Yes, You CAN!

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By Cindy Edwards

Summertime brings longer, warmer days and a plethora of fresh vegetables and fruits.  As a little girl, I enjoyed watching my Grandmother Bradley prepare and can the vegetables from my grandfather’s garden.  Because of their efforts, we always had cream corn, peas and butter beans all year long.

While the gathering, shelling and shucking are time-consuming, the results are well worth it. Having your own vegetables “put up” saves money, and it provides fresh and delicious food that does not contain preservatives or additives.

Once you have purchased the basic supplies you can use most of them year after year.

You will need:

*canning jars and seals
*funnel
*tongs or a jar lifter
*large pot
*pressure canner (or a large pot)

Basic Canning Process:

1. Sterilize the jars and lids by washing with soap and water. Submerge them into boiling water for 10 minutes.
2. Prepare your fruits and vegetables according to the recipe of your choice. For the best results, use the freshest produce that is available.
3. Fill your sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 to 3/4 inches of space at the top to allow for any expansion.  If you have air bubbles, run a knife around the edge of jar until they are gone. Wipe the rims of each jar with a clean cloth. Seal each jar with the dry lids and rims.
4. To process the jars, submerge each one into your pressure canner filled with boiling water.  I use a big pot with a very tight lid. Use your tongs to place each jar in the water.  Water should be an inch above the jars.  Jars should be flat in the pot and should not touch each other. Place the lid on your pot and boil the jars for the time suggested in your recipe.
5. Use your tongs to remove each jar and allow to cool.  Once cooled, press down the center of each jar to make sure that it is sealed.
6. Label your jars with the date and ingredients.

My Favorite Pear Chutney

1 pound onions
8 cloves of garlic
5 pounds firm pears; peeled, cored and chopped
1 quart white vinegar
5 1/2 cups of sugar
1 (24 ounce) package of raisins
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/4 cups crystallized ginger, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons mustard seeds
7 mason jars, quart-sized with lids and rims

1.  Process onions and garlic in small batches until chopped.  Transfer each       batch into a Dutch oven.
2. Add chopped pears and vinegar to mixture and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Add sugar and stir until it completely dissolves.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add raisins and mustard. Cook for 20 minutes.
5. Add crystallized ginger, ground ginger and mustard seeds. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. The mixture should thicken.
6. Pour pear mixture into hot jars.  Be sure to leave a 1/2 to 3/4 inch space at the top. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jars with a clean cloth. Cover jars with lids and rims, and wipe again.
7. Process in water bath for 10 minutes.
8. Label each jar with date and ingredients


Now you are ready to preserve your best vegetables and fruits.  I hope that you enjoy them for many months.  Be sure to share with your family and friends.

As always, thanks for reading.

Properly yours,
Cindy

Cindy Edwards embodies everything pretty, perky and proper about the South. She's a wife, mother, volunteer and freelance writer. Cindy volunteers enough hours to exhaust most by serving on the Board of Trustees for the Telfair Museums, the Savannah Book Festival Board of Directors and the University of Georgia Honors Advisory Board. She has also served on the Boards of the March of Dimes and Young Life Savannah. Cindy has been married to her college sweetheart, Dr. Joe Edwards III, for 25 years and is the proud mother of two sons: Joe IV, a senior at the University of Georgia, and Jack, a freshman at Ole Miss. No matter how busy, Cindy always makes time for a competitive game of bridge.
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Reader Comments:

54321

Cindy Sounds really good but how do use chutney? I understand there are many different kinds could you help me out with this please.

By Charlotte Jackson on September 13, 2013

54321

This recipe looks great! I cannot wait to try it. Thanks, Elizabeth

By Anonymous on September 01, 2013

54321

Thank you for this great information. The recipe sounds divine.

By Anonymous on August 23, 2013

54321

Canning was always a sweet memory with my grandmother as well. It's wonderful to enjoy the summer vegetables all year long. Thanks for this blog! Your pear chutney sounds delish!

By Susan L on August 23, 2013

54321

I just started making tomato sauce. I have an assortment of tomatoes I'm using. I'm really enjoying myself. Cannot wait until my potatoes and other fall squashes are ready. Have a great time cooking!

By Laura Irizarry on August 18, 2013

54321

Paula you made me laugh when I went through breast cancer treatment . I got your cook books and my family said I was another Paula Deen . You helped me fighting and so far I have been blessed with four more years. I love you and pray my canning will be as good as your. Don't give up keep fighting many people love you. I'm proud of you and you told the truth. With your help I feel I can leave great memories of eating together and being a family. Sure miss you on t.v. But I have many cookbooks so you won't be forgotten. Thank you for all you have done. Robyn

By Robyn on August 16, 2013

54321

I miss you on TV soooo much. You are not just a wonderful cook, you are an entertainer. You have such a great personality. You are the envy of many ... and don't you forget it. Not to wish bad things onto some people ... But, are they not familiar with, "What Goes Around, Comes Around." AND, "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." I Love you and your Family. I know you are so proud of your "Boys". They seem to be just like their Mother ... Happy, friendly, and I'm sure they treat everyone with respect. I am broken-hearted because of the situation you have had to deal with. May God bless you, Paula Deen, and your family.

By Sue Pruitt on August 16, 2013

54321

This post brings back great memories of growing up with wonderful summer vegetables. "Putting up" vegetables was always fun for our family. We had delicious canned and frozen foods all winter. Two of my favorites were watermelon rind preserves made by my grandmother and lime pickles made by my mother. Thanks, Cindy, for another great post.

By anne on August 13, 2013

54321

I am impressed with this month's blog! There is an art to canning vegetables and fruits, and I'm afraid that it's not practiced nearly enough anymore. This blog reminds me of fond, precious memories of my two grandmothers. Thanks again, Cindy, for a great blog.

By Viki C on August 10, 2013

54321

As usual, very informative information. Thanks Cindy!

By Linda Parton on August 10, 2013

54321

Great article! And you're right. It is somewhat time-consuming but well worth the effort. One just cannot buy anything that tastes as good as home-made. I just finished "putting up" some pickles, thanks to my mother who taught me. Learning from mothers and grandmothers is a wonderful thing!

By Sandra on August 10, 2013

54321

Cindy, I remember those days of canning, preserving and later freezing vegetables, fruits and nuts. Have enjoyed your blog on this subject and I do put some vegetables and fruits in the freezer most summers. Have a blessed day and keep up your blog informing lots of us how and when to do certain things. Ann

By Anonymous on August 09, 2013

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 3:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm