam is cooked? I'm planning to water bath can, but I might try freezer jam sometime too.
post #145 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadia105 View Post
Anyone know if pectin can go bad? My mom had some with a date of 2001 on it in her pantry, is it still okay to use? I did get some fresh Pomona's after reading the raves here, but I will use up the old stuff if it's still good.
my canning book says 3 yr expiration..?
post #146 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by nadia105 View Post
Another question: If we are going to use one jar of jam right away, do I need to process that one too or is it okay right after the jam is cooked? I'm planning to water bath can, but I might try freezer jam sometime too.
I don't bother processing the one I know we will eat starting NOW. Actually, I always have a jar ready for when I have some left, but not enough to fill another jar up. That is the one we start eating now. I've always done it that way w/o any problems.
post #147 of 688
I don't process what we're going to eat immediately. What's the point? It would take time out of eating it!!
post #148 of 688
Thanks for answering all the newbie questions!

The timing for getting all the supplies was perfect, I scraped out the last bit of jelly we had in th house for the kids' sandwiches at lunch!
post #149 of 688
Quote:
I was reading in my little house book that people used to preserve unripe fruit with the ripe fruit because the unripe fruit has more pectin. Anyone doing this or tried it?
I have done this in the past. My very favorite strawberry jam is a long cook recipe. You use mostly ripe fruit, and some under ripe. I think it is from either the Farm Journal Freezing & Canning cookbook or maybe from Joy of Cooking. IMO the color and taste is far superior to the faster cooked pectin recipes that I have tried, but when I have a pile of fruit making the table groan I am all for the short cook!

Quote:
Regina

how much jam/fruit preserves do y'all make for the year!?
It depends on how much fruit we gather, are given or grow . I try to make a pint per every 3 weeks for our own personal use, or about 18 pints. I also like to make extra half pints to assemble as "sampler" holiday gift baskets. Last year was a terrible berry year, so I only had two batches of mixed berry jam. But, it was a bumper year for our hot peppers, so everyone I know got gifted a jar of hot pepper jelly . It was also a good year for DH's co-worker's grapes . I think I made somewhere around 24 pints of grape jam before I started giving grapes away and then composting them (shhhh). I had to ask Dh to please please not bring any more home, even though I was very thankful.


Jen- I ordered some on line and it came yesterday! Thanks for the suggestion though... 'cause you know I need another excuse to go out to the Amish/Mennonite store!

My neighbor just called and told me that they have gooseberries in the field next to the barn we volunteer at! I am so excited!
post #150 of 688
OH, BTW! I forgot... who was asking about meat recipes? There are some in the Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cookbook along with directions for basic "how to can meat" instructions.
post #151 of 688
Ok, I have GOT to get new batteries for my kitchen timer. I have been using the microwave timer instead and it's just not loud enough to hear from the other end of the house. I think my blueberry pie filling processed for over an hour before I remembered it. : I hope it tastes ok, LOL.
post #152 of 688
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee View Post
Ok, I have GOT to get new batteries for my kitchen timer. I have been using the microwave timer instead and it's just not loud enough to hear from the other end of the house. I think my blueberry pie filling processed for over an hour before I remembered it. : I hope it tastes ok, LOL.
It hate it when that happens. We did that with our last batch of jam!
post #153 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love_My_Babies View Post
It hate it when that happens. We did that with our last batch of jam!
I did it once with blueberry jam. It became a brick. I had to throw the entire pan out. We called it "weapons grade" jam.
post #154 of 688
Ok, dried blueberries are the BOMB, y'all! I just had some in a salad instead of dried cranberries, and they were so good--same texture and sweet flavor. They're good for snacking plain, too, and I'm sure we'll be substituting them for raisins in recipes for months.

I spent about $15 on 5 pounds fresh blueberries (from a U-pick patch), and ended up with a half gallon of dried blueberries, whereas at the store, they're like $5 for essentially a handful of dried. I'm hoping to go out to the patch this afternoon and pick another 10 pounds of blueberries, half of which I'll freeze and half of which I'll dehydrate.
post #155 of 688
Wow, this thread is such a great ressource! :

We just moved into a house with a huge garden. We have so many raspberries and red currants and strawberries. And in the little patch of trees behind the house there will be wild black raspberries in a few weeks. And then later on we will have elderberries. So far I have put everything in the freezer so my mom can come by and help me make jam. But I really want to dehydrate some of the berries too. And possibly some herbs too. I have camomille, mint, oregano, thyme and lavender.
So could someone please help me with some directions? How do I dehydrate the berries?
I think I know about most of the herbs. I'll just hang small bundles of them in a dark, dry room, but I'm unsure if this will work with camomille.
post #156 of 688
I tried dehydrating raspberries - not great. They were way too seedy. Strawberries are amazing, though. Just wash them if they need it, slice or half them if they are big ones, and put them on the trays. You might need to rotate them if your dehydrator isn't drying evenly. Beware, it's hard not to snack on them before they even get off the dehydrator!
post #157 of 688
I'm so excited, a friend of mine just said I could borrow her food dehydrator! :

I'm going to try the blueberries, I think they would tast great in so many things.

Has anyone tries using the dehydrator for tomatoes?
post #158 of 688
I have dehydrated tomatoes before, they turned out wonderful. I would use scissors and cut them into pasta sauce or into salad dressings... yumm. My youngest daughter ate them like potato chips!
post #159 of 688
Holy carp. I go and do stuff with the kids and deal with way too many strawberries (50lbs this week, give or take), and I have a ton of messages to wade through. Yikes.


Carlyn ~ *I* think the book (Complete Book of Home Preserving) is totally worth the price. Hubby got it for me for Christmas or my birthday last year. It already has splatters on various pages from all the use it's already gotten - in just a year!

Owen'nZoe ~ You can also jerry-rig a rack for the bottom of your processing/canning pot using canning lids. Just attach them together somehow (de-papered twist ties or something?), and viola! Found a neat photo of that trick in my canning book. Yes, I just read it for fun sometimes when I'm stuck nursing in one spot for a while or am stuck elsewhere for a little bit...

radish ~ Lots. So far I have... probably 24-28 half-pints of strawberry jam in the freezer. Will probably do 5-14 half-pints of raspberry jam as well when those finally start to ripen. But I still have my canned stuff down in the basement from last year to rely upon as well. I'm just taking the quick/easy way out with jam this year. Seems I'm only allowed to can past 11:30pm, yet the kids wake up at 7:30. Darned kids. But, we're also in the season of quick/easy/cool meals, and pb&j is right up there. My kids *love* jam and would eat it by the spoonful if I let them.



I'm in the middle of processing some strawberry pie topping/filling. I managed to burn one batch already, but luckily it just had the sugar, water and ClearJel in it and not the berries yet. I would've cried. So, I'm waiting for my pot to soak so I can wash it and start that second batch again here when the first one's about done in the canner. And I got all the jam in the freezer, as well as the puree for the lemonade concentrate. Costco's out of their giant bags of lemons because they're having supplier issues. *sigh* At least freezing the puree won't hurt it, just takes a few of my containers out of commission for a little bit.
post #160 of 688
Thread Starter 
For those that had dehydrating questions, I would highly suggest going to the library or bookstore and finding a book about preparing, dehydrating and storing dried foods. There are limited online resources that give you detailed information about how to prepare specific foods, the drying times for those foods, and how to prepare or use those foods in recipes. Mary Bell has a few pretty good ones.
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