Pickle Problems? Shirley Has Answers.

CucumbersI get great questions about canning and, specifically, about pickles.  Susie wrote in the other day:

I process about 90lbs of dill pickles each summer.  I discovered Mrs Wages pickle mix a few years ago and love it!  I’ve tried several of the Wages mixes.
One in particular I’d like help with is the pickled mixed veggies.  I’ve tried twice and both times the carrots and cauliflower turn out so mushy!  I want them crisp like when you buy them in the store.  What am I doing wrong?
Also, when I have extra dill pickle brine, I put up several pints of dill carrot sticks. They are so yummy!!!
I look forward to hearing from you!

Here’s what I sent back to her via email: Continue reading

Preserving Parsnips

Parsnips isolated on white background

Honestly, I don’t get a lot of questions about parsnips, but Susan wrote in the other day with a good question in search of an answer:

What is your favorite way of preserving parsnips?
I do can them but do not really like the results.  They taste good in soups and mashed potatoes but I would like to do more with them.

So the question is, should you can or freeze parsnips? Continue reading

Questions about Shelf Life

Laura wrote in with a very practical question:

What is the shelf life of items we can? Is it one year for everything, or does it vary from jam to pickles, etc.. .? Providing, of course, all proper canning procedures were followed.

There are a lot of factors that can effect the shelf life of the products you can. Continue reading

How Long Will a Pickle Last?

The other day, I provided some advice on the shelf life of the products we can at home.

Today, I answer a question from Cheryl about pickles in particular:

How long will canned pickles last?

When everything is done correctly in the pickle-making process and storage is in a cool, dry, dark place, home canned pickles should be good for at least one year.  As a general rule, all home processed foods should be used within a year.  You can find a fact sheet on home canned food storage from the University of Georgia at: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/store/store_home_canned.html

Happy canning!