Canning Tips to Keep in Mind for the Holidays

Caramel Apple PieEven though the gardens are mostly gone there is still plenty of time to do some home food preservation.  As I was making some Mrs. Wages® Pie Filling this week, I was thinking ahead to the holidays and started making plans for giving some of my home preserved food away.

Giving something you have made to family and friends shows that you care about them and adds your personal touch to the gift.

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Shirley’s holiday food gift ideas

iStock_000009883750MediumGifts of food are welcome by most people.  At this time of year you can still do some home food preservation and give it as gifts.

Pickled beets are loved by some family members and even though they are long gone from the garden, canned beets work just as well.  Actually they are easier because the cooking and peeling are already done for you!  Just buy some Mrs. Wages Pickled Beet Mix and you are ready to fill the house with the aroma of cinnamon and cloves.

But your holiday-motivated generosity in the kitchen doesn’t have to stop there!

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Wine Jelly with Reduced Sugar

Red JellyHere’s a tasty gift idea for the holidays …


1.  If a wine of 12 percent alcohol is used, reduce the amount of wine to 3 cups.

2.  Stir Mrs. Wages® Lite Home-Jell into wine and let stand 5 minutes.

3. Bring mixture quickly to boiling over high heat stirring constantly.

4. Immediately stir in sugar and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.

5. When boiling, remove from heat, skim foam, and pour into sterilized, hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

6. Wipe rims and adjust lids.

7. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: about 4 ½  cups


Homemade Apple Crisp Kit

Cheddar Apple PieThere’s nothing quite like a warm apple crisp served with a scoop of ice cream as a perfect ending to a holiday meal with friends and family. It’s easy to make and tastes great.

It’s also an easy recipe to share – especially if you give the ingredients (including pie filling you’ve made in your own kitchen) as a gift. Here are my easy-to-follow instructions for making homemade apple crisp kit that will help to start a new dessert tradition in any household.

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Sharing kitchen memories with a recipe scrapbook

Kitchen ScrapbookingWriting my last blog post reminded me of another great holiday gift idea.

Over the years I taught several holiday foods classes while working for Extension.  One of the most popular ideas for gift giving was a family memory album.  Many of us have memories of family gatherings and all of the wonderful foods we shared as children.  Families have “secret recipes” or at least favorite ones that make the holidays memorable.

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