10.30.2014

Canning Lingo

Here is an A to Z Lingo List (words) Canner's throw around

Acid Foods - Food which contain enough acid to result in a pH of 4.6 or lower. This would include all fruits except figs, most tomatoes, fermented and pickles vegetables, relishes. Jams and jellies which includes marmalade's. Acid foods may be processed in boiling water bath.

Altitude - The vertical elevation of a location above the sea level.

Ascorbic Acid - The chemical name for Vitamin C. Lemon Juice contains large quantities of ascorbic acid and is commonly used to prevent browning of peeled, light colored fruits and vegetables.

Bacteria - A large group of one-celled microorganisms widely distributed in nature.

Blancher - A 6 to 8 quart leaded pot designed with a fitted perforated basket to hold food in boiling water, or with a fitted rack to steam food.

Boiling Water Canner - A large Stainless Steel lidded kettle wit h a jar rack. This is designed for heat processing 7  pint or quart jars in boiling water.

Botulism - An illness caused by eating toxin produced by growth of "Clostricium Botulinum" bacteria in moist, low acid food, containing less than 2% oxygen. Proper heat processing destroys this bacteria in canned food

Canning - A method of preserving food in air-tight vacuum- sealed containers and heat proicessin sufficiently to enable storage of the food at normal home temperatures.,

Canning Salt - Also called picking salt. It is regular table salt without the anticaking home or iodint additives.

Citrus Acid - A form of acid that can be added to canned foods. It increases the acuduty of low-acid foods and may improve the flavor.

Cold Packed - Canning procedure in which jars are filled with raw food. “Raw pack”is the preferred term for describing this practice. “Cold pack” is oftenused incorrectly to refer to foods that are open-kettle canned or jars that are heat-processed in boiling water.

Enzymes - Proteins in food which accelerate many flavor, color, texture, and nutritional changes, especially when food is cut, sliced, crushed, bruised, and exposed to air. Proper blanching or hot-packing practices destroy enzymes and improve food quality.

Exhausting - Removal of air from within and around food and from jars and
canners. Blanching exhausts air from live food tissues. Exhausting or venting of pressure canners is necessary to prevent a risk of botulism in low-acid canned foods.

Fermentation - Changes in food caused by intentional growth of bacteria, yeast, or mold. Native bacteria ferment natural sugars to lactic acid, a major
flavoring and preservative in sauerkraut and in naturally fermented dills. Alcohol, vinegar, and some dairy products are also fermented foods.

Head Space - The unfilled space above food or liquid in jars. Allows for food
expansion as jars are heated, and for forming vacuums as jars cool.

Heat processing - Treatment of jars with sufficient heat to enable storing food at normal home temperatures.

Hermetic seal - An absolutely airtight container seal which prevents reentry of air or microorganisms into packaged foods.

Hot pack -  Heating of raw food in boiling water or steam and filling it hot into jars.

Low-acid foods - Foods which contain very little acid and have a pH above 4.6. The acidity in these foods is insufficient to prevent the growth of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Vegetables, some tomatoes, figs, all meats, fish, seafoods, and some dairy foods are low acid. To control all risks of botulism, jars of these foods must be (1) heat processed in a pressure canner, or (2) acidified to a pH of 4.6 or lower before processing in boiling water.

Microorganisms  -Independent organisms of microscopic size, including bacteria, yeast, and mold. When alive in a suitable environment, they grow rapidly and may divide or reproduce every 10 to 30 minutes. Therefore, they reach high populations very quickly. Undesirable
microorganisms cause disease and food spoilage. Microorganisms are sometimes intentionally added to ferment foods, make antibiotics, and for other reasons.

Mold - A fungus-type microorganism whose growth on food is usually visible and colorful. Molds may grow on many foods, including acid foods like jams and jellies and canned fruits. Recommended heat processing and sealing practices prevent their growth on these foods.

 Mycotoxins - Toxins produced by the growth of some molds on foods.

Open-kettle canning - A non-recommended canning method. Food is supposedly adequately
heat processed in a covered kettle, and then filled hot and sealed in sterile jars. Foods canned this way have low vacuums or too much air, which permits rapid loss of quality in foods. Moreover, these foods often spoil because they become recontaminated while the jars are being filled.

Pasteurization - Heating of a specific food enough to destroy the most heat-resistant pathogenic or disease-causing microorganism known to be associated with that food. PH A measure of acidity or alkalinity. Values range from 0 to 14. A food is neutral when its pH is 7.0, lower values are increasingly more acid; higher values are increasingly more alkaline.

Pickling - The practice of adding enough vinegar or lemon juice to a low-acid food to lower its pH to 4.6 or lower. Properly pickled foods may be safely heat processed in boiling water.

Pressure Canner  - A specifically designed metal kettle with a lockable lid used for heat processing low-acid food. These canners have jar racks, one or more safety devices, systems for exhausting air, and a way to measure or control pressure. Canners with 16- to 23- quart capacity are common.
The minimum volume of canner that can be used is one that, will contain 4 quart jars. Use of pressure saucepans with smaller capacities is not recommended.

Raw pack - The practice of filling jars with raw, unheated food. Acceptable for canning low-acid foods, but allows more rapid quality losses in acid foods heat processed in boiling water.

Spice bag - A closable fabric bag used to extract spice flavors in pickling solution.

Style of pack - Form of canned food, such as whole, sliced, piece, juice, or sauce.
The term may also be used to reveal whether food is filled raw or hot into jars.

Vacuum - The state of negative pressure. Reflects how thoroughly air is removed
from within a jar of processed food—the higher the vacuum, the less
air left in the jar.

Yeasts-  A group of microorganisms which reproduce by budding. They are
used in fermenting some foods and in leavening breads



10.10.2014

Why use Stainless Steel for Canning

This subject is another one of the she said he said topic's. I always refer back to the expert's when it comes to these kind of questions. The subject we are discussing today is the type of pan to use when cooking your products for canning purposes.

Re-active or non-reactive that is the question?



The correct answer all around is Non-reactive and the reason is endless but lets keep it as simple as possible. For more reason and explanations I have listed go to sites. The reason for having to use Non-reactive pot's (Stainless Steel) is that Metal's such as aluminum and or cast iron react with the acid and make your end product taste like Metal. Euuuu






What is a non-reactive pan you ask? Well it is a  pan made of stainless steel . My post is going to focus on Stainless Steel there are other vessels you can use but that is another topic and Stainless Steel is so easily found. I have my Grandmother's. Lucky







The size is variable I use a large pot. It is 12 by 7 wide enough to cook evenly and big enough for large marge batches.  Plus I do not get splatter as often as I stir. The size is dependent on the amount of room you have, and the size of the batch you are making. So many variables it is endless. The thing we wanted to cover here is USE Stainless steel to make you food products! xoxo


The websites are endless when it comes to answers but here is my go to site.

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe or answer for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes

9.24.2014

Plum-Strawberry Jam

Plum and Strawberry Jam just the name makes my mouth water. There are a "ton" of recipes out there. Some are simple with a ton of sugar and then there are the few who want me to mix and macerate my plum mixture in the refrigeratpor for a day or two. Look,  first do not have that kind of time and what the heck is macerate?


Moving on !









I was invited again to go strip Jean's tree's and the plums are so nice. This is a super simple recipe and just divine to eat.

Keep the skins on the plums they will cook down and give the jam a nice color mixed with the strawberries. Unlike the Plum Jam the mixture with the strawberries is not quite as time intense. 

Ingredients

3 cups chopped Plums
3 Cups chopped Strawberries
5 cups sugar
1/4 cup of lemon juice
Packet of powder pectin (optional)


Clean your plums and take out the stems. Remove any brown spots on the skin. Plums do sometimes have brown leather like spots on them and are easily removed with a sharp knife. Take your plums split them and take out the pits.




If you would like to you may chop you plums parts smaller if needed. I like mine to dissipate as they cook and use a immersion blender to thin them out in the final cooking time

Clean and cut your strawberries in half. I find with my jams that even though I cut my fruit rather large as it cooks down the fruit gets smaller. You can also use a potato smasher to make your fruit smaller. 




 I always save a few of the pits from my fruit and crush them and place the crushed pits into a small bag. The pits give your jam a nutty taste. This is a personal option.You can do this with any stone fruit.





If your plums have not broken down the the size you would like them take an immersion blender and run it through slowly don't pulverize it. The strawberry's will survive . Don't be scared Bucko We love chunks of fruit in our jam's. That is the beauty of Jam's.







Once you have the right consistency bring it back up to a rolling boil add the sugar and lemon. Bring it back up to a rolling boil.

Have your jar's and water-bath ready to process the jam. Take the pot off the heat skim the foam and fill you jars ¼ inch from the top. Wipe the rims of your jars clean. Do make sure you prep your lids.



Add cap on the lids and the bans and give them a well deserved bath for 15 minutes. Now when you take them out let them sit over night. Prior to storing the jars remove the twist part of the lid, make sure the jar's have sealed. Wipe your jars clean there is nothing worse than opening a jar and having it all sticky or better yet Mildodo









Store in a cool and dry place . Remember to remove the bands when storing.
 Replace once you have opened the jar. 

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes

9.07.2014

No No No Dairy when Canning

Dairy when pressure canning or water bath is a big  

NO NO

and the same goes for any pasta noodles or rice. These practices have not been challenged in microbiology studies to see if it is safe.




 Milk is not something you can add to your canned goods. The amount of heat even when pressure canning would never be able to kill the harmful bacteria. The amount of heat that is needed would make the quality of your goods bad.

No one 

I repeat 

NO ONE has ever developed a canning process to safely use milk when canning. 

 The fat in these products (oil and milk) encapsulates any bacteria which includes botulism and this encapsulation prevents the heat used impossible to kill the bacteria. That means it will insulate the bacteria spores and let that bacteria spoil anything you preserve with milk. Remember milk has a low PH. Add it after you open it to prepare for eating!


For further information

Don't let the Milkman get you!!!!!


Safety with soups


Here is a page on insuring safe canned foods:
Safe canning soups

Old Fashion Applesauce


This Applesauce reicpe is simple and old school.

Applesauce from the tree. Jean, again a BIG Thank you! I have a very generous and sweet as the apples neighbor named Jean. This woman allows me to come to her house and pick her fruit tree's . There are two great things wait three great things about this. One I get fresh fruit. Two I get to preserve fresh off the tree fruit. Most important I have another fruit friend.


Have all your water bath canning stuff done and ready to go prior to starting any canning project!








There are a few different sites that give you delicious recipes for applesauce. I have combined many but most important my Grandma Lois recipe for apple butter. I do a large batch of apples and half gets to be apple sauce and half apple butter!  I will make this post about the apple sauce but be aware some of the the picture are tricky it does show both.

The link to the Apple Butter gives you that recipe.

 Ingredients - approximately 8 pints

12 pounds of apples
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar - optional
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar - optional
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
Cinnamon/ Nutmeg optional spices  - optional



My apple sauce consistency

Clean and core your apples. You can leave the skins they are full of good antioxidants. Chop the apples and put them into a large stainless steel pot. 

There are  a few variables when doing apple sauce. You can peel and core the apples but you know how I feel about peeling. I don't.




So cut and core the apples and put them into the pot.
 
Cook the apples adding just enough water so they don't stick to your pot.Within about the first hour the peels just come loose and you can pick them out if they bother you. The texture of your apples sauce is a personal thing. I like my applesauce to have texture like my jams. The picture just a above this is what my applesauce looks like in the end.




Once your apples have been cooking (with or with out peels) on a very gentle boil for 45 minutes they should be nice and tender. This will depend on your apples. remove them from the heat and let them cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer the amount of apple you want to thin out and working in small batches put them through your food mill or you can use a food processor. 











   
This is the consistency of the apples run thu the mill


I will take about 1/4 of the apples that I have cooked down and run them through the food mill. If you do not have a food mill just use a potato masher until you get the right consistency. And buy a food mill you will use it for so many thing should you choose to continue this canning and preserving adventure.






Return all the apples back to the pot. Now is the time to add the other ingredients you want for your apple sauce. I have given you ingredients I have added to my applesauce. The trick is to add about half of what you want let it simmer for 10 minutes taste it and then add more you may want to add nothing ! What ever you do bring it back to a low simmer stirring it frequently to prevent it from sticking.The minute I start my batch I add three whole cinnamon stick and fish them out when I am done. Alright moving on have your jars ready to fill. Ladle your applesauce into your warm jars and leave 1/2 inch head space. Remove the air bubbles. Wipe the warm of the jar clean. Add you warmed lid twist the band until it is tight.







Process your jars in your boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Remove your jars and cool. Once cooled check seal wash clean. Remove the twist lid and store in a cool pantry.

Here is the link to the Ball Site I used to check my steps. It is always good to check a few different sites prior to starting any canning project. Enjoy !
Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.  

8.14.2014

Dill Pickle Chunks with Garlic


Dill Chunks a great way to use left over pickling cucumbers.
I use a jar of these at parties. Sometimes people do not want a whole pickle so this is the greatest way for them to taste you creation

It has been such a great idea. I noticed that many people who thought they did not want a whole pickle (Could not quite understand) grab a toothpick an try them. Also it is so nice to have a small bowl of these pickle chunks to go with just a bite of cheese.

This combo goes well with crackers and cheese. One of our BBQ's I chopped up a jar of them and everyone used it on their hamburger and hot dog's.




Ingredients

8 pounds of pickling cucumbers
48 garlic cloves 5 to 6 per jar
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of canning salt or Kosher Salt
1-2 quarts of vinegar
1 quart of water
1 tablespoon of mustard seed
3 tablespoons of pickling spices
Fresh green or dry dill (1 sprig per jar)


Combine your sugar, salt, vinegar and water in a large stainless steel pot.  Add your pickling spices to your brine in the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. I just realized with all the pictures I take and I take a lot. I have none of brine, huh what a funny thing!





While your brine is simmering chop your cucumbers into bite size pieces.












Pack your cucumber's chunks, garlic cloves and dill into the sterilizer jars, leaving a 1/4 inch of head space.



Ladle hot liquid into jars and again leaving the 1/4 inch head space. 




Some jar's get hot pepper's !











Remove air bubble. Wipe the rim's of all your jar's. 

Adjust two piece caps.

Process for 15 minutes in a hot water bath. Carefully remove the jars from the water-bath. Let your jar's cool completely then remove the twist part of the cap. Clean you jar's and store in a cool dark place. Do not store your jar's with the twist part of the cap on and make sure you store "Clean" jars.

The longer they sit the richer the taste of the garlic. Let them sit for at least 2 week.

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.