Watch Cooking Channel

Canning: Pickles, Relish and Jam

The Finished Product Cucumber Jam, Pickled Squash and Hot Pickle Relish

I’ve always been intrigued, if a bit intimidated, by the canning process. My parents stopped canning when I was about waist-high, so while I dreamed of having a root-cellar (yes, I live in an apartment, but, hey, it’s my dream) full of canned goods, I’d never actually canned anything.

So when my friend (and canning aficionado) Margaret came home from a vacation to a two-wheelbarrow crop of cucumber and squash, I was thrilled to help her put it all up (and get half the results).

When you come home to a pile of squash and cucumber this big, canning isn't an option -- it's a necessity. With this much produce, canning is a necessity, not an option.

To put a dent in the hefty pile of cucumbers, we decided on an old standby — Pickle Relish — and a new one (to us) — Cucumber Jam.  We cubed up some squash and turned it into turmeric-tinted Pickled Squash.

We chopped, and chopped and chopped, then got to work on the canning. We simmered the relish. We simmered the squash. We let the cucumbers “pickle” in sugar overnight. Sanitation, I learned, is key in canning (here are some tips to help you can safely): you have to sanitize the jars in boiling water, fill them and slap on the lids, all without touching the jars with your hands. Unless you can work a Jedi mind trick, a magnetic lid lifter and a set of jar-lifting tongs come in handy here.  Another key: follow the recipe exactly, especially if you’re new to canning. The right acid balance helps preserve the produce.

Fit jars with a wide-mouthed funnel while you fill — this will prevent drips down the sides. Leave about a 1/2 inch of space at the top so the filling has room to expand as the jars boil.

Margaret Fills The Jars Margaret Fills The Jars

Once you’ve filled the jars and snapped on the lids, into the boiling water they go. Typically the more acidic your canned good, the less time it needs to boil.

The Final Step: Dipping The Squash The Final Step: I Dip The Squash

The verdict? It was hot. It was hard work. But the payoff is a shelf full of canned goods that I can pull out throughout the winter. I’m hooked! I’m already thinking about my next batch of canned goods. Here are some recipes I’m excited about:

Homesick Texan has a recipe for ketchup, all dressed up: tomato jam.  It’s sweet, spicy and perfect for a fresh-from-the-oven biscuit.

Homesick Texan's Tomato Jam Homesick Texan’s Tomato Jam

On the sweeter side, I can save in-season apricots for a cold winter day with The Hazel Bloom’s vanilla-apricot jam. The recipe uses fresh vanilla beans to give it an extra-special flavor.

The Hazel Bloom's Vanilla-Apricot Jam The Hazel Bloom’s Vanilla-Apricot Jam

And to add to my pickle collection, I’m thinking about this Vietnamese carrot and daikon pickle mix (do chua in Vietnamese) from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy.

Pickled Carrots and Daikon From Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy Pickled Carrots and Daikon From Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy

If you’re as jazzed about canning as I am, check out even more canning and pickling ideas:

What summer produce are you canning for the winter?

Tags:

Comments (2662)

  1. Autism posted 2 days, 3 hours ago

    Title…

    [...]one of our guests lately suggested the following website[...]…

  2. Melanotan ii posted 2 days ago

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  3. this hyperlink posted 1 day, 22 hours ago

    Thorn of Girl…

    Excellent information is usually found on this website blogging site….

  4. Try These Guys posted 1 day, 20 hours ago

    The Absent Game…

    Involving me and my husband we have owned far more MP3 gamers through the years than I can count, together with Sansas, iRivers, iPods (traditional & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few several years I’ve settled down to one line of gam…

  5. Maklerzentrum vergleich versicherung posted 1 day, 18 hours ago

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  6. custom id badges posted 1 day, 13 hours ago

    Yahoo results…

    While browsing bing I discovered this article in the results and I didn’t think it fit…

  7. boat electronics installation posted 1 day, 6 hours ago

    boat electronics installation…

    [...]we came across a cool web page which you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[...]…

  8. harman bird posted 1 day, 3 hours ago

    Thorn of Girl…

    Superb info might be observed on this website blog….

  9. pacific hills treatment centers inc complaints posted 21 hours, 23 minutes ago

    Title…

    [...]we prefer to honor a lot of other world-wide-web sites around the internet, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages worth checking out[...]…

  10. Comprar Seguidores Twitter posted 10 hours, 2 minutes ago

    Tumblr article…

    I saw a writer talking about this on Tumblr and it linked to…

  11. e cigarette reviews forum posted 5 hours, 49 minutes ago

    Title…

    [...]we came across a cool website that you may well delight in. Take a appear when you want[...]…

  12. Future Of Wealth 2 Review posted 4 hours, 7 minutes ago

    Title…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nonetheless seriously worth taking a appear, whoa did one understand about Mid East has got far more problerms too [...]…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c