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The Romance of Canning

The Romance of Canning
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  • Post #61 - October 8th, 2008, 1:15 pm
    Post #61 - October 8th, 2008, 1:15 pm Post #61 - October 8th, 2008, 1:15 pm
    Cathy2, I'm not sure how easy a Caputo's is for you, but right now, they have local cabbage, 5 lbs/$1.
  • Post #62 - October 9th, 2008, 12:21 am
    Post #62 - October 9th, 2008, 12:21 am Post #62 - October 9th, 2008, 12:21 am
    HI,

    Caputo's isn't exactly around the block, though I appreciate the information. You never know where I might end up.

    I thought I was done with tomatoes for this year. Wrongo. Today I stopped at a farmstand on Route 60 in Lake Forest immediately west of US-41. I wanted some zuchinni. Yeah, I got the zuchinni plus a 35 pound box of canning tomatoes for $5. My total purchase was around $7. because the zukes were a $1.25 per pound. This evening, I blanched, peeled and deseeded those tomatoes filling my 3-4 gallon stockpot. Tomorrow night I will finish processing.

    Mom1 squeezed pulp from 18 pounds of Concord Grapes and kept the skins separate. I gently boiled the pulp, then ran it though a sieve to remove the seeds. Brought the pulp to a gentle boil, then added the grape skins. I now have a gallon of Concord grape pie filling to keep me going for 1-2 years. I was down to one or two packages, which means I get into my 'keeping it for good' mode. Now I can make it without worrying I am at the bottom.

    I have to put my blinders on to good deals for a few days. I need the time to do other stuff.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #63 - October 9th, 2008, 9:48 am
    Post #63 - October 9th, 2008, 9:48 am Post #63 - October 9th, 2008, 9:48 am
    OK Cathy2...you hooked me. What is grape pie?
  • Post #64 - October 13th, 2008, 2:40 am
    Post #64 - October 13th, 2008, 2:40 am Post #64 - October 13th, 2008, 2:40 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Mom1 squeezed pulp from 18 pounds of Concord Grapes and kept the skins separate.

    Oy! Concord grape pie is wonderful, and one of those rare old recipes you hardly ever see. With good reason. Squeezing grapes for pie is one of the world's most tedious cooking tasks. Plus if you have sensitive skin it makes you itch.

    I hope whoever you make the pies for appreciates how much work goes into them.
  • Post #65 - November 9th, 2008, 1:06 am
    Post #65 - November 9th, 2008, 1:06 am Post #65 - November 9th, 2008, 1:06 am
    Hi,

    This evening I made eight pints of cranberry sauce from 3 pounds of cranberries.

    I made nine one-cup jelly jars of orange marmalade using Ma Made canned Seville oranges from the UK. They were already snug in their jars, when I learned someone chopped candied ginger into their marmalade. Reading an English food blog, I learned my wee marmalade production would last maybe two months in an English household. They freeze Seville oranges to use later in making marmalade. They use Ma Made once they run out of the frozen oranges. One woman commented she made her marmalade in a pressure cooker.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #66 - November 9th, 2008, 9:02 am
    Post #66 - November 9th, 2008, 9:02 am Post #66 - November 9th, 2008, 9:02 am
    I was just thinking of this thread! Yesterday, I finished canning the last 10 pounds of tomatoes I'd purchased at last week's final Evanston Farmer's Market. Thus far this year, I canned: 2 gallons of strawberries (and a pound or so of rhubarb) about 5-10 pounds of pears, about 5-10 pounds of apples, and upwards of thirty pounds of tomatoes.

    I think the thread title was originally intended as irony, but I've certainly been romanced! I only stopped canning because I ran out of jars (and had to prevent myself from running to the hardware store. Next year!)
  • Post #67 - November 10th, 2008, 11:21 pm
    Post #67 - November 10th, 2008, 11:21 pm Post #67 - November 10th, 2008, 11:21 pm
    razbry wrote:OK Cathy2...you hooked me. What is grape pie?

    I had thought I had long ago posted on this unique pie, but couldn't find anything more than passing comments. I finally pulled together a how-to on Concord Grape Pie.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #68 - November 10th, 2008, 11:46 pm
    Post #68 - November 10th, 2008, 11:46 pm Post #68 - November 10th, 2008, 11:46 pm
    Mhays wrote:I think the thread title was originally intended as irony, but I've certainly been romanced! I only stopped canning because I ran out of jars (and had to prevent myself from running to the hardware store. Next year!)

    I consider canning work. Often unpleasantly hot, sticky, steamy work with more ideas and vegetables than time to process it all. It is also a means of making and preserving your own fast food: labor spent now is labor spared later. I like the outcome, I am not always too thrilled to be knee deep in the process. The romance I see in some people's eyes when they talk about the idea of canning is pretty much lost on me. My initial purpose for this thread was to shed light on the effort involved.

    FYI - Most of many canning jars, especially quarts, were either donations from people retiring from canning or through rummage sales. I try to pay no more than 10 cents a jar, which sometimes means I have to wait for the first flush of buyers to run through. I sometimes get the old blue jars with zinc lids, I use these for storing beans and other dried goods.

    Unfortunately all canning jars are made by one company: Ball-Kerr-Golden Harvest are all owned by Allistra. My cheap source of jars was via Big Lots who offer the Golden Harvest during the canning season. I find myself buying jelly one-cup and pint jars, though I hope to find what I need via rummage sales.

    I do ask people to return jars, because they are an expense. I don't get myself in knots, if they don't. It just seems a shame to toss them into the recyling bin, when I can use them once more. I have a friend who will not gift someone jam if the jar did not come back from the year before.

    Marmalade season is coming, which is a pleasant task on a cold night.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #69 - November 11th, 2008, 9:28 am
    Post #69 - November 11th, 2008, 9:28 am Post #69 - November 11th, 2008, 9:28 am
    I will admit, it didn't tickle, so to speak. However, I found it very satisfying work - I waited for colder rainy weekends to do it, when the steam and the heat were welcome, and I did relatively small batches (about ten pounds of raw product at a time) which usually yielded about four or five pints. This did, in most cases, take several hours.

    However, it did put me in mind of another time when everybody did it, and when your rows of canned foods represent your personal effort and in some small way, your personality. We've used them to decorate above our kitchen cabinets - the 'spouse said he likes the home-canned food better than the ceramics we had previously displayed for that reason. I get the romance, there - OTOH I don't believe in romance without a bunch of work.
  • Post #70 - November 14th, 2008, 5:48 pm
    Post #70 - November 14th, 2008, 5:48 pm Post #70 - November 14th, 2008, 5:48 pm
    I've often wanted to experience, if not the romance, at least the fruits of the labor of canning. Would anybody care to walk a newbie through the process next year? If I buy/bring my own jars and chip in to pay for ingredients, would anybody care to have an extra set of hands to prep, cook, and can?

    GBH
  • Post #71 - November 14th, 2008, 5:55 pm
    Post #71 - November 14th, 2008, 5:55 pm Post #71 - November 14th, 2008, 5:55 pm
    HI,

    I will contact you next August.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #72 - June 27th, 2009, 8:50 am
    Post #72 - June 27th, 2009, 8:50 am Post #72 - June 27th, 2009, 8:50 am
    Started canning early this year, inspired by this post, which sang the praises of the Ball's Blue Book's strawberry-lemon marmalade.

    I had about 2 quarts of strawberries that were jam-appropriate:

    Image

    Finished marmalade (2 quarts yielded 7 half-pints):

    Image

    In the photo, you can see that the liquids separated from the solids. I assume that's normal? Anyhow, seems like the marmalade will have to be stirred when opened. I tasted it prior to canning; it doesn't have the "chewiness" that most marmalades have. Rather, the sparse bits of peel stay in the background in a supporting role, lending the strawberries a brighter flavor. I used only the amount of lemon peel specified by the recipe; next time, I think I will double that amount to 1/2 c. so that it has more of a marmalade texture. (Thanks for the recommendation, JenM!)

    NEXT: Brandied cherries.
  • Post #73 - June 27th, 2009, 10:02 am
    Post #73 - June 27th, 2009, 10:02 am Post #73 - June 27th, 2009, 10:02 am
    :twisted: Beat me by a couple hours! :wink: I plan to try that marmalade, I'll take your word on doubling the peel. Started with strawberry-rhubarb jam and had picked some green strawberries; using them and reducing the liquid about half, I didn't find a need to use pectin. Will do the lemon next. Pictures to come.
  • Post #74 - June 27th, 2009, 8:28 pm
    Post #74 - June 27th, 2009, 8:28 pm Post #74 - June 27th, 2009, 8:28 pm
    aschie30 wrote:Started canning early this year, inspired by this post, which sang the praises of the Ball's Blue Book's strawberry-lemon marmalade.

    In the photo, you can see that the liquids separated from the solids. I assume that's normal? Anyhow, seems like the marmalade will have to be stirred when opened. I tasted it prior to canning; it doesn't have the "chewiness" that most marmalades have. Rather, the sparse bits of peel stay in the background in a supporting role, lending the strawberries a brighter flavor. I used only the amount of lemon peel specified by the recipe; next time, I think I will double that amount to 1/2 c. so that it has more of a marmalade texture. (Thanks for the recommendation, JenM!)

    NEXT: Brandied cherries.


    Thank you!!! I think it is normal for the fruit to float a bit-- sometimes I invert the jars a few times as they cool to distribute the fruit. I'm not sure that's a good idea, but it does look better. I totally agree about doubling the peel.

    What is your recipe for brandied cherries-- I would love to make some!

    Cheers, Jen
  • Post #75 - June 28th, 2009, 11:54 am
    Post #75 - June 28th, 2009, 11:54 am Post #75 - June 28th, 2009, 11:54 am
    Many years ago when I was first learning, about 40 years I was taught an old canning trick by someone who was quite knowledgeable. If you place the jars upside down on the counter for 24 hours you will not get this separation. I just finished strawberry rhubarb and raspberry going to do cherry and blueberry next.
    Paulette
  • Post #76 - June 28th, 2009, 9:20 pm
    Post #76 - June 28th, 2009, 9:20 pm Post #76 - June 28th, 2009, 9:20 pm
    paulette wrote:Many years ago when I was first learning, about 40 years I was taught an old canning trick by someone who was quite knowledgeable. If you place the jars upside down on the counter for 24 hours you will not get this separation. I just finished strawberry rhubarb and raspberry going to do cherry and blueberry next.
    Paulette


    Well, okay then. I'll try that next time. Thanks!
  • Post #77 - July 20th, 2009, 2:33 pm
    Post #77 - July 20th, 2009, 2:33 pm Post #77 - July 20th, 2009, 2:33 pm
    My latest canning endeavor:

    Brandied Cherries
    Image

    I used this recipe, but the NY Times also published a similar recipe a couple of years ago. (FWIW, ~ 1 1/2 lb. cherries yielded 4 1/2-pint jars.)

    I see Manhattans in my future . . .
  • Post #78 - July 20th, 2009, 3:26 pm
    Post #78 - July 20th, 2009, 3:26 pm Post #78 - July 20th, 2009, 3:26 pm
    aschie30 wrote: I see Manhattans in my future . . .

    That's a fine future!
    -Mary
  • Post #79 - August 9th, 2009, 11:11 pm
    Post #79 - August 9th, 2009, 11:11 pm Post #79 - August 9th, 2009, 11:11 pm
    Hi.

    I am dripping wet from persperation. I spent several hours this evening preparing to make bread and butter pickles. I decided to commit almost 26 pounds of pickle cucumbers to this recipe.

    For any cucumber pickles, trimming the flower blossom end by 1/16th inch is required. There is a chemical in the bud ends that contributes toward softening the cucumbes. If you like crisp, then anything contributing any softening is simply not acceptable. I had my Mom help. Rather than have her make a wrong judgement call, I had her trim both ends.

    I used a Benriner madolin to slice all those pickles plus nine pounds of onions. I have everything divided into three two-gallon ziploc bags with crushed ice on top. All this is resting in a cooler with cool packs surrounding it.

    I bought yesterday a 25-pound pail of sour cherries and 30 pounds of blueberries. The cherries and 20 pounds of blueberries are reserved for pies. I was very fortunate Mom2 allowed me to use her near vacant freezer for this project. It's not vacant anymore.

    I brought home ten pounds of blueberries, whichs is roughly 28 cups of blueberries, for home use. All are frozen except for those we want to eat fresh now.

    I began the weekend by cleaning the freezer for several hours on Friday evening. If I didn't, I would not know where to put those blueberries. I did find a bison roast, several pheasants and some venison that was MIA. I also discovered I have no need to buy bacon for quite a while. I also have enough stock and glace to keep me in soup and sauces for a while. I also learned from this exercise, I need to make creamed and regular corn. I have less than I thought.

    I'm glad the tomatoes were not yet ripe at my favorite farmer. I might have been canning tomatoes today. This weekend's weather will help boost the crop, but I won't have time for two weeks. I like to think of it as Dante's inferno postponed.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #80 - August 11th, 2009, 7:54 am
  • Post #81 - August 11th, 2009, 12:15 pm
    Post #81 - August 11th, 2009, 12:15 pm Post #81 - August 11th, 2009, 12:15 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:For any cucumber pickles, trimming the flower blossom end by 1/16th inch is required. There is a chemical in the bud ends that contributes toward softening the cucumbers. ,


    I eat raw pickles year round. If you eat that first 1/8" of the pickle, it is one of the most bitter vegetables around.
  • Post #82 - August 11th, 2009, 2:08 pm
    Post #82 - August 11th, 2009, 2:08 pm Post #82 - August 11th, 2009, 2:08 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:For any cucumber pickles, trimming the flower blossom end by 1/16th inch is required. There is a chemical in the bud ends that contributes toward softening the cucumbers. ,


    I eat raw pickles year round. If you eat that first 1/8" of the pickle, it is one of the most bitter vegetables around.

    I agree, it is horrible. Some of my pickles got trimmed twice, because Mom didn't go in far enough.

    MHays - I scanned quickly through the article. I laughed at the $17 pot of jam. I try to ignore how much time I spend as well as tranportation, equipment and produce. If I did really add it up, I might come up with similar numbers. I do go after deals: jars free or from rummage sales, produce in bulk and count my time as free. I stopped exhibiting canned goods at fairs because I felt I gave up too much (work, cost) to justify sacrificing it for a ribbon.

    Tonight the bread and butter pickles get canned. I was going to wake up early today to do this until I heard the weather report: tonight's temp range from 55 to 65 degrees. Why heat up the kitchen for the day, when it can cool overnight?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #83 - August 14th, 2009, 12:02 am
    Post #83 - August 14th, 2009, 12:02 am Post #83 - August 14th, 2009, 12:02 am
    Wow--what a thread! I have two little kiddies so don't get to reading until late night (when I am not canning!)--and loved reading what you are doing. I am a huge jam and pickle maker. I also am a pie lover. Cathy--am curious what are you doing with all of that fruit for pies--are you making filling to freeze? I don't use any pectin for my jam and have had problems with my sour cherry preserves coming out quite the right texture--has anyone had any non-pectin sucess with this? Also, this year and last I have gotten wonderful tasting apricots which I have had to end up putting through the food mill (to make a jam which is tasty but too smooth for my taste) and this is because it has such a brittle veiny structure to the fruit, that when cooked it resembles "baby fingernails" floating through the jam. Not good. I talked to Mick Klug about this and he can't figure it out--is this Illinois or is this the variety? I have never had this problem until 2008.
    Happy Canning--hope to have a chance to talk more about this stuff at the picnic! NZ
  • Post #84 - August 14th, 2009, 7:34 am
    Post #84 - August 14th, 2009, 7:34 am Post #84 - August 14th, 2009, 7:34 am


    Great article which certainly resembles my forays into the world of canning. Combine this with a penchant for Martha Stewart inspired packaging, and you need a second job to cover your expenses.
    Ah, but the joy of admiring your handiwork - priceless :lol:

    Jyoti
    Jyoti
    A meal, with bread and wine, shared with friends and family is among the most essential and important of all human rituals.
    Ruhlman
  • Post #85 - August 14th, 2009, 8:39 am
    Post #85 - August 14th, 2009, 8:39 am Post #85 - August 14th, 2009, 8:39 am
    Does anyone have any good ideas to use up a whole cup, or two or three, of jam? I'd like to clear out some space in the basement with jam from last year to make room for newer jars that I'll make soon.
  • Post #86 - August 14th, 2009, 10:42 am
    Post #86 - August 14th, 2009, 10:42 am Post #86 - August 14th, 2009, 10:42 am
    Jam layer cake, for instance a Kentucky Stack Cake (I did this to get rid of a couple jars of pear butter for Derby Day, it's basically a bunch of layered giant soft gingerbread cookies) There are all kinds of variations, including a Stack Pie, similar but with pieshells layered with filling (also often jam.)

    Mrs. Creason's Jam Cake is another Kentucky favorite. I've never tried it, but might make one next year for Derby Day; there's a cup of jam in the batter.

    Otherwise, you might thin it a bit by heating it and put it on pancakes instead of syrup.
  • Post #87 - August 14th, 2009, 11:12 am
    Post #87 - August 14th, 2009, 11:12 am Post #87 - August 14th, 2009, 11:12 am
    Thanks Michele. The only thing I had thought of so far was heating it and using it as syrup - I think Jacques Pepin does that in half of his Fast Food My Way episodes!
  • Post #88 - August 14th, 2009, 6:20 pm
    Post #88 - August 14th, 2009, 6:20 pm Post #88 - August 14th, 2009, 6:20 pm
    Any cookie calling for a filling. I have used my jam in crescent cookies similar to ruglach and of course thumbprints. If thick enough you could use it for sandwich cookie filling. It also works well as filling for cake that you cut in half. Have an almond cake that I cut and fill with apricot jam.
    Paulette
  • Post #89 - August 15th, 2009, 3:15 pm
    Post #89 - August 15th, 2009, 3:15 pm Post #89 - August 15th, 2009, 3:15 pm
    Darren72 wrote:Does anyone have any good ideas to use up a whole cup, or two or three, of jam? I'd like to clear out some space in the basement with jam from last year to make room for newer jars that I'll make soon.


    the recipe calls for Apricot Preserves, but I've used Cherry and Blueberry as well

    Fruit Bars -
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup quick-cooking oats
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 cup cold butter
    3/4 cup apricot preserves

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    Press half of the mixture into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Spread with preserves. Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture; gently press down.
    Bake at 350 degrees F for 38-42 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares.
  • Post #90 - August 27th, 2009, 8:33 pm
    Post #90 - August 27th, 2009, 8:33 pm Post #90 - August 27th, 2009, 8:33 pm
    I have a quick question that I hope some of the canning experts can help me with (Cathy!). I made some half-sour pickles this week. The pickles fill 6 wide mouth, pint-size mason jars. I originally thought I'd keep the pickles in the fridge. Now I've decided that I should have processed these pickles so I can store them out of the fridge.

    I'm wondering if it is too late to process these. Can I just put the jars (now filled with pickles and cool liquid) into a boiling water bath for, say, 10 minutes? Or should I remove the brine, boil it, return it to the jars, and then process it? Or am I past the point of no return?

    Thanks in advance.

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