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Garlicky Dill Pickles

My first canning experience all by myself I made a huge batch of dill pickles.  Dill Pickles Recipe – Allrecipes.com gave me all the guidance I needed.  These pickles turned out great.  Crunchy and garlicky, I can eat them one after the other.  If you don’t care for garlic cut the amount in half or leave it out.

Homemade pickles are so much better and cost-effective.  If you have never canned just start with a small batch and have some fun.  The kids get a great kick out of canning and making their own pickles.

Garlicky Dill Pickles:

  • 8 lbs. pickling cucumbers 3-4 inches long
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 12 cups water
  • 2/3 cup pickling salt
  • 16 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill
  • 8 heads fresh dill

Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink  with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.

In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar’s rims of any residue.

Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.

Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.

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I made Grape Jelly

With mostly green grapes and a few red, we got a rose colored jelly!

With mostly green grapes and a few red, we got a rose colored jelly!

All I can say is to make Grape Jelly from fresh grapes is a process.  I have never even cared for grape jelly.  When a neighbor was going to let their grapes go to waste what is a girl going to do?  So I used How to Make Grape Jelly – Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs as a general guide on how to make jelly using fresh grapes.

I also researched many recipes with different ratios of pectin to juice to sugar.  This was my first time making jelly and I decided to combine a recipe that sounded right to me.  This could have turned out bad after all my labor.  Except it turned out great the perfect flavor and consistency.  We even ate it the next day.

After picking all the grapes and looking into recipes all suggested not using green grapes.  Well when life gives you green grapes you have to use green grapes.  With the exception to a small bag of purple champagne grapes I had thrown into the freezer before they spoiled.  I ended up with a beautiful rosy colored jelly.  It is sweet but not too sweet and actually spreadable.

If you need to use unsweetened grape juice you can do so.  If you have access to grapes pick them and see how it goes.  In the end I think I put out more effort than was needed but oh well.  I am happy with my end product.

Grape Jelly:

*This made 13 half pint or 8 pint jars with a bit remaining.

  • 8 cups grape juice, I used fresh
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 (1.75 oz.) packages of pectin (1 regular and 1 no sugar added)

To make the fresh grape juice:

This is how I made my juice, it might not have been the easiest or the best method but it seemed to get me an end product worthy of jelly making.

If using fresh grapes the first step is to wash them well and remove all big stems.  A few little stems won’t hurt anything you are going to strain them out.

Fresh Green Grapes for Jelly

Place grapes in a large pot and give them a good crush with a potato masher.  You can also put them into a food processor as I read but this seemed extreme.

Heat grapes over medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until they become tender.  This is going to help extract the juices.

Grape Jelly

I used my apple sauce food mill and ground small batches of my grapes into a deep pot.  This left me with juice and all the skins and stems in the mill to throw out.

My personal grape crushers!

My personal grape crushers!

After all the grinding of the grapes I then strained my juice using a jelly straining clothe.  This took out any bits of stems that may have gotten by the mill.  This was time-consuming to pass through the clothe, so make a cup of coffee while you are waiting.  The finished juice after being strained is now ready to measure for your jelly.  I froze the excess juice I had in a jar for later use or batch of jelly.

To make grape jelly:

Prepare jars by sterilizing them in hot water or dishwasher.  Place lids in a pan of warm water.  Heat water or canning bath so it is ready to process the jelly.

Use at least a 6 quart pot for making the jelly so you do not have a problem with the mixture boiling over when it has to boil.

Grape Jelly

Combine grape juice, lemon juice, and both packages of pectin.  Over medium/high heat bring the mixture to a rolling boil stirring constantly.

Boil for 1 minutes.

Add in sugar and again stirring constantly bring back to a boil and again boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and ladle into prepared jars.  Place a lid and screw ban on each jar.  Process pint jars for about 10 minutes depending on elevation.  If my instructions on the canning process are to vague please see the link above.

Once the jars have processed remove and allow to cool for 24 hours.  Label and store your jars.  Jelly should set up within 1 week if not sooner.  We ate some the next day.

 

Plum and Ginger Lime Jam

I look forward to the plums starting to fall on my in-laws tree.  Mostly I eat them fresh but with an abundance this year and not wanting any to go to waste I was searching for something to do with them.  Last year my Grandma canned them with the pits in and they were tasty.

Fresh Plums

My jam supply is running low and I never replenished the supply.  I thought there must be a good plum jam recipe.  Most were the same with nothing special and just gave quantities of sugar to plum.  I had just bought some fresh ginger root and thought to brighten my jam with ginger.

Most recipes required no pectin to set the jam.  Although I almost regret this because I didn’t feel the need to add so much sugar.  This led my jam to be more of a spread than a jam.  No matter what it is great and I have a cupboard full.

Plum and Ginger Lime Jam:

  • 10-15 cups plums, pitted with the skins on
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger,grated
  • 1-2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 2-4 cups sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large pot.  Add 2 cups sugar to start and sweeten after tasting.

Plum and Ginger Lime Jam

Using an immersion blender, pulse the fruit and sugar together until desired smoothness.  The smoother you go the less skin you have floating around.

Cook on medium until simmer.  Simmer until mixture becomes thick almost like a honey consistency.

Pour in sterile jars and can in a water bath for about 10 minutes for half pints.

Plum and Ginger Lime Jam

 

A great site for canning instructions is delish.com, I know my instructions are really general.

 

Sweet Pickle Relish

I use sweet relish frequently usually in my  tuna salad or on a hot dog which I love no matter how bad they are for you.  Lately I have been substituting bread and butter pickles chopped instead of relish in to my tuna salad, Mr.Picky in particular enjoys it this way.

So this year with the cucumbers from the garden I decided I would make a sweet/bread and butter relish.  I combined my bread and butter pickle recipe with a sweet pickle relish I found.  I just opened up the first jar and it tastes better than I imagined.  Why have I not made relish before?

Sweet Relish

Sweet Pickle Relish:

  •  4-5 seeded cucumbers, chopped finely
  • 2 cups onions,chopped finely
  • 1 cup green pepper, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbs celery seed
  • 1 Tbs mustard seed
  • 1/2 Tbs turmeric

I got 6 (1/2 pint) jars out of this recipe, give or take some.

Chop all vegetables as finely as you would like them.  Sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water.  Allow to sit for about 2 hours.  Rinse and drain well.

sweet relish

In a pan combine brine ingredients.  Bring to a boil and add vegetables.

Boil for 10 minutes.Sweet Relish

Using a slotted spoon place relish into clean jars, add some brine if you wish.

Process jars if you would like or store in refrigerator.  Process pints for 10 minutes in water bath.

Crisp Pickled Green Beans

Crispy crunchy pickled green beans, a great snack. Forget the choice and pass the green beans. Not too often you will hear that. Crisp Pickled Green Beans Recipe – Allrecipes.com was the recipe I used.  This was the perfect pickled flavor I have tried yet.  Not too sour and of course I had to add garlic to each jar, which turned out wonderful.

I think any canned food especially pickled items make great gifts.  House warming presents or a Christmas gift for a neighbor can be done ahead of time during the summer when vegetables are plentiful.  Get out there and can something.

Crispy Pickled Green Beans

 

Crisp Pickled Green Beans:

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt (canning or pickling salt is best)
  • 1-4 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch fresh dill weed
  • 3/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional

 

Sterilize 3 pint jars with rings and lids and keep hot. Trim green beans to 1/4 inch shorter than your jars.

In a large saucepan, stir together the vinegar, water and salt. Add garlic and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. In each jar, place 1 sprig of dill and 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Pack green beans into the jars so they are standing on their ends.  I added 1 clove of peeled garlic in each jar.

Ladle the boiling brine into the jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the tops. Discard garlic. Seal jars with lids and rings. Place in a hot water bath so they are covered by 1 inch of water. Simmer but do not boil for 10 minutes to process. Cool to room temperature. Test jars for a good seal by pressing on the center of the lid. It should not move. Refrigerate any jars that do not seal properly. Let pickles ferment for 2 to 3 weeks before eating.

 

Candied Jalapenos

My Mr.Picky is one spicy man.  The hotter the better, years ago he tried candied jalapeños on a burger and has craved them since.  He found a recipe from Tasty Kitchen-cowboy candy and hoped for the best.  They turned out better than he hoped.  Tasty kitchen had great directions for canning if mine are too general.Candied Jalapenos

 I tried one with just a few seeds and it was wonderful.  Once he opened the jar, they were gone within a week.  He put them on everything from sandwiches to inside burritos.  These are spicy but with a sweet flavor.  A few of them would do me fine, but Mr.Picky eats them straight out of the jar.

We adjusted the recipe to make about 2 pint jars, and this is the quantities we used.

Candied jalapeño:

(This will yield 2 pint jars)

  • 1 1/2 pounds of jalapeños,sliced with seeds
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugars
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Wash and slice jalapeños with the seeds into rings.  Wear gloves during this part to keep from the jalapeño oil getting on your hands.

In a medium pot bring to a boil sugar, vinegar, and spices.  Boil for 5 minutes.candied jalapenos

Add in sliced jalapeños, and boil exactly 4 minutes stirring occasionally.  With a slotted spoon or spider scoop out jalapeño and place in sterilized jars.

candied jalapenos

Bring the sugar mixture back up to a boil and continue to boil another 6 minutes.  Fill each jar with equal parts of liquid, leaving at least 1/2″ head room in each jar.

Wipe jars down and place a clean new lid and seal with a screw band.  Process pints for 10 minutes and remove to cool at least overnight.  Store jars in a cool place for at least two weeks before opening.

Pickled Dill Carrots

After pickling green beans and pickles last year, I wanted to expand my canning and try something new.  I had tasted a pickled dill carrot at a friend’s house and to be honest with you had never thought to do carrots.  I went searching for pickled carrots and found Dilled Carrots | Cooking Mamas.

As it turns out it is nearly the exact recipe I use for pickles and beans.  They look tasty and can’t wait to update you when I open a jar.  Unfortunately it will take at least 2 weeks before they are ready.

Pickled Dill Carrots:Dill Pickled Carrots

  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pickling or canning salt
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 17 heads fresh dill or 1/2 tsp of dill seed per jar
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes per jar, optional
  • About 5 lbs. carrots, baby or sliced

Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, water and salt. Stir well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve salt.

Place 1/2 to 1 clove of garlic, 1 head of dill and 1/2 tsp of hot pepper flakes, if using, in each hot jar. Slice carrots into sticks that work with the mason jars you have, allowing for the tops to sit 1/2″ below the last jar thread. Pack carrots into hot jars and top with second head of dill.

Ladle hot brine into jars to cover carrots, leaving 1/2″ head space.  Wipe the rims and center the lids on jars.  Attach the screw band until tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove canner lid.  Remove jars to a towel and allow to cool completely and store.

Dill Pickled Carrots

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