Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Canning Season Begins

Zucchini Relish

One of the best ways I like to use up zucchini is to make sweet relish.  Mine tastes more like bread and butter pickles.  We eat it all the time.  I usually never have to worry about it running out, but I cut it pretty fine this year and we used our last jar a couple weeks ago.  

Zucchini should never be let grow until baseball bat size.  It really isn't very useful.  If I do use those really big ones for relish or to grate and freeze for bread and cake, I cut out the middle where the seeds are.  It is too soft.  Even with the size I cut out a little of the middle since I had enough without. 

I use my second Osterizer to grind it up.  When my first one wore out, I bought a second one, the same style since I had so many accessories.  These are getting over 20 years old now. 

I forgot I don't want to peel it for relish. So I only peeled the first one. 

 Grind the zucchini to make 10 cups. 

I used the food processor to chop the onions, 4 cups.  If you grind the onion, wear goggles. 

Add 3 Tablespoons canning salt, stir and refrigerate over night.  In the morning, drain, and rinse very well. 
Grind a green and red pepper for color. (I used some frozen from last year, and I don't always use it. 
Add: 2 1/2 cups vinegar, 4 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon each dry mustard and tumeric, 2 teaspoons mustard seed, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. 

Bring to a boil and boil 3 minutes. 

Sterilize the lids in boiling water.  Fill jars to 1/4" from the top, wipe tops of jars, screw on lids tightly but don't force them, and process in hot water bath for 15 minutes. 

I notice Grandma Appleman's recipe says to just "seal" them which in the olden days meant to put the lids on, turn them upside done for a few minutes, and then let them sit after turning them right side up.  Most vegetables have less acid in them as they used to, thus the extended processing time.  Better safe than sorry, anyway. 

Pickled Beets

Have your husband pick as many beets as you want.

Wash beets leaving the tails intact and cut the stems to one inch.  By doing this you have less loss of color. 

Boil in big canner until you can poke a fork in. 

Dump them in cold water and just slip the skins off.

Cleaned and ready.

Chop into bite-sized pieces, (on the slightly bigger size.) 

Fill jars.

Make brine in these proportions:
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar

I made a four cup brine for 5 quarts and 2 pints and had a pint leftover.  I'll put it in the fridge and save for the next batch.  I have a few more to do.  

Pour in brine to 1/2" from the top.  Wash tops of jars and put on lids. Process 30 minutes in hot water bath canner. 

This was also my Grandma's recipe, too, I see. 

I also use this brine to put over chunked up cucumbers.  But I don't remember right off hand what I do for processing time. 

You may also notice that I don't use a hot water bath canner.  This is a steam canner that I bought about 20 years ago for $42 dollars.  It has been worth every penny.  There isn't as much danger of breaking jars in the canner, I don't have to deal with as much boiling water either. 


The J's said...

I don't have a pressure canner--sometimes I wish I did. The hot water one is a drawback to hot-weather preserving!
I was hoping for cuc's for pickles this year, as we've used our dills all up. The kids like them best & the slices sit here. Me--I don't eat either.

Anonymous said...

I love the handwritten recipes. I have 2 handwritten recipes of my grandmothers and they were becoming very fragile. I decided to preserve them by encasing them in the precut laminate sheets from the office supply aisle at wal-mart. I then framed them and hung them on my kitchen wall. Always brings a smile when I glance at them. Just an idea from a lurker that enjoys your blog.

Njos Family said...

We are loving the beets I planted for the first time this year. Thanks for the tip on cooking with some leaves and the root. Next year I will thin them out a little bit. Desmond planted them too close together.

pioneerprincess said...

WOW! I need to learn this! As I get more adept at being self-sufficient, and want to learn ways to make my own recipes and can for our use, I need the help of people who know what they're doing... I am excited and look forward to maybe getting started this year or next as the kids become more able to cooperate and let me do it!!! Thanks for sharing!!!