Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Canning The Easy Way.

After a friend from college mentioned to me on Facebook that she wished she knew something about canning, I figured it was time to add canning to our blog! I taught my children years ago everything they needed to know about canning so that they could share canning with their children.

Pickling is not the same as canning in that all you need is a water bath. Today's blog will talk about pickling and I'll show you how easy and fun canning can be. Canning pickles is considered a high acid process of canning so a water bath is fine and healthy for canning.

You will need Jars. I use pint sized ones, but this is really up to you. You will need:
Cucumbers and peppers
fresh garlic
fresh dill and
1/8 cup dried dill
(fresh) Black pepper
(whole) mustard seeds
fennel seeds
pickling solution (I use Mrs Wages) You can use your own acid from the store as well.
and water

The first thing I tell everyone when teaching canning of any kind, be it jelly, jams or green beans. Super CLEAN your kitchen. I mean it. CLEAN your kitchen and make sure that everything is wiped down with an antibacterial cleaner. While you are cleaning you kitchen and clearing space for canning, put your jars in the dishwasher. Yes, take them out of the box and put them through a fast wash in your dishwasher. I put my lids in a pan so I can boil them on the stove.

next step is clean your cucumbers and peppers like i did in the picture. Washing all your fruits and veggitables before canning is really important. I use a manoline slicer to cut my cucumbers but you can use a knife. I leave my peppers whole.
Next I need to get the garlic ready. This takes time getting the skins off and then taking the time to thin slice for pickles. I use a whole garlic clove for my peppers.
Then I divide the fresh dill into pieces for there is some for every jar of pickle ( 12 ) jars.
In a bowl I add my dry mix of 1/8 cup pepper corn seeds, mustard seeds, dry dill, fennel seeds and mix it together. I add 1 tsp of this seed mixture to each jar before adding my pickle slices.
I know it looks like a lot but you'll use it all. This is when I pull out one of my little crafting tables to help me in my kitchen with add space. I use baking sheets with paper towels and place my washed jars on the baking sheets so I can work with an assembly line system. Dry mix in jars, shove in sliced cucummbers or peppers, add garlic, fresh dill.
Put a large pot of water to boil on the stove Your water ball will need a huge pot. If you don"t have one, you can always try Goodwill or a second hand store. Add water to your pan of lids so you can start getting those lids clean and hot.
In another large pot add 7 1/3 Cups of water and 3 1/3 Cups of vinegar on high heat. Add Mrs Wages Dill Pickle mix and cook until all is dissolves. Pour pickling mixture into your jars, remove Lid pan from heat and place your lids on your jars.Making sure they are on tight, place your jars into your water bath at a boil for 10 miniutes.
After 10 mins remove and add more jars until done. Let stand on your counter until cool. These will be ready to eat in two weeks.
here are some other pictures of canning Fig Jam, and green beans.

Canning low acid vegetables like green beans requires a pressure cooker. Now, back in the day, my mother canned green beans without a pressure cooker, which is fine still if you cook your green beans completely before you can them. Now days though everyone uses a pressure cooking system which is recommended for health reason. Now that being said, I don't use a pressure cooking system.

I hope this post inspires you to take up canning in your kitchen. My husband loves to give away my canned pickles and peppers as Christmas gifts, which I think is funny. Enjoy.

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