This time of year is when a lot of us “island folks” start to prepare for the coming winter.
Winters are LONG here and you never know when a storm will come up and the power will be out for who knows how long. Also the roads will be impassable, or nearly so, for quite some time. So this is when we “stock the larder”. I tend to buy two of this and that at the grocery store and build up my “stash” in the basement. Things like coffee (because…hey, that’s a necessity!!), toilet paper (who wants to run out of THAT?), dog & cat food, some canned items like beans, tuna, etc., plus dry items like rice & oatmeal. If the You Know What ever does hit the fan…we won’t starve. 😉
Anyway! I thought you might like a few of our favorite canning recipes. I do not have a pressure canner so I have never done things like vegetables or meats, only “acidic” things like relishes, pickles, jams, etc.
This post assumes you already know how to do a “boiling water bath”. If you are brand new to canning, please get the Ball Blue Book! It has instructions on how to do just about any kind of preserving, from drying to freezing to canning. THE BEST single investment I ever made in our quest for the Simpler Life.
Rhubarb Strawberry Jam
6 cups diced rhubarb
2 cups mashed strawberries
Bring to a boil in a large pot with a heavy bottom.
Add: 3 cups sugar
Stir briskly and boil uncovered 20 minutes, stirring frequents (prevents sticking on). Pour into hot, sterile jars to within 1/2 inch from the top. Seal with sterile lids and process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.
Blueberry Strawberry Jam
4 cups total mashed blueberries & strawberries
(I have also added in fresh de-seeded blackberries for a “mixed berry jam”)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice (blueberries aren’t “acidic” enough – need this for safety)
2 tsp pomona’s pectin (see below)
2 tsp calcium water (also see below)
Mash berries and place in a large pot
Add proper amount of calcium water (see below)
Measure sugar into a bowl, add in pectin – mix well.
Bring fruit to a full boil.
Add in pectin/sugar. Stir vigorously to dissolve while the mixture comes back to a full boil.
Remove from heat.
Fill prepared jars to within 1/4 ” of the top. Seal with sterile lid. Place in boiling water bath. Boil 10 minutes to seal.
Pomona’s Pectin is simply the best pectin ever!!! You can use much less sugar than called for in typical recipes. The box also contains several options for jams.
In the box are two envelopes, one with pectin, one with “calcium” to make the calcium water as noted above. You make this calcium water beforehand and keep it in a jar in the fridge – it will keep several months.
Bread & Butter Pickles
25 or 30 cucumbers, sliced as thin as possible.
1/2 cup pickling salt
8 large onions, sliced thinly
1 green pepper, sliced thinly
Layer the above in this order: cucumbers, onions, green pepper, salt in a large kettle until all are in the kettle. Let set for 3 hours, drain off the water.
Mix separately in a large pot:
5 cups sugar
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 tsp cloves
2 TBS dry mustard
5 cups vinegar (white or ACV)
Bring to a boil but don’t let it “cook”. Mix with the cucumber mixture and bring to a boil again but don’t let it cook (or you’ll have relish, not pickles, which actually is ok too – been there and done that!!) Keep stirring as you fill prepared quart jars. Makes about 10 quarts. This recipe can also be halved as I have done that without incident.
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds of apples (do not core or peel)
sugar & cinnamon (optional)
Wash, stem and quarter apples – do not core or peel. Cook apples until soft in a large stockpot with just enough water to prevent scorching & sticking. Press through a food mill to separate the seeds and peel from the applesauce. Return the sauce to the stockpot. Add 1/3 cup or less sugar per pound of apples or to taste. I’ve made applesauce with a variety of apples, all mixed together, and found you don’t really need the sugar. FRESH applesauce is incredible. Anyway, back to the recipe: Bring applesauce to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking. If you are adding a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg, add it now. Reduce the heat; simmer for about 5 minutes. Keep stirring! Ladle hot applesauce into hot & prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inches at the top. Remove air bubbles with a rubber spatula. Seal with sterilized lids and process in a boiling water bath 20 minutes.
4# of apples (do not peel or core)
4 cups (or less) of sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
Wash and stem apples, do not peel or core. Cut into smallish pieces. Add 2 cups water. Cover & simmer until the apples are soft. Press through a food mill till you measure 2 quarts of pulp.
Combine the apple pulp, sugar, and spices in a large stock pot. Cook slowly until thick enough to “round up” on a spoon. As it thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking & scorching. If it gets too thick, add a bit of water. After its the right consistency, ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch at the top. Seal with sterilized lids, process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Let me know if you’d like these recipes in a “printable” form and I can edit the post. I kind of threw this together today.
How do you prepare your home & family for “whatever might happen”?