Think Twice Before You “Tweak”

0512 Homepage Photo - Shirley CampNo, that headline isn’t advice to over-enthusiastic youngsters when they hit the dance floor – it’s just a little common sense to the home canner who is wondering if they can just add an extra ingredient to their next batch when they’re canning in the kitchen.

The short answer is “no” – the longer answer is “know when it’s time to add your creativity and still keep the food safe for consumption.”

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The litmus test for tomato acidity

3.08-Left-Inset-ImageThere are many varieties of tomatoes available for us to choose from – heirlooms to the newer hybrid varieties. Over the years, the acidity level of tomatoes has been researched, and data collected resulted in the United States Department of Agriculture issuing a statement in 1976 that certain varieties of tomatoes were considered low acid foods and that they must be processed as low acid foods. Since that time, recommendations are to add acid to all tomato products being processed at home.

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In Search of Dill Heads

dill_headsDave writes in:

Where can you easily find Dill heads for use in making dill pickles. I cannot find them when I need them.

So, some of you might be wondering what a Dill head is. It’s the flowering part from the top of the dill plant.  Let it dry out on the plant and you’ll have dill seed.

 

Dill heads can be found in some grocery stores a little later in the season or at farmers’ markets.  Many folks grow their own to make sure they have a supply for the season.

Hope this helps.

Shirley

In Search of Better, Crunchier Pickles

New Pickle Product Review: Mrs. Wages® Xtra Crunch™
By Master Canner Shirley Camp, MS, LD, LDN Retired

mrs-wages-xtra-crunch-4When making pickles at home, most of us want crunchy pickles just like those in the store. Because of the high water content of cucumbers, when heated in brine, the crunchiness may be lost. Mrs. Wages® has just added a new product to their line of canning products, Mrs. Wages® Xtra Crunch™, that will put some of the crunch back into your pickles!

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