Canning: Sweet & Sour pt.2

canning collage 2 Canning: Sweet & Sour pt.2

Welcome back to Canning: Sweet & Sour part 2!

Today we are concentrating on the “Sour” part of canning with pickles and relishes…my favorites!

canning 6 Canning: Sweet & Sour pt.2

Pickles capture the essence of summer. They can be spicy as a breeze off the flower bed, or sharp as sudden lightning; sweet as slow July evenings, hot as long August nights. When you put up pickles, you preserve, warm memories for the cold days ahead.

Pickling is an easy way of “putting food by.”  The pickled vegetable recipes I like to use are all for fresh-pack, or quick-process pickles–which you can do in one afternoon, or two–instead of the brined or fermented pickles.  These take several weeks.  Each recipe involves merely cleaning and cutting the vegetables to appropriate lengths; preparing a vinegar-based pickling liquid; packing the vegetables and liquid in containers; and either immersing the jars in boiling water for a few minutes or allowing the pickles to age in the refrigerator until their flavors have mellowed.

Before you gather up all those excess vegetables your garden is producing and go to work, get hold of a good canning guide before using these pickled vegetable recipes. The standard one is the USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning, Preserving and Freezing.

Ingredients for canning your pickles: Vegetables should be fresh, firm and free of mold and blemishes. If possible, use only pickling (pure granulated) salt; it has no iodine (which darkens the pickles) or anticaking agents (which cloud the liquid). If pickling salt is unavailable, just use non-iodized table salt and resign yourself to murky brine. Vinegar must be between 4% and 6% acid; homemade or gourmet vinegars of unknown acidity simply aren’t safe as preservatives. Either white or cider vinegar will do, according to your taste; white is preferable for light-colored vegetables, since cider will darken them. If you use garlic (as several recipes call for), keep in mind that it harbors bacteria that can cause spoilage. Before adding it to the jars, peel the cloves and boil them for 1 minute in water or in the vinegar solution.

Vegetable Pickling Tools and Processing

Utensils: Pans for heating the pickling liquid should be enamel, stainless steel or glass, copper, galvanized or iron utensils may produce off-colors or form undesirable compounds. You’ll need a water-bath canner—a large pot with a tight-fitting lid and a rack to hold canning jars. Jars should be the kind sold specifically for home canning: glass jars with two-piece metal caps (a flat metal lid and a metal screw band). Don’t reuse leftover containers from supermarket foods; they won’t seal properly.

canners and jars Canning: Sweet & Sour pt.2


Processing: Pack and seal the jars as the manufacturer directs. Usually, this means filling each jar to within ½ inch of the rim, wiping the rim clean of all food particles, placing the lid on the jar with the sealing compound down and screwing the metal band on tight. Immerse the filled jars in boiling water in the canner (there should be 1 or 2 inches of water above the jars), cover the pot, bring the water back to boiling and boil the jars gently for the time specified in the recipe. (Start timing when the water returns to a boil.) Remove the jars from the canner and check to make sure that the lids have sealed properly; again, follow the manufacturer’s directions. Most lids form a small depression in the center as they seal—giving off a “pop” as they do so.

Storing: Allow the pickles to cool for 12 to 24 hours, then remove the screw bands and store the jars in a dark, cool place. Pickles improve with age; let them sit for 2 or 3 months before eating them. Because the vinegar solutions are highly acid, few bacteria can live in them. Even so, be alert for signs of spoilage: Discard untasted any food from jars with leakage, bulging lids or spurting liquid.

A shelf full of pickles—with their rich reds, brilliant greens, bright golds and warm browns—can brighten a gray January day. So put some summer in your pantry. Make pickles!

canning cuke tips Canning: Sweet & Sour pt.2


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Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for 12…yes I said 12 Canning Recipes!

What is YOUR favorite pickle to can?

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This article is hopping around the following Blog Hops:

Homestead Barn HopWildcrafting WednesdayFrom the Farm Fridays, Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, Simple Life Sunday Blog Hop.


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Medical Disclaimer:

Nothing in this post is to be construed as medical advice, simply a sharing of things that have worked for me & my family. If you have any symptoms of serious illness, taking medication, pregnant or nursing, or have never worked with herbal materials or essential oils before, please consider consulting a medical professional before use. I am unable to offer advise for your particular medical situation; please ask your Doctor, Nurse Practitioner or Naturopath for further guidance.  The statements made here have not been approved by the Food & Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.

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About Simply Living Simply

I am a "red-neck country wife" to one wonderfully amazing man, mother to many outrageous children, daughter of the ONE Glorious God. Learning to be more self-reliant & self-sufficient in a semi-homemade, homesteading way!
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