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
*tongs or a jar lifter
*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.