Friday, July 10, 2015

Canning 2015

I've put up about 45 pints of Bread and Butter pickles this season, and am waiting on the tomatoes to turn red so I can can them for sauce and salsa.  Both of these are done by the Water Bath Method, which can be found in the Ball Canning Guide (about $7 at any Wal Mart), but you need to have one that is at least less than 5 years old, things have changed a bit.  I have use many of the techniques and recipes from SB CANNING both for at home and my canning classes that I teach.

Start with a clean kitchen, trust me, you won't regret it.

If you are getting started, here is the prep for Water Bath Method.

I have a table top oven (roaster oven) that I use to sterilize and keep the jars, lids, and rings warm, that way I'm not using every single burner on the stove top.  It also frees up space on the counter, I can just move it if I need to. If you don't want to heat up the kitchen you can use the side burner on your grill, or even the fish fryer, and do this outside, just make sure you have everything ready a head of time.

For Bread and Butter Pickles, if you want a more "DIY" method this is the standard method, I just get the premixed package for about $2.50,(it also calls for 7 cups of sugar-I'll occasionally use 8 cups) I do plan on making up my own mix of spices soon.  I ice my cucumber slices for about 2 hours, I just put them in a bowl of ice, or if I have a double batch (as I have lately) I use one side of the sink. Salt does nothing to help the preservation process, so if you are on a special diet you can decrease or omit the salt all together.

For sweet and dill pickles try this recipe.

NEW How to store your jars!!!!
DO NOT store with the rings on, and DO NOT stack.

I let my jars sit until cool to touch, if they are near an air vent I will place a light towel over them for an hour or two so no cold air can blow on them, then remove the rings, wipe the jar, and let it sit overnight or a few more hours.  When they have sat at least 12, preferable 24 hours, I put them away.  I have an old wire hanger that I use to store my rings on, I took some pliers, untwisted the top, made a hook from the non-hook end and slide it over the wire on the other side.  Make sure they are 100% clean and dry before putting them up, inspect them each time you use them, if they are dinged, dented, or have a rust spot, toss them.  Ball makes plastic lids for storing in the fridge, I use those, and NEVER NEVER NEVER, re-use a lid.

If you are looking for a recipe for Ranch Style Beans, try this one, I have and it is awesome, It is Pressure Canning Method, but no need to worry or fear, if I can do it so can you.
Ranch Style Beans.

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