Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Puttin' Up- the beginning of it

I've only just begun.  But do I ever have some pickled beets to eat through.  Last fall I kind if went a little wild with William's Island's beets and as I begin to clear my cabinets out I am finding that there are plenty left to go around.  Let me know if you love beets, 'cause I'll love you if you want some.

I took this recipe from Canning For a New Generation by Liana Krissoff- totally worth owing no matter what generation you come from or can for.

This is not jam or jelly and will not gel as such.  But it is very beautiful and delicious spooned on biscuits or pancakes or whatever you most love.  

Strawberry Preserves
  • 3 pounds-about 9 cups- strawberries rinsed and hulled, and any and all bad spots cut completely off
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice (and I used the zest too)
Prepare hot water bath and 5 half-pint jars and lids (the recipe says 4 but I ended up making 5). For more info on that buy a canning book (Canning for a New Generation is perfect but there are other good ones out there as well).  It is best to learn from the books than some crazed local food advocate.  

Toss strawberries in sugar and let sit over night.  The next day simmer the strawberries and their juice for about 5 minutes.  Drain the berries and add the juice back to the pot.  Boil juice, stirring every now and then, for about 15 minutes, until the juice has reduced to about a cup and a half.  Return the strawberries to pan add the lemon juice, and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often and skimming off as much foam as you can.  The berries should be glossy but still hold their shape.  The liquid should be thickened but it will not gel.  Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Screw lids on til just tight and process for 5 minutes in hot water bath.  Let sit 12 hours before moving.  Store any unsealed jars in the fridge.

Please please please learn all the rules when canning.  They are worth knowing.  Sugar is easier to play around with but it is always very important to be super clean and sanitary.  Follow recipes exactly until you have a huge understanding of what you are doing.  There are things to know, but once to you know them there's nothing to be scared of.

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