Archive for the ‘canning’ Category

Sauercrock Sauercracked, Sauerkraut Sauercanned

My Sauerkraut was finished some time ago.  I held it in the refrigerator to SLOOOOW down the fermentation for a while, then I canned 2/3 of it.  The remaining third will be eaten the proper way…alive.

While I was scooping kraut out of my fermenting crock, I noticed some bad news:

My 4 gallon crock has developed a crack all the way through from the inside, out.  That stain is dried cabbage juice and salt.  This is disappointing, because I don’t want to spend a small fortune on a new one, but I can’t trust this one again.

This is the color I achieved this year with my mixture of purple and green cabbages.  I hate to kill the beneficial bacteria by canning it, but the kraut won’t last until next July if I don’t can some of it.

On an unrelated note, today is the first day in 8 days that I haven’t taken any headache medicine.  I have been down twice with a migraine, and it’s still up there, lurking around, threatening to come back again.



Ripe Tomatoes mean 2012 Salsa…soon

My first 6 pounds of ripe tomatoes.  They’re an ugly bunch, due to the weather, but they’ll taste fine when I make them into salsa!

I didn’t even see the squash bug in person. I only noticed him in iPhoto.  This is a Cabin plant.  I’ll be saving a whole bunch of seeds soon.

Okra time

According to my plant it was okra time.  I haven’t ever had okra time before, so I didn’t really know what the moves were.  I ended up putting these into a quart jar with dill pickle brine and straight into the refrigerator.  They’re pretty good that way.

Isn’t the okra flower beautiful?

Yes, 2012 Sauerkraut is in the crock!

This Mandolin slicer was put into service again this year as I packed 15 pounds of cabbage into my wonderful 4 gallon crock.

At this point in the process, I had just pounded down the first 5 pounds of cabbage.  I work in 5 pound mini-batches to ensure that I salt everything evenly all the way through.  5 pounds of cabbage gets 3 tablespoons of salt.  I repeated this process 3 times. I had room in the crock for 20 pounds, but I was frankly very tired of slicing.

I weighed down the cabbage and now I just leave it sitting in a cool corner until it becomes sauerkraut.  All I have to do is check it once in a while to see if it’s done and if there is any mold floating on the surface of the brine.

That gallon jug has a big dinner plate under it. I’m using this as a weight to ensure an anaerobic environment for fermentation.

Then just cover the whole thing with a towel that your aging children are too embarassed to take to the community pool.  In a week or 3 the kraut will be done bubbling and ready to eat or can.

Corn Canning 2012

Yes, it was THAT time of year again folks.  Jimmy Canned Corn with lots of helpers!  We bought 10 dozen ears of the finest organic sweet corn from farmer M.  It was picked at 8 a.m., shucked at 9:00 and safely pressure canned before lunch.

Just cut off the kernels with a sharp knife, pack them uncooked into pint or quart jars, top with boiling water or veggie stock, leaving a generous inch of headspace, and pressure can them according to your guidebook.

Do your pressure canning outdoors in the garage because it’s 100 degrees out and the old air conditioner inside can already barely keep up.

Let the jars cool for a day and then wash off the hard water deposits left behind during canning.  Don’t store them with the rings on, just the flat part of the lid.  The rings need to be washed again right now, and if you leave them on all year, some of the jars will be really hard to open, and some lids might even rust through, unsealing.


Green Tomato Size

Look how big my green tomatoes are getting!  These are still from the first flush on the Giant Syrian plant.  Too bad only 1 out of 25 flowers are turning into green tomatoes now.  They don’t like to set fruit when the weather is this hot.

Soon these will be ripe and I’ll be able to can up some salsa!

Dill-Pickled Garlic Scapes

We are trying garlic scapes cold processed as refrigerator pickles with a dill brine this year.  So far it seems really spicy.  These weren’t really canned, they are just being stored in a glass jar.

If you have made this kind of pickle before, please tell me what you cooked with the scapes after pickling them. What did you use them in? I can only make so much tuna salad.

Beets Harvested and Canned 2012

I harvested my beets a few days ago.  I didn’t get any pictures of them with their tops still attached, but they filled two half-bushel baskets.  I planted six 8-foot rows, and my root harvest is shown below.

Cut off the tops!  Eat them if you like greens.

Wash off the dirt!

Put the washed beets in a pot (or two) and boil them for about 20 minutes to make the skin really lose and easy to peel.

The skin will slip right off, along with the stem stubs.

Peeling in a messy step.

Get your recipe book and spices together!

Combine the beets with the vinegar, sugar, spices, whatever is in your canning recipe and boil them again.

Get your canning jars and lids simmering, and then fill the jars with the hot beet mixture.

Process your beets for 20 minutes (for pints) in a boiling water bath.

From six 8-foot rows of beet seeds I canned 1 gallon of beet roots.

The last time I canned beets I skimmed off the spices. This time I canned the spices into the jar. I want to see which way I like better. I keep notes in my cook books.

Okra is growing taller

Okra Flower

The 4 Okra plants that I am growing in my garden had a slow start in their somewhat shady location behind the faster growing garlic leaves.  One is finally starting to flower.  I am still hoping for enough okra to pickle at least one jar.

Sour Cherry Raspberry Jam Canned

Sour Cherry Raspberry Jam

I pulled my cherries out of the freezer the other night, and got out my new cherry pitter.  I pitted the fruit until I had a full quart of pitted cherries and then I tossed in a small handful of raspberries I had picked that same night.  I was going to include a number of blackberries, but my wife ate them while I pitted the cherries. 😀

I ended up water-bath processing 7 four-ounce jars, 1 half-pint jar (shown in the photo), and two jars that went straight to the refrigerator.  It’s delicious jam!

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