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Canning questions...

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by Winter Rosebudd on July 07, 2005 07:01 AM
Does anyone can fruit or jam? I've done pickles, but was really worried about the seal and put them all in the fridge [Big Grin] I did use the mason jars and followed the intructions but I still got worried. Is there a way you can tell if your seal is right?

Also...anyone have a good canning recipe for peaches? Jam or anything?

What ripeness should they be?

Thanks!!!

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by Amigatec on July 07, 2005 10:07 AM
If the lids pull down they should be ok. Most fruits can be hot water bathed and will can just fine.

Most fruits have enough acid in them to hot water bath.

As far as the recipe, I use the instructions on the box.

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by mike57 on July 07, 2005 11:54 AM
HI Winter heres a link that i think you will find helpfull its about canning.hope it helps.
http://www.canning-food-recipes.com/
your friend in gardening n food.mike57

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by Winter Rosebudd on July 09, 2005 03:39 AM
Oh...thanks!!!

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by tkhooper on July 09, 2005 05:47 AM
I've always heard it is good to use slightly overripe fruit. But that's just hearsay. I'm to chicken to try.
by Winter Rosebudd on July 13, 2005 08:22 AM
Thanks everyone! Well apparently it wasn't my canning technique this time...my jars sealed up great! I guess my recipe I had failed...the jam didn't really jell up...its thick, but not thick enough I don't think. Tastes great though. [grin]

On a more sucessful note...the peach chipotle BBQ sauce came out amazing! I'm seriously proud of myself...I found a few different recipes and sorta concocted something and I actually wrote it down this time if anyones interested...let me know! [clappy]

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by Merme on July 13, 2005 11:34 AM
Usually homemade jam DOESN'T gel up the way store bought does. That's one way to tell if it's really homemade or not! Just like homemade peanut butter separates because of what ISN'T added to it to keep it together.

Unless your jam is the consistancy of water, I'm guessing you did fine with it.

Merme

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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by 4Ruddy on July 13, 2005 02:51 PM
quote:
the jam didn't really jell up...
Winter, I have had fruit not jell before...sometimes it is the pectin...be sure to check dates on the package. BUT, when mine doesn't jell.....I consider it pancake syrup! We have had some of the best plum & peach pancake syrup! [thumb]

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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by Winter Rosebudd on July 18, 2005 02:39 AM
I didn't use any pectin because I found several recipes that didn't call for it.

Thanks Merme! You just made me feel so much better....I think its pretty perfect then...definately too think for hotcakes!

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by Lucy Lou on July 21, 2005 08:13 AM
Hi, I am Lucy Lou. I just found your forum.
To answer your questions on jam and peaches, if you didn't use commercial pectin, the jam is normally not as thick as one that calls for it. Also, some jams and jellies can take up to a month to gel. If you want to remake it, I can give you instructions on that, too.
Normally the best jam comes from a combination of fruit that is partly ripe to ripe. Riper fruit has less natural pectin and will not gel as good.
As for peaches, I normally make jam or can them in syrup.
I know there are other jam recipes that combine peaches with raspberries, etc.
The peach salsa is really popular right now, too.
I also have a recipe for making fruit syrups out of any fruit.
If your jars are sealed, you can press in the middle. If the seal doesn't pop up and down, it is sealed. You can see the difference by trying a jar with a lid on that you have not sealed and one that you did. Also, you should see by looking at them that the sealed jars are a little sunken in the middle.
Hope this helps.
I volunteer w/ my local county extension office and I am trained in food preservation and safety.
Let me know if I can help any of you with information.
by Winter Rosebudd on July 23, 2005 02:50 AM
Thanks Lucy for the great info! [flower]

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by Lucy Lou on July 23, 2005 11:25 AM
You are welcome.
Here it is the end of July and I have not canned one thing ! We may starve this winter, LOL.
I have been too busy. Our daughter got married this past Sat. so you can imagine what things were like around here.
The first of the year, my dad died, so we had to clear out his home, and sell the home, along with vehicles, etc.
I am looking forward to next week, getting new floors in the kitchen, bath, and laundry room, plus a new dishwasher.
Soooo, after those looooong months, I may actually have time to can something once the kitchen is operable again.
I still have frozen fruit from last year for fruit leather.
by hisgal2 on July 26, 2005 03:05 AM
I have never tried to can anything, but recently acquired a really nice pressure cooker with everything that I need (apparently) to can at an auction (for $7!!!). I also got a couple boxes of quart sized jars. Is there something that is easy that I can try?? Maybe a peach jelly or something like that??? Or directions for janning pears since I can get those easily??

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by Karrie on July 28, 2005 07:59 PM
I cannot wait to can my green beans! They are by far the easiest. Do any of you ever make grape juice? I love it too. Both are so easy. I hate maters always end up with burned fingers from pealing the skin. They sure make a good chili though.

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by Lucy Lou on July 31, 2005 09:51 AM
Hisgal2, you process low acid foods in a pressure canner,(it is a canner and not a cooker? There is a difference.) like green beans, soups, chili, dried beans, meats, etc.
You are able to can fruit in them, but they are processed at a lower pressure and for just a few minutes. I prefer fruits in a water bath. Try just putting 2-3 inches in the canner and take it for a test run to check the seal for leaks and to get the hang of it. If it has a dial gauge, it needs to be tested for accuracy before you use it every year. If you have questions, I will be glad to help you.
If it is tall enough, you can use it for a water bath canner, just sit the lid on, but don't tighten it down. The pot needs to be deep enough for water to come up over the jars by 1-2 inches when water bath canning and have enough room to boil. The water bath method is for high acid foods, like fruits, jams, and pickles.
by trynhard on August 01, 2005 01:05 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Karrie:
I hate maters always end up with burned fingers from pealing the skin.
To keep from getting burned while peeling the maters, cut a small slit in your maters then put into boiling water for about 1 minute then scoop out adn put into a sink of ice water, when they cool the skin will practically fall off.

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by Triss on August 01, 2005 03:42 AM
On the issue of canning tomatoes, Do you have to peel them? And how exactly would I go about canning Roma's to be used later for sauces?

I have a huge pot that I can water bathe the jars inside but am concerned about just what to do so I dont end up with rotten tomatoes come winter.

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by trynhard on August 01, 2005 06:26 AM
For me one of the easiest was to keep tomatoes is freeze them, just wash them real good under running water, cut out the stem, core, blossom end and any bad spots. Then put them on a cookie sheet adn set them in the freezer for several hours until they are frozen then quickly put them into freezer bags adn back into the freezer. When you are ready to use them just hold then under hot water and the skin will curl up and it will come off real easy.

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I would give you a piece of my mind, but I don't have enough to share.
by Triss on August 01, 2005 06:46 AM
Thanks for that input. I am planning on freezing some as well. Your idea looks really easy!

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by Lucy Lou on August 01, 2005 11:09 AM
Triss, here is how to can them:
TOMATOES - WHOLE OR HALVED (PACKED RAW WITHOUT ADDED LIQUID)

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QUANTITY: An average of 21 pounds is needed per canner
load of 7 quarts; an average of 13 pounds is needed per
canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 53 pounds and
yields 15 to 21 quarts--an average of 3 pounds per quart.

PROCEDURE: Wash tomatoes. Dip in boiling water for 30
to 60 seconds or until skins split, then dip in cold water.
Slip off skins and remove cores. Leave whole or halve.

Acidify by adding two tablespoons of bottled lemon
juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes.
For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4
teaspoon citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the
jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset acid
taste, if desired. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jars, if
desired. Fill hot jars with raw tomatoes, leaving 1/2-inch
headspace. Press tomatoes in the jars until spaces between
them fill with juice. Leave 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust
lids and process. For both pints or quarts,
Water bath, 85 minutes.
Pressure can, 11 lb. dial gauge, 10 lb. weighted gauge, 25 minutes.

There are other styles, like added water or tomato juice, etc. Personally, I don't want to add any liquid to them. You do need to add the bottled lemon juice or citric acid to be sure they are safe from botulism. Bottled lemon juice is used because it must be a certain acidity to be sold. Fresh lemons vary in acidity and should not be used.
If you leave the peels on, they taste like paper.
by Triss on August 01, 2005 11:10 PM
Thanks for all of that information. Will be trying that method as well. I also just want to tomatoes and not a bunch of extra juice.

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We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by darlene87 on August 05, 2005 01:43 PM
Hi Lucy and the others,
I also taught food canning, preserving, safety, etc., for our extension agency as a food advisor also. Be very cautious with green beens and other veggies, please. Fruit is a lot easier for a beginner. Jam and jelly needs some fruit that is not quite ripe, or add pectin. Otherwise, it is runny, good for syrup. Also a pressure cooker should have it's guage checked yearly to be sure it is canning at the proper temp. Please do not use a canner that uses steam...the core of the jar with food does not get as hot as the outside of the jar, thus making it harder to can. Our state has been trying to get them off the market with no success. Remember that there are no shortcuts to canning! Guess I should go online and find some extension addresses to post for those that want to do it proper.
Darlene
by Winter Rosebudd on August 09, 2005 07:53 AM
Hey Darlene...thats some very good info there...thank you! I've never had luck with pressure cookers and am quite scared of them.. [Big Grin]

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by Lucy Lou on August 09, 2005 01:29 PM
Darlene, thanks for posting. Oh, it is so hard to get people to believe that steam canners do not get the food as hot as a boiling water bath canner. People argue with me over it, call me stupid, etc. The only people who say it is safe are the folks who sell them. I have a whole page of reasons they are unsafe. I just do not take any chances with food safety.
It is amazing how many ask if they have to process their food. It isn't canned if you don't can it ! We actually had someone call and want to know why the lids blew off their jars of water bath green beans. Same with someone who used an old pickle recipe w/o enough vinegar.

You don't need to be afraid of pressure canners. Just watch it and don't walk away and leave it for long. They have safety pressure plugs that will pop first. I have used one for over 30 years and have helped many people learn to use them. Never a mishap yet. You can do it !

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