It's canning time

and I can’t find my links to canning web sites. Any Doper canners out there?

BTW, the first job is jalapenos and salsa, if you have any suggestions.

Hiya, Oslo. Here is an .edu link for the National Center for Home Food Preservation. The site is a very handy refresher for safety tips, but also has a handful of recipes. PepperFool has some crazy recipes for peppers on this page.

I’m trying pickles for the first time in about ten years. They have many good recipes on this site.

I only have enough for a couple jars, but I’d hate to mess up a large batch anyhow.

I’m in kind of a pickling fugue state right now. Biggest hits, among the friends on my surplus-jar-disposal list, are the spicy okra and hot-hot-hot carrots. Next up, roasted jalapenos, and spicy peaches.

ooohh, that sounds yum. Can I have the recipe for roasted jalapenos and spicy peaches?

Ooh sorry, two different things. I roast the jalapenos and then pickle with garlic and oregano. The peaches, I skin, slice, layer in a mason jar with sweet onions and red jalapenos, then pour over them rice vinegar with ginger and a little sugar; a touch of thai basil would not go amiss. Not strictly pickled because not cooked; more like marinated. But left to steep in the fridge for a few days, the spicy, gingery peaches with onions are an insanely delicious garnish on skirt steak, duck, or salmon.

Thanks, Beau. That National Center site is the one I was hoping for.

What do you folks think of this? Pickling lime?

Sorry, sloppy sentence structure. I realized that the peaches and jalapenos were separate condiments. I want to make the peaches this week-end, but my jalapenos are still all green. Should I wait until they turn red for more pleasing color or flavor?

Oslo, after doing a thorough internet search for information about using calcium chloride as a safe food additive, I used Ball Pickle Crisp when making relish this season, and the results are much crunchier.

What I found was that while Calcium Chloride is a natural ingredient and used in lots of commercial food items, it certainly has some questionable non-food uses: de-icer, dust control, concrete mix ingredient. However, this FDA site lists calcium chloride as a food additive that is “generally recognized as safe”. Wiki, Dow Chemical, and Tetrachemical also list the ingredient as “safe”. However, I was not able to find any truly neutral, or medical/healthfood type sites that ruled on the substance.

But “natural” is not interchangeable with “safe and desirable”, so maybe some of our chemists/biologists will cruise by and expand on this a bit.

What are asking?
It is sold in the stores with canning supplies. The recipes I use, depend on alum to crisp the pickles, not pickling lime.

I now have 12 pints of Blackberries to make 2 batches of jelly. The drought has most of the plants dried up. I thought of a patch near the river, and they were loaded with huge ones. At least an acre maybe two of blackberries, and most still have to ripen.

I would use red; the green have a greener flavor that doesn’t match well with the peaches. You could use another red hot pepper, but if you’re looking forward to using your own, I’d wait. If the timing doesn’t work–peaches/jalapenos–try the green and let me know how it turns out.

I just scored a bunch of free pickling cucumbers so I’m trying a batch of half sours. This is only my second attempt, my first being Japanese napa cabbage which I guess I didn’t allow to ferment long enough. If this succeeds my next attempt will be napa cabbage kimchi.

I bought a crate of peaches to make peach jam, but my car was in the shop for several days. When I picked up the peaches at a friend’s house today, they were all covered with mold. Bummer.

Well, I tried out the half sours today. They are recognizable as pickles, but not as garlicky or dilly as I would’ve liked. Nor were the as crisp as they should be. The ambient temperature was probably warmer than optimal. It was a good honest try for the first time. I’ll keep my eye out for signs of botulism.

They weren’t as good as Guss’ Pickles (or Trader Joes, for that matter), but I’m encouraged to try again some day.

Three people have crossed-their-heart-and-hope-to-die that this easy-peasy recipe for freezer pickles results in a pickle with crunch.

Place in a large bowl:

7 cups sliced cucumbers (don’t peel them)
2 onions (sliced or chopped)
6 cloves garlic (sliced or chopped or whatever)
2 T salt
4 jalapeno peppers (optional – they’re for more bite)

Put the next 3 ingredients in a saucepan and heat just until the sugar is dissolved:

2 cups sugar
2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup water

Pour this over the cukes. Refrigerate for at least 48 hours. Spoon into freezer bags, along with the juice.

I now have 11 sealed jars of blackberry jelly. I made two batches of apple pectin to try later. One with unripe eating apples, and one with crab apples. The first is a yellowish hue, and the last a pink red.

My first half jar of sweet chunk pickles turned out close to what I wanted, so I’ll make the rest using the same recipe.

I’ll pick more blackberries, if I don’t feel to bad at the end of the week. All this activity is wearing me down.

Glad to see there is still some life in the thread. I haven’t yet come across recipes that are like what I made a couple of years ago (which were, to my taste, quite good), so someone please tell me if these sound deadly:


Slice peppers, insert in sterilized jars; cover with boiling mix of 50% vinegar, 50% water*; 1/4 tsp salt per half-pint; process in water bath 10 - 15 minutes.**


Combine chopped tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro, garlic, a little olive oil and salt; add appropriate quantity*** of vinegar/lime juice mixture (75% vinegar, 25% lime juice, or could I go with more lime juice?); bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes; pack in sterilized jars and process in water bath 10 - 15 minutes. The cooking time on this seems a bit excessive. My favorite store-bought salsa is Herdez - do you think I could reduce the cooking time to get a little less of a cooked-down taste?

*I have seen ratios as high as 25% vinegar, 75% water, so this has to be safe, right?

**Optionally, I may include mini-carrots and whole cloves of garlic in the jars. That’s some good eatin’!

***My last last batch was too liquidy - so I guess it’s a tradeoff between amount of liquid and cooked-ness?

Just to chime in, we did two batches of peaches to day, which brings our total for the last few days up to 8 batches total. I don’t want to see a peach for the next month, but there’s still lots of peaches left to can.

My neighbor put up sweet corn yesterday, and shared with me, about six quarts, in freezer bags. Can you still say “put up” if you’re freezing, or is “put up” just for canning?

Anyways, she blanched the corn in her big electric roaster, outside on the deck, so as not to heat up her kitchen. I thought that was very smart.

i worship you. I was looking all over for a recipe for freezer pickles (well, in books) and I was just about to go online, inspired by this thread, and . . . there you are! A friend made these in college and I loved them. Calling her in desperation was going to be my next step. Thanks!