Preserving the Harvest - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 688 Old 07-24-2008, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Blooming View Post
I also wanted to ask about my yellow beans. They are ready to be harvested and replanted! I want to freeze them. Do I have to do anything special or can I just throw them in the freezer?

Thanks!
I would blanch them in boiling water for a minute or two. The blanching stops the growth enzymes, and the beans will store better. After they have blanched, dip them in ice water to stop the cooking process. Then, drain well and pat dry with a towel. Store in food grade freezer bags (not just sandwich bags). HTH.

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#242 of 688 Old 07-26-2008, 01:41 AM
 
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Blooming, I've always read that you're supposed to blanch green or yellow beans before freezing them. I did that last summer, but we never got to taste them; I didn't seal the bags properly, and they got freezer burned. Most people around here preferred canned beans to frozen ones, but I haven't had a chance to compare yet.
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#243 of 688 Old 07-26-2008, 09:48 AM
 
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Blooming, I've always read that you're supposed to blanch green or yellow beans before freezing them. I did that last summer, but we never got to taste them; I didn't seal the bags properly, and they got freezer burned. Most people around here preferred canned beans to frozen ones, but I haven't had a chance to compare yet.
Sorry to hear about your beans last year. You'll have to let me know if canning really is better.

I froze two bags yesterday. If only I could get over my fear of canning!

I freeze everything unless we are eating it right away.
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#244 of 688 Old 07-26-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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Yup, we only do homegrown, home-canned green beans.
Beans from the store are just awful (fresh, frozen or canned). Because they don't grow for taste, they grow for all-at-once harvest purposes. *sigh*
But I grew up on homegrown, home-canned green beans, so I'm used to the tender, fully-cooked soft-ish texture that canning does to 'em. The color doesn't bother me much - I'm used to the dark olive-y green of cooked beans anyway.

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#245 of 688 Old 07-26-2008, 04:22 PM
 
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I have done the beans both frozen and canned and much prefer them canned as well.

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#246 of 688 Old 07-26-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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I have done the beans both frozen and canned and much prefer them canned as well.

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Sigh, now if I could only get over my giving the family food poisoning fear.
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#247 of 688 Old 07-26-2008, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was in a canning frenzy yesterday. I only had a little time by myself, so I canned 4 quarts of blueberry pie filling and 9 half pints of blueberry jam in 1.5 hours!!! That is a record since the filling had to process for 45 mintues!

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#248 of 688 Old 07-27-2008, 12:35 AM
 
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Beware, though, as you blanch the green beans- they taste so good, I eat a lot of them before they make it to the foodsaver bag/freezer!

Wouldn't frozen green beans work better for a recipe calling for fresh, ie one in which you'd want the beans to retain some firmness? I have frozen several bags of them and am now moving on to canning the rest- one small raised bed has yielded about eight pounds already!

I have never pressure-canned before, and just put the new canner together today!

Question: I know canning pureed pumpkin is not recommended. But can one safely can a thick vegetable stew? Or pea soup, which is also thick and puree-like?
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#249 of 688 Old 07-27-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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okay I'm thinking about being brave and trying a small batch of watermelon jam (canned)

This is the recipe I'm thinking of using:

Watermelon Jam


Recipe file created August 17, 2000.
Two variations -- one using the traditional "boil it until it jells" method, the other using fruit pectin.
Both are tasty.
Ingredients

3 cups watermelon
1/4 cup raspberries (optional)
1 cups watermelon juice or water
3 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons lemon juice
Remove seeds from watermelon and chop finely -- do not puree. Measure 3 cups.

Place 3 - 1/2 pint (1 cup) canning jars into canner. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Let boil at least 10 minutes to sterilize jars.

Measure all ingredients into a large pot. Boil until juice reaches the jellying point -- 9 degrees F above the boiling point for water at your altitude. This will take about 20 minutes.

Prepare lids. The ones I use need to boil for 5 minutes before use. Check your package for directions.

Ladle jelly into hot canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims to remove any spillage. MAKE SURE THERE IS NO STICKINESS ON RIM. If there is, you will not get a good seal. Put lid and screw band on (fingertip tight), and place in boiling water canner.

Be sure all jars are covered with water. Return to a boil and process for 10 minutes. At altitudes over 1000 feet, process for 20 minutes. Remove jars and let sit overnight.

Check seals. Sealed lids will be curved down. If lid clicks when pressed, it is not sealed. Use these soon. Store the rest in a cool dark place.






Has anyone tried watermelon jam? Any thoughts?
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#250 of 688 Old 07-27-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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Why isn't canning pumpkin recommended? They sell it that way! I plan on canning quite a bit of mine... assuming I get some pumpkins that is!

I've been blanching and freezing green beans a good bit. We have like six+ quart bags of cut, frozen beans already. I've never been a big fan of canned veggies (too soft and mushy, IMO), but I might try canning some.

I've also been freezing lots of black berries and starting on my peppers (green, hot block, and banana so far). Really hoping we get lots of tomatoes to can!!
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#251 of 688 Old 07-27-2008, 07:04 PM
 
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I've made watermelon jelly, but not jam. I used liquid pectin. I also added a little tiny bit of lime peel.

I cooked the second batch of juice/sugar/vinegar slightly longer than my first batch and it wasn't as nicely pink. I would say use the pectin method if you want that lovely watermelon color. My second batch turned out sort of browner. It still tastes good, it just isn't as sparkly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooming View Post
okay I'm thinking about being brave and trying a small batch of watermelon jam (canned)

This is the recipe I'm thinking of using:

Watermelon Jam


Recipe file created August 17, 2000.
Two variations -- one using the traditional "boil it until it jells" method, the other using fruit pectin.
Both are tasty.
Ingredients

3 cups watermelon
1/4 cup raspberries (optional)
1 cups watermelon juice or water
3 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons lemon juice
Remove seeds from watermelon and chop finely -- do not puree. Measure 3 cups.

Place 3 - 1/2 pint (1 cup) canning jars into canner. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Let boil at least 10 minutes to sterilize jars.

Measure all ingredients into a large pot. Boil until juice reaches the jellying point -- 9 degrees F above the boiling point for water at your altitude. This will take about 20 minutes.

Prepare lids. The ones I use need to boil for 5 minutes before use. Check your package for directions.

Ladle jelly into hot canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims to remove any spillage. MAKE SURE THERE IS NO STICKINESS ON RIM. If there is, you will not get a good seal. Put lid and screw band on (fingertip tight), and place in boiling water canner.

Be sure all jars are covered with water. Return to a boil and process for 10 minutes. At altitudes over 1000 feet, process for 20 minutes. Remove jars and let sit overnight.

Check seals. Sealed lids will be curved down. If lid clicks when pressed, it is not sealed. Use these soon. Store the rest in a cool dark place.






Has anyone tried watermelon jam? Any thoughts?

::::: Married for ten years to my good man :. Mama to my sweet and funny boy and my lovely little girl

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#252 of 688 Old 07-27-2008, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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QUICK!!!!

Has anyone ever tried to can smaller batches of pickles using the Mrs. Wages quick process pickle mixes??? DH bought some packets to make my life easier, but I don't have the time to make 10 - 12 quarts at at time!!!

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#253 of 688 Old 07-28-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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anyone make watermelon jelly with pamonas pectin with honey?

~ Kim

mama to E (01-2007) and wife to C

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#254 of 688 Old 07-28-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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QUICK!!!!

Has anyone ever tried to can smaller batches of pickles using the Mrs. Wages quick process pickle mixes??? DH bought some packets to make my life easier, but I don't have the time to make 10 - 12 quarts at at time!!!
The directions on the "quick process" packet say you can keep the unused brine in the fridge. I have the packet on my counter, waiting for my cucumbers to grow! Since it's a seasoning product, I would think you should be able to divide the recipe by measuring how much powder is in there and using proportional vinegar/water/whatever else. It also says to use vinegar and water if you run out of brine before your jars are filled.

Re: mamadelbosque on canning pureed pumpkin: it is only recommended to can chunks of steamed pumpkin in water, not puree- puree is so thick, the heat does not evenly transfer through the food, so you aren't killing all the bacteria and spores. It is sold in cans because commercial canning uses much higher temperatures, in less time, in much stronger and more sophisticated equipment than a pressure cooker.
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#255 of 688 Old 07-29-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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I just found this thread today!!! It's great!! I wanted to do strawberry freezer jam this year but with a 12 month old and a 2 1/2 year old I never did make it out to the upick field. My DH is gone during the weeks and tired on the weekends so him watching the kids didn't work.

I planted six tomato plants in my garden this year and I want to can salsa, but I need a recipe. Does anyone have any that they can share?

I've canned with a pressure canner and never had any problems. I've done chicken and salmon. My mom has done elk, tuna and just about everything under the sun. She cans a lot.

Last fall I canned a bunch of apple sauce and pie apples. I'm going to have to do twice as much this year. I ran out way too fast.

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#256 of 688 Old 07-29-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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I canned jam today for the first time by myself. I've helped my mom for a few years but this was the first time on my own. I liked it much better working by myself!

I used Pamona's and made 5 half-pints of blueberry, using blueberries from my grandparents' patch, and 6 half-pints of strawberry. It certainly tastes great so I hope the consistency is nice.

As I was licking the pan after the strawberry jam was done I had a thought that I wanted to pass by you experts. If I poured the mixture onto sheets in the dehydrator instead of into canning jars would I end up with fruit leather?

I bought a pressure canner this year and I'm hoping to use it (or the water bath canning method where appropriate) for all sorts of things including, but not limited to: homemade stock/broth, soups, applesauce, tomatoes, pizza sauce, pickles, peaches, pumpkin

We have a ton of tomatoes in the garden, so I think I'll be busy!

I've never eaten canned chicken. Does it come out rubery or anything? If not, it might be nice to have some ready to toss in chicken pot pie instead of having to thaw the chicken and cook it before I can do the easy part.

Oh, and watermelon jelly sounds really good! I might have to try that!

Jessica, wife of Marc and Momma to Nikolai (10) and Nathaniel (9) and Olivia (3).
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#257 of 688 Old 07-29-2008, 06:32 PM
 
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Jessica-I don't know about the fruit leathers but I wanted to tell you how excited I was for you and your tomatoes! There is so much you can do with them.

I was just spying on my neighbor's garden, I wish I could take a picture. It looks like something out of a book! He has huge green tomatoes by bunches of 6 or 8. Yup, I'm green with envy. :
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#258 of 688 Old 07-29-2008, 07:44 PM
 
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I know nothing about canning or making jellies, but couldn't you just vaccum seal the jars instead of using the pressure....whatever? I'm sorry...even to me this question sounds stupid.....
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#259 of 688 Old 07-29-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by *Jessica* View Post
I canned jam today for the first time by myself. I've helped my mom for a few years but this was the first time on my own. I liked it much better working by myself!

I used Pamona's and made 5 half-pints of blueberry, using blueberries from my grandparents' patch, and 6 half-pints of strawberry. It certainly tastes great so I hope the consistency is nice.

As I was licking the pan after the strawberry jam was done I had a thought that I wanted to pass by you experts. If I poured the mixture onto sheets in the dehydrator instead of into canning jars would I end up with fruit leather?

I bought a pressure canner this year and I'm hoping to use it (or the water bath canning method where appropriate) for all sorts of things including, but not limited to: homemade stock/broth, soups, applesauce, tomatoes, pizza sauce, pickles, peaches, pumpkin

We have a ton of tomatoes in the garden, so I think I'll be busy!

I've never eaten canned chicken. Does it come out rubery or anything? If not, it might be nice to have some ready to toss in chicken pot pie instead of having to thaw the chicken and cook it before I can do the easy part.

Oh, and watermelon jelly sounds really good! I might have to try that!


I tried this with Blackberry jam that never quite set up. I couldn't get it to turn into fruit leather - it just seemed to heat up - and become very hot Blackberry syrup.

I left it in the dehydrator for over 24 hours.

You could however, mix some into applesauce and dehydrate that as a fruit leather.

Me:
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#260 of 688 Old 07-29-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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I know nothing about canning or making jellies, but couldn't you just vaccum seal the jars instead of using the pressure....whatever? I'm sorry...even to me this question sounds stupid.....
Are you talking about sealing like with a FoodSaver? That would seal the jars, but it wouldn't do anything to kill the bacteria in the food, and the food would go bad. That's why we do the water bath or pressure processing, to kill the bacteria.

Now, if you were going to freeze the jars, then that would work. I actually have some jars of vacuum-sealed kiwi puree in my freezer now, waiting until I get around to making kiwi daiquiri jam. I love the Mason jar attachments on my FoodSaver.
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#261 of 688 Old 07-30-2008, 12:06 AM
 
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Oh, well, which one is better for not blowing up in your face? I'm not a big risk taker, but one day I'd like to try canning and making jams.
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#262 of 688 Old 07-30-2008, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by 100%mom View Post
I planted six tomato plants in my garden this year and I want to can salsa, but I need a recipe. Does anyone have any that they can share?
This will be my first year canning salsa, and here is the site I have been using. I like it because there is a video tutorial as well as smaller batch recipes...
http://www.canningusa.com/IfICanYouCan/Salsa.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Jessica* View Post
As I was licking the pan after the strawberry jam was done I had a thought that I wanted to pass by you experts. If I poured the mixture onto sheets in the dehydrator instead of into canning jars would I end up with fruit leather?
Hmmm...I think the pectin and sweetner would crystalize your leather. If you try it, let us know! I do think you would be better off using your leftover crushed strawberries if you have any!

Quote:
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Oh, well, which one is better for not blowing up in your face? I'm not a big risk taker, but one day I'd like to try canning and making jams.
You could start with fruits and vegetables that are naturally high in acid or recipes that have acid or vinegar products added to them (i.e. strawberry jam, whole tomatoes, pickles, etc.). High acid products require a hot water bath to process (or cook out the bacteria). A hot water bath is simply putting the lids on the filled jars and placing the entire jar in boiling water. Again, this seals the can and cooks out the bacteria. Low acid foods require a pressure canner because these foods need to process or cook at a higher temperature than boiling water to cook out the bacteria. Pressure canners have a reputation for blowing up. But, the canners that are on the market today have many more safety features than the ones our grandmas used!

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#263 of 688 Old 07-30-2008, 02:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The directions on the "quick process" packet say you can keep the unused brine in the fridge. I have the packet on my counter, waiting for my cucumbers to grow! Since it's a seasoning product, I would think you should be able to divide the recipe by measuring how much powder is in there and using proportional vinegar/water/whatever else. It also says to use vinegar and water if you run out of brine before your jars are filled.
Thanks for helping me think that through!! I think I am going to split the packages and recipes in half. If I have extra brine, I will store it in the fridge until more are ripe!

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#264 of 688 Old 07-30-2008, 10:36 AM
 
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Jessica, canned chicken is really good. It's not rubbery at all. It's very moist and great for chicken pot pie or sandwiches. I loved having it on hand!!!

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#265 of 688 Old 07-30-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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I've got a dumb question for y'all.

What part of the store do you find pectin? I looked at my Sav A Lot, but I don't know if I was looking in the right place.

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#266 of 688 Old 07-30-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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Bridget; You might have to hunt around for it. Some stores it is in with the seasonal items, some have it in with the baking items, some have it in random spots like the freezer aisle. Or, instead of hunting, you can just ask a clerk or manager, which is what I do

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#267 of 688 Old 07-30-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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I've got a dumb question for y'all.

What part of the store do you find pectin? I looked at my Sav A Lot, but I don't know if I was looking in the right place.
I ended up buying my supplies at our hardware store. Yup, I live in a small town.
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#268 of 688 Old 07-30-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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I ended up buying my supplies at our hardware store. Yup, I live in a small town.
Actually, that's the most reliable place for use to by jars. I'm guessing they might have pectin, but I try to combine trips and I don't have any other reason to go there. And we're in the big city.

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#269 of 688 Old 07-31-2008, 01:14 AM
 
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Bridget; You might have to hunt around for it. Some stores it is in with the seasonal items, some have it in with the baking items, some have it in random spots like the freezer aisle. Or, instead of hunting, you can just ask a clerk or manager, which is what I do
Totally ask. At one local grocery store here, they've stowed the canning supplies in the middle of the automotive section (?!?). The prices are usually better at the hardware store, though.
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#270 of 688 Old 07-31-2008, 02:06 AM
 
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I added some pictures of stuff I've canned and dehydrated to my blog!
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