How Full is Full Enough?

vegetables series: cucumbers pickles

I received a very practical canning question from Bonnie the other day and thought I’d try to share a little practical experience to help clear things up.

Bonnie’s question is about pickles. Specifically, packing a jar with cukes before adding the pickling liquid. She wrote:

Can  you  please  explain   or show how to  tightly fill a canning jar with cucumbers when  making  pickles.

I will try to explain because I have no way to video this.

Continue reading

Choosing the Right Canning Jar Starts with Knowing What to Avoid.

Early-April-Feature-Inset-ImageSo you thought that all jars are created equal? Not really.

Once you understand the best practices of safe canning, you realize that not every jar should be used for food preservation.  In fact, I tell my canning students that there are three types of canning jars to avoid (for canning purposes, of course).

Continue reading

Shirley’s Spring Canning Checklist

It looks like the meteorologists are saying that spring will finally get here.  In the Midwest it seems as though we’ve had snow every week and that is delaying some of our preparation for gardening.  The upside is that we are getting some moisture back into the ground which will help the trees and other plants in the future months.

Keeping all that in mind, I’m offering up my five essentials for a successful canning season.

Continue reading

Freezing and canning rhubarb in six easy steps

Freezing-and-Canning-Rhubarb-BlogRhubarb season is here and many folks like to put some rhubarb away for later use.  Rhubarb crisp, cakes and pies are favorites of many.  The best rhubarb is found in the spring of the year when the new shoots are tender and full of flavor.  While it is possible to can rhubarb sauce, freezing rhubarb is probably the better option. Continue reading

Puzzled about Pectin?

157049340I received a question the other day from one of our readers about liquid pectin. I thought I’d share the question and an answer with you …

Q.: “I recently used your Liquid fruit pectin for the first time. It’s consistency was completely different from other brands of liquid pectin I had used in the past. It was opaque white and very very thick. Is this correct? I made Cherry Jam using both pouches, and need to know if it is edible. Please let me know, thanks.”

Continue reading