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Preserving the Harvest - Page 3

post #41 of 688
Personally I like frozen peas better than canned. Kids love eating peas frozen for a snack, they are so easy to throw into anything at the last minute. Even add them to salads.

That said, we also love dilled peas (canned). I use a recipe for dilled beans (green beans). Basically dill cucumber pickles, but using sugar snap peas instead (the kind that you eat the pod and peas).
post #42 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlyn View Post
Personally I like frozen peas better than canned. Kids love eating peas frozen for a snack, they are so easy to throw into anything at the last minute. Even add them to salads.

That said, we also love dilled peas (canned). I use a recipe for dilled beans (green beans). Basically dill cucumber pickles, but using sugar snap peas instead (the kind that you eat the pod and peas).
I never thought of pickling peas ar green beans, I bet my kids would love them. They like pickled anything. Thanks for the ideas.
post #43 of 688
Hi Mamas! I've tried canning a couple times. Yesterday I made a batch of strawberry jam. It's so much work and so hot!! Does it get easier as you get more familiar with the process? I'm hoping to can tomatoes this summer but I'm so discouraged. It seems to take so long for such a small batch. And of course it seems the babe always wakes from her nap at an unexpected and inconvenient time during the process.
post #44 of 688
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosie29 View Post
Hi Mamas! I've tried canning a couple times. Yesterday I made a batch of strawberry jam. It's so much work and so hot!! Does it get easier as you get more familiar with the process? I'm hoping to can tomatoes this summer but I'm so discouraged. It seems to take so long for such a small batch. And of course it seems the babe always wakes from her nap at an unexpected and inconvienient time during the process.
Find a canning buddy! It makes the time go by quickly especially when you are making apple butter. My FIL and MIL can with me, and we have a blast doing it late at night after the kids are in bed!

Oh, and this year I am canning in very small batches.
post #45 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosie29 View Post
Hi Mamas! I've tried canning a couple times. Yesterday I made a batch of strawberry jam. It's so much work and so hot!! Does it get easier as you get more familiar with the process? I'm hoping to can tomatoes this summer but I'm so discouraged. It seems to take so long for such a small batch. And of course it seems the babe always wakes from her nap at an unexpected and inconvienient time during the process.
Hi Rosie,
This is part of why I decided to mostly freeze instead of doing a lot of canning. It does have the disadvantage of being dependent on electricity (and on having a large freezer -- an investment we made a few years ago). It's much easier, though. For tomato sauce, I just use all of the tomatoes that have accumulated on my counter and make spaghetti sauce for dinner. Then I freeze the leftovers flat in quart size freezer bags. Basically, it's only a little more work than making one batch of sauce from scratch, and I've made three or four dinners. Since I can pick tomatoes for 3+ months, doing this weekly can result in almost a year's work of spaghetti sauce. When things are really overwhelming (I have a July baby and an August baby, so I've had my share of overwhelming summers), I just put the WHOLE tomatoes in freezer bags. They peel easily when they defrost, and then the mushy defrosted tomatoes are easily made into sauce.
post #46 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosie29 View Post
Hi Mamas! I've tried canning a couple times. Yesterday I made a batch of strawberry jam. It's so much work and so hot!! Does it get easier as you get more familiar with the process? I'm hoping to can tomatoes this summer but I'm so discouraged. It seems to take so long for such a small batch. And of course it seems the babe always wakes from her nap at an unexpected and inconvenient time during the process.
Freezer jams are great for this reason. So simple! Not heating anything up. Just crush up the berries, stir in the sugar and certo (I use the recipe in the certo light box, and last year I used a freezer jam pectin), and you're done in a few minutes!
post #47 of 688
I did my first canning this year-strawberry jam!!!!: Im going to do pickles with the pickling cukes im growing (and use my own dill too) and spaghetti sauce with our tomatoes. I love canning!!! Id like to get a pressure canner soon so I can do canned meats and other things.
post #48 of 688
For those that freeze- How do you know how long each item will stay good for? Do you just go with the standard good for a year idea?
post #49 of 688
Here's a link http://extension.missouri.edu/xplor/...nut/gh1501.htm Generally, home frozen veggies are good for 10 months (which takes me to the next growing season), and they don't actually go BAD after that or become unsafe to eat. They just deteriorate in flavor, quality, and nutrition.

....Thinking about freezing reminded me that I have a placenta in my freezer that I need to clear out so that we have enough room for this year's harvest. You'd think I would have gotten around to planting a tree for my daughter by now, since she's turning THREE next month.
post #50 of 688
I just canned my first batch of boysenberries of the season! : I used the Pomona's Pectin for the first time and I am so happy with the results. It is nice to be able to sweeten to my taste. I used honey for our jam. With the Pomona's you wouldn't have to use any sweetener at all if you so chose! I highly recommend it. This morning I made a small batch of rhubarb preserves using my last two stalks. I added orange juice and some lime zest and it came out wonderfully. My son and I have been "tasting" it all day...

I totally and completely have the canning bug now. I am so happy to see this thread to get more ideas.

I love the idea of using my own preserves to sweeten yogurt! What a fabulous idea!

I would love to can meat, my inlaws can elk and deer every year and share a few jars with us. We refer to is as the "sacred meat" haha and pull it out for special occassions because it is so divine!

Has anyone checked out the book "Wild Fermentation" ?? It has all sorts of preservation ideas and recipes for pickling using lacto-fermentation instead of vinegar. Interesting stuff. I made sauerkraut from our home-grown purple cabbage. It is shamefully easy and very very tasty and bright. I still have a large crock of it, months after cabbage season ended. All that was involved was slicing and salting and pressing into a crock or jar and then waiting!

We have a large organic garden that I slave over (as a labor of love) all summer long so I'm really looking forward to not letting so much food go to waste this year. It will be easier this year since I'm not hugely pregnant (2 summers ago) and don't have a infant (last summer) -- toddlers are easier in the garden, right?

Keep the recipes coming!:
post #51 of 688
I have had no luck at all finding Pomona's. We live in a more rural area (I say "more rural" because we are within 30 minutes of two larger towns/small cities) and none of the stores have had it. What brick & morter store have you all bought it at?

I have used the non-sugar and low sugar ball pectin and was not happy with it, mostly because of the color and consistancy.

Yes Rosie, it does get easier. Plus, as the kids get older they will learn to either help or stay out of the way
post #52 of 688
Serenatabbie this is from the Pomona website:

Look for "Pomona's" at your local Health Food Store, Food Co-op or Farm Stand. If you can't find it locally, then you can mail order it all year from Workstead Industries or Harvest Plus: U.S.
Workstead Industries
P.O. Box 1083
Greenfield, MA 01302
(413) 772-6816
info@pomonapectin.com


I purchased it at Whole Foods.
post #53 of 688
Thank you No whole foods around here and only one HFS that does not carry it. I guess ordering on line will be my route
post #54 of 688
Thread Starter 
My MIL and I tried the Pamona's last night for the first time. We did three small batches of strawberry jam. One flavored with honey, another with a small amount of sugar and the third we tried the all-fruit with juice concentrate. We forgot to bring the blender with (canned at her cabin), so I don't think the all-fruit is going to work out. We did small batches of 2 pints each since we had never used Pamona's before.

We are going to do our big canning night (20 pints) either tonight or tomorrow after the jam sets and we can taste test!

Oh, and I live in a small town in Wisconsin and could not find Pamona's either. My MIL lives in CA, and she bought some before coming out.
post #55 of 688
Questions 101....

Okay getting ready to make freezer jam.

Question one: Can I freeze in glass jars? I always thought this was a no-no.


Question two: Other then sweeting the jam does the sugar play any roll in the jam. I ask because I would like to decrease the amount of sugar I am going to use, but do not want to hurt the jam. Here is the receipe I am using:

http://www.grouprecipes.com/23590/ho...berry-jam.html

TIA!
post #56 of 688
Blooming
Commercial pectins (Ball, Certo, Sure Gell) require an appropriate ratio of sugar to fruit in order to jell. Mess with the ratio and you might make syrup instead. Unless the recipe and/or pectin says low-sugar i wouldn't mess with it.

Instead you can use Pomonas Pectin which doesn't require sugar to jell.
Or you can use a long cook method if your fruit is high in pectin. You may also make your own pectin with apples (according to Stocking Up, I have no personal experience with this one).
post #57 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooming View Post
Questions 101....

Okay getting ready to make freezer jam.

Question one: Can I freeze in glass jars? I always thought this was a no-no.
I freeze all our jam in glass jars, and haven't had a problem. Just be sure you leave some space at the top, because it will expand as it freezes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooming View Post
Question two: Other then sweeting the jam does the sugar play any roll in the jam. I ask because I would like to decrease the amount of sugar I am going to use, but do not want to hurt the jam. Here is the receipe I am using:

http://www.grouprecipes.com/23590/ho...berry-jam.html
TIA!
If you decrease the sugar, you might end up with runny jam. I prefer to use less sugar, so I use Certo Light pectin crystals instead. The recipe is 4 cups of CRUSHED strawberries (so more like 6-8 cups of strawberries) and 3-1/4 c. sugar, with 1 box of Certo light.
post #58 of 688
Quote:
Originally Posted by medicmama View Post
Does anyone have book recomandations/recipies?

http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Blue-Book...4760863&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.com/Preserving-Sum...4760964&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Canni...ref=pd_sim_b_1

These are some of the books I use. But especially the Ball Blue Book.
post #59 of 688
Laura ~ I've just bought mine at the local health food stores. The one little local grocery guy had forgotten to order it, and I reminded him last year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooming View Post
Question one: Can I freeze in glass jars? I always thought this was a no-no.

Question two: Other then sweeting the jam does the sugar play any roll in the jam. I ask because I would like to decrease the amount of sugar I am going to use, but do not want to hurt the jam. Here is the recipe I am using:
#1: Yes. But I don't. I have a husband and three kids. I don't dare, especially because the hubby and 4.5yo have a tendency to rummage through the freezer for me. I use the little 8oz plastic Ball jars with twist on (purple) lid - just wash when empty to save for next season.

#2: Yes. Most pectins need the high sugar content (55-85%) to jell, otherwise you'll have a nice, runny jam. The fruits that you don't really need pectin for have a pretty high sugar content to start and will jell by themselves given enough cooking time. Like peaches and apricots and apples I believe (but don't quote me, I don't make jams out of those).


Fwiw, the pink-boxed Sure Jell I used last year had 4 cups crushed strawberries to 3 cups sugar (that's the low sugar ratio), and Pomona Pectin I used 4 cups crushed strawberries to 1-2 cups sugar (more than one batch).
And I've also learned that the 2 cups of sugar I added to 4 cups crushed raspberries? Still way too sweet for me, need to cut that down this year.
post #60 of 688
Thank you everyone! So I was still milling this over when I went to the hardware store.

There I found Ball, Fruit jell Freezer Jam Pectin. You use 4 cups crushed fruit, to 1 and a half cups sugar, then add Ball Fruit Pectin, let sit 15 minutes and freeze. This makes 5, eight ounce jars. (Which I also bought at the harware store).

I've been very excited about my little discovery at my small town hardware store.

The only down side mybe the ingredints: Dextrose, Pectin, Citric acid, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Sorbate.

Hopefully none of that will kill me or has gluten in it. Off to investigate...
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