Category Archives: Pressure Canning

Food preservation that MUST be done in a pressure canner to ensure food safety.

Herbed Green Beans

It has been three years since my last canning of green beans; this is not because I haven’t wanted to, but because nature has not allowed me to!  In both 2011 and 2012 I battled bugs, lots and lots of bugs.  And I’m not talking about a bite here or a nibble there.  Those tiny mouths of destruction waged an all-out war on my garden and made Swiss cheese of my bean patch!  This year I had the bunnies to thank for completely devouring my plants before they ever had a chance to produce beans… that the bugs could then eat.  The bunny mishap could have been prevented (and will be for next year’s growing season); however, due to the time constraints of my “workforce” the garden gate has yet to be constructed.  This translated into a big flashing sign that read EAT HERE!!!  Sigh.

My non-existent green bean harvest has forced me to continually set aside a canning recipe I’ve been wanting to try out.  Fortunately, Farmer Josh’s second planting of beans was ready for the pickin’, so I was able to secure a half-bushel along with my yearly order of corn.

herbed green beans Herbed Green Beans – yields 6 quarts

24 cups snap or wax beans, washed, ends trimmed, and cut into 1 inch pieces.

3 cups chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

3 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tsp celery seed

1/2 tsp pickling salt – optional

Place beans in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the beans.  Bring to a boil and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.  Drain beans and return to pot and add onion, garlic, herbs, and if desired salt.  Mix well to distribute herbs.  Fill sterile quart or pint jars leaving 1″ headspace; add boiling water, leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and adjust lids to fingertip-tight.  Process quarts for 25 minutes and pints for 20 minutes in a pressure canner at 10lbs-weighted-gauge or 11lbs for a dial-gauge, at sea-level.

PDFBadgeImages and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from a book I borrowed from the library several years ago and did not write down.  I know, worst credit acknowledgement EVER!

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Corn Cob Stock

Often I find myself wondering how something so simple can be so delicious?  That very question was running through my mind as I was putting up another waste-not-want-not recipe.

Several weeks ago I stopped by the farm to pick up my yearly bounty of sweet corn.  Typically, I freeze the kernels and the cobs are cooked down and transformed into a sweet, honey-like jelly; this year, however, I wanted to do something a little different!  Yes, corn was still frozen and cobs were cooked, but instead of adding sugar and making jelly I jarred that savory, sunbeam-yellow liquid and canned a big ol’ batch of stock!  Three gallons to be precise!

This recipe is soooo easy-peasy; you need just two simple ingredients: corn cobs and water.  That’s it!

Corn Cob Stock

Corn Cobs

Water

Place cobs into a large stock pot and cover with one inch of water; you may need to cut your cobs in half to get them to fit.  Bring pot to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 90 minutes.  Strain liquid through several layers of cheese cloth or a coffee filter.  Fill sterilized pint and or quart jars, reserving 1/2″ headspace.  Wipe rims, adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight and process at 10 pounds in a pressure canner for 20 minutes.  Place jars on a wire rack and allow to cool, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours so seals may properly set.

Corn cob stock must be pressure canned to ensure safe shelf-stability.  If you do not own a pressure canner you can freeze it, just be sure to allow enough headspace so your jars do not break as the liquid freezes and expands!

I probably used anywhere from 24-30 cobs to make my stock, but I also had two large stock pots reducing at once!  I knew this was going to be delicious so a double batch was definitely in order!

PDFBadge

Images and content copyright © 2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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Childhood Flashbacks

When I was young, one of my favorite store-bought treats were mandarin oranges packed in light syrup. There was something so special about those tiny slices of citrus that made me smile!  As an (ahem) adult, I still receive the same amount of joy when cracking open a jar, only this time around they’re available in pint sized packaging!

Mandarin Orange Slices in Light Syrup

5 lbs Mandarin oranges

6 cups water

2 cups granulated sugar

Wash and peel oranges (reserve peels for making a delicious candied treat), remove any pith or membranes on the fruit and section into slices.  If desired (or feeling a bit lazy), they can be kept whole or split into halves.

In a medium sauce pot, bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Fill hot, sterilized jars with orange segments (raw pack) and fill with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.

Process pints for 8 minutes at 5 pounds of pressure in a weighted-gauge steam-pressure canner.  For a dial-gauge, process pints for 8 minutes at 6 pounds of pressure in a steam-pressure canner.  Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.  All processing times are for sea level altitude only.  Remove jars from canner and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.  Recipe yields 7 pints.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe from USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving.

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Split Pea Soup

I enjoy soup no matter what the current season happens to be; however, there’s something extra special about a hearty bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day!  Even though I have a pressure canner, I typically freeze my soups and stews since they tend to be recipes I’ve created and are not suitable for canning.  With my freezers still full from last year’s homegrown organic vegetables, I’ve decided it’s time I began canning soup and reserving my precious freezer space for other goodies!

Last December, I began flipping through the pages of my canning books deciding on what soups I would put up.  The first one I am going to share with you is split pea.  The original recipe called for ham, which I immediately omitted; it also listed allspice, which complements the flavor of ham.  I omitted that one too.

Dried herbs are considered a “freebie” when canning; they are interchangeable and you can add as much or as little as you would like.  Remember that this rule only applies to dried herbs and spices.  Some recipes can be safely doubled without challenging the integrity of the finished product, this is one of them.

Split Pea Soup

2 lbs dried split peas, yellow or green (2 cups dried split peas weighs 1 lb, so I used 4 cups for this recipe)

4 quarts of water

2 cups chopped onion

3 cups sliced carrots

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp granulated garlic

2 tsp celery seed

2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp pepper

Combine (rinsed) dried peas and water; bring to a boil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot.  Skim off any foam that develops.  Reduce heat; simmer covered for about one hour or until peas are soft.  If a smooth soup is desired, press mixture through a food mill.  I skipped the food mill since processing will generally result in a semi-smooth consistency.  Return mixture to the sauce pot.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently, about 30 minutes.   If mixture is too thick add boiling water.

Ladle hot soup into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.  Wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a weighted gauge steam-pressure canner: pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes, at 10 pounds of pressure.  For a dial gauge steam-pressure canner: process pints for 60 minutes and quarts for 75 minutes, at 11 pounds of pressure at sea level.  If you have a mixture of jar sizes, process at quart time.  Turn off the heat.  Once the pressure has dropped to zero, open the lid, remove the jars and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.

Because I doubled the recipe it yielded 4 quarts (or 10 pints).  Should you want to make a single batch (just half all the listed ingredients), it will result in 5 pints or 2 quarts.

This recipe can be frozen; however, to ensure shelf-stability it  MUST be processed in a steam-pressure canner.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration.

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Stewed tomatoes and bringing you up to speed.

I apologize for the lack of recent activity in the blog, but peak harvest season is in FULL SWING!  If you were to step inside my home you would be climbing over crates of freshly picked tomatoes, side-stepping gallon jars of fermenting pickles, and listening to the dehydrator and canner compete for your audio attention.

I had quite a few “filler food posts” lined up, but when my 16 month-old laptop bit the dust last month (and that is just the tip of the shit-storm), I lost over 1500 pictures!  Everything from December 2010 through mid July, gone.  Like unrecoverable gone.  Bummer, huh?  Oh well, that will teach me for: (1) not backing up my computer onto my external hard drive, and (2) not transferring my images onto said external hard drive.

Since I lost all my photos, I now have a large que of blog posts waiting for accompanying images.  Although I live in my kitchen during this time of the year, most of my activities revolve around preserving the harvest, so there is not much “real” cooking and recipe experimentation going on.  Most of my daily meals consist of snacking on raw produce and grilled veggie sandwiches, which I have already posted about.  I’m hoping to sneak in more food time, but with 60 lbs of tomatoes staring me down on a daily basis, it does not look too hopeful!

Because my tomatoes are in their “full throttle” production stage, I am constantly searching for new ways to put them up.  Don’t get me wrong, I like canned tomatoes, especially in soups and curry dishes, but I still have quite a bit left over from last year’s harvest.  While flipping through my ever-growing library of canning books, I found instructions for stewed tomatoes.  Seeing as how I grew celery this year, I knew I had to give this recipe a whirl!

Stewed Tomatoes - from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing, and Dehydration

4 Qts chopped, peeled, cored tomatoes (24 large)

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped green pepper (I used Purple Beauty, see note below)

1 Tbsp sugar

2 Tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pot.  Cover; cook 10 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.  Ladle hot vegetables into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.  Adjust two-piece lids.  Process pints 15 minutes, quarts  20 minutes, at 10 pounds pressure in a pressure canner.  Recipe yields 7 pints or 3 quarts.

I ended up with 5 pints of stewed tomatoes and 1 quart of tomato juice.  Instead of tossing the left over juice, I reserved it to use as cooking liquid for quinoa and rice.

**Never ever EVER change quantities of acid and non acid foods in canning recipes.  Varieties, however, are interchangeable.  If a recipe calls for 1 cup chopped green pepper, you can substitute 1/2 cup green and 1/2 cup jalapeno, etc.  This is ok because you are still meeting the required 1 cup amount.

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