Thursday, June 18, 2009


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During several conversations that my wife and I have had about the garden, one that is about to be a big issue is what to do about excess? We know there are some families in need that we will certainly give food to, but we want to save some for the fall/winter. How do you do it? You freeze and can. Mostly canning, which ought to be fun.

As the economy has caused everyone to tighten up, saving excess harvest is now top of mind. Never done it before, though I have heard stories and seen pictures. It's the old becoming new again thing and it's gaining in popularity. Never since I can remember, and I'm 37, that people are worried from one day to the next about their job situation, keeping food on the table, keeping there home intact and all the other things that come along with a bad economy. That is why preserving home grown fruits and vegetables is now so much more relevant.

Now, I found a couple of recipes on the internet I've posted below that I'm going to try.

Canned Tomato recipe:

Canned Tomatoes
If you're canning tomatoes, this is the way to go, as you don't have to mess around with boiling and packing burning-hot tomatoes. Be sure to process for the extended time listed, though, so you can be sure the heat penetrates into the center of the jars.
You will need about 20 pounds of tomatoes to fill 7 quart jars (the number that fits into a water-bath canner.) A bushel of tomatoes weighs about 50 pounds and yields 15 to 21 quart jars.
Bottled lemon juice
Salt (optional)
Wash jars, lids and bands in hot, soapy water. Keep jars in clean hot water until ready to use; meanwhile, cover lids and bands with water in a saucepan and bring to a near-boil. Keep hot until ready to use. Before packing each jar of tomatoes, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt to each PINT jar, or 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt to each QUART jar.
Working in small batches, immerse tomatoes in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins start to loosen or crack. Immediately plunge into a bowl or pot of cold water and slip off the skins. Remove cores and any bruised or discolored portions. Leave whole or halve or quarter larger tomatoes.
Pack raw tomatoes into prepared jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Press tomatoes into the jar until the spaces between them fill with juice, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by sliding a spatula between glass and tomatoes and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding tomatoes. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until fingertip-tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process pint or quart jars for 85 minutes (this recipe is not recommended for quart-and-a-half jars). Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool on a towel-covered countertop away from drafts, and store.

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Dill Pickle Recipe:

Garlic Kosher Dill Pickles Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preservation 400 delicious and creative recipes for today

5 lbs. pickling cucumbers
6 tbsp pickling spice
2 bunches dill
3/4 cup kosher salt
1 cup white vinegar
8 cups water
3 garlic cloves
Rinse the cucumbers. Cut the ends off the cucumbers and then cut them into 1/4″ thick slices.
In a large ceramic, stainless steel, or glass container, place half of the pickling spice and one bunch of dill. Place the cucumbers on top.
In a large stainless steel pot, add the salt, vinegar, and water. Bring to a boil and dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Pour the pickling liquid into the crock. Place the remaining pickling spice and dill and the garlic on top. Place a plate on top of the cucumbers and then a jar filled with water on top of the plate.
Put the container in a cool dry place and cover it with a tea towel. Allow it to ferment for 2 to 3 weeks or until the cucumbers have achieved a pickled flavor. Remove any scum from the top of the container every day.
Prepare the canner, jars, and lids.
Drain the pickles, reserving the brine, and remove the dill, pickling spice, and garlic. Bring the brine to a boil in a stainless steel pan and boil for 5 minutes.
Pack the pickles into the jars leaving 1/2″ head room. Pour the hot brine into the jars to cover the pickles leaving 1/2″ head room. Secure the lids onto the jars.
Process the jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, allow to cool, and then store.
Makes about 8 pint jars.

Recipe Source:

"I see upon their noble brows the seal of the Lord, for they were born kings of the earth far more truly than those who possess it only from having bought it."
George Sand

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