Author Topic: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)  (Read 18301 times)

tthree

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 372
  • Location: Canada
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2015, 09:58:54 PM »
Cherry tomatoes: Halve them and put them on a cookie sheet in a low (225-250) oven for 1.5-2 hours for delicious "sun dried" tomatoes. I packed them with olive oil and kept them in the fridge, but you could keep them dried or can
How long do these keep in the fridge? I thought I only planted one cherry tomato but there is three.  I have thousands of cherry tomatoes.

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 972
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #51 on: September 20, 2015, 02:29:56 PM »
How dirty do you let the boiling water bath water get before you replace it? My applesauce likes to leak even with a full 1" headspace (NCFHP guideline is only 1/2"), but I hate having to reheat a huge kettle all over again between batches.

I do a full day "session" of up to several rounds of canning without replacing water, just topping up the water as needed. BUT - I am concerned that you are having leaking at 1" headspace. I'd be wary of underfilling - you risk early oxidizing in the jars with a too-large headspace, especially since you are a low sugar preserver.

Should I use the 1/2" headspace and just accept the mess then? I tried that in the big new pot to see if it was the old pot and siphoning that created so much mess (remember my emails to you?). The water was quite cloudy and dark with 1/2" space.

And I guess technically I was using more like 3/4" space (up to necks of the jars) rather than a full 1" the second batch today. There was a noticeable amount of floating apple pulp in the water, but it wasn't darkened like the first round.

All the seals have been 100% good. When you say early oxidizing, would that be actual spoilage, or just color loss like can happen with jams or pickles when the food is above liquid level in the sealed jar? Because I could give a crap about that.

Ah, canning. I have such a love/hate relationship with you...

Yeah, I remember emails. I'm just really weirded out that you are getting so much siphoning from applesauce, of all things. Oxidizing is just that early browning - off color isn't a safety issue but the flavor degrades noticeably, too imho. Two things to look at:

(1) Is it possible what you are seeing in the pot is applesauce that was on the outsides on the jars when they went into the water? If the applesauce is coming out of the jar during processing your seals will be affected with a higher rate of unsealed jars and your head space will be lower coming out than it was going in.

(2) Is it possible the jars are going through heating spikes while on the stove? Ie, is the temp of the water and the temp of the applesauce about the same when the jars go into the pot for processing?

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #52 on: September 20, 2015, 05:32:19 PM »
It's not #1 but it might be #2.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

G-dog

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4261
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #53 on: September 20, 2015, 07:24:16 PM »
If applesauce can get out, why isn't water getting in to each jar?

This only happens with applesauce? Or is it the only thing you can where you can detect this problem?

Weird?

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #54 on: September 21, 2015, 07:52:07 AM »
If applesauce can get out, why isn't water getting in to each jar?

This only happens with applesauce? Or is it the only thing you can where you can detect this problem?

Weird?

A certain amount of food leakage is pretty common with canning. As you heat the jars, food expands, pushing the air out. You'd rather have (a little) food leak out than fail to push all the air out. It's the resulting vacuum when the food contracts and the seal forms that preserves the food. My explanation probably leaves something to be desired.

The water can't get in, because the lids are on just tight enough to prevent that.

----

Dried plums yesterday. Ended up tasty but the prep is so slow, even with allegedly free stone fruits.

Pears also ended up tasty. The variety I got (Lincoln) is very resistant to browning, so I didn't use any acid. I did some peeled and some not peeled. I guess I don't really mind the peels, especially when I consider the extra effort of peeling.

Discovering that the kids really like these perfectly ripe pears. They're about 50% more expensive than apples but even the smallest volume is only $1.35/lb so if they still have a good supply at the orchard next month I might get a bigger quantity. I love these little surprises of abundance!
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 972
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #55 on: September 21, 2015, 01:38:48 PM »
It's not #1 but it might be #2.

Ok. I'm gonna recommend you try processing like this:

Have water hot/barely simmering but not boiling. Fill to accurate headspace with hot apple sauce and doublecheck accurate tightening on rings. Place jars in hot water. Bring water up to boil. Start timing at the boil. Turn off heat when processing is complete. Let jars sit in water for 5 minutes. Then, remove.

If you still get siphoning doing that....dude, I don't even know. It's like the great mystery of the applesauce. It'll drive me crazy.

merula

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 682
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #56 on: September 21, 2015, 03:29:45 PM »
I made grape jam with free-from-Craigslist grapes this weekend. I did 4-5 cups of sugar per 2 quarts of grapes, cooked until it started to jellify (is that a word?), and then processed for 10 minutes for pints. This seemed easier than the jelly recipes that called for pectin.

Currently working on raisins in a borrowed dehydrator.

Penny Lane

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 216
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2015, 05:56:52 AM »
I wrote a big long thing yesterday am and could not get it to post.  About what, I can;t recall...

Plums:  I've had over a 100# of plums from 2 trees this year ( Greengage and Mt Royal, both "European" plums which pollinate better here).  When my neighbors walk by, I shout,"Hey, you've forgotten your plums again!"  The seem more welcome than the floodtide of zucchini.  I've canned them in 1:10 sugar:water,dried,jammed and frozen whole for use in sauces in the winter.

Shell beans/borlotti beans.  These are the most beautiful red and cream striped beans grown for the fresh shelled bean-- delicious!  Shelling them is a spiritual experience best performed out of doors, under an apple tree, with your chickens mulling about.  i cooked them for about 20 minutes in water with herbs, then plopped them into a fresh tomato sauce I was cooking with garlic, fresh corn, basil and simmered another 10 min.  Ate some over polenta and will freeze the rest.  Heaven!

Beach plums: These are small purple fruits which grow on small shrubs native to the northeast.  I planted mine ( Fedco Trees) some years ago; they don't bear heavily every year and this year was lighter.  I freeze the pulp after using a cherrystone remover on them, or jam them, or hot sauce them.

Applesauce:  Leakage issue-- do you have 2 inches of water over the jars?  The pressure from that helps keep the leaking minimal, I think.  Also, try removing some air with a plastic rod before putting the lid on, if you don't already.  I don't do this except for applesauce, seems to help.

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2015, 06:23:44 AM »
Applesauce:  Leakage issue-- do you have 2 inches of water over the jars?  The pressure from that helps keep the leaking minimal, I think.  Also, try removing some air with a plastic rod before putting the lid on, if you don't already.  I don't do this except for applesauce, seems to help.

I'll try that. I think I had just a bit over the standard 1" of water. I did go after the biggest bubbles, but I wasn't terribly thorough.

As to Erica's comment about heat shock, the sauce was definitely warm/hot. I park the jars as they're filled and capped in the simmering water until the rest are ready. I'd guess the water is down around 150F before I crank up the heat to boil.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #59 on: September 26, 2015, 07:35:12 AM »
Made my first sheet of fruit leather last night - goblin approved!

Question:

Best way to store them? The Excalibur book calls for them to be rolled up into plastic wrap and then plastic-bagged. The plastic wrap part seems a bit excessive but if necessary I'll do it.

Mine had some wet spots on underside. Can't remember how thoroughly I tested the topside for dryness, but I suppose if it happens again I can just flip it and dry for another 1-2 hours to fix that.

Think I'm going to move my dehydrator back up to the living area. It's a bit noisy, but that plus the dehumidifer pulling the moisture out in the basement raises the temperature more than I want for the stuff that's already down there for storage. There've been some days where it's warmer down in the basement!

Tag-team canning with my sister today (applesauce). Gonna test out the Squeezo. Cleaned up the old screen as best I could. Despite being "stainless" it was definitely rusty and seems a bit pitted on the inside layer. I noticed that when I bought it but after further cleaning I'm a bit concerned. Hopefully it works acceptably. Otherwise replacement screens are nearly $50 with shipping.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #60 on: September 27, 2015, 06:34:04 AM »
Went apple-picking with my sister and her kids. We got a late start, so didn't return to start canning until after 1PM. Between 1-9 we put up 43 quart jars of applesauce. I was working basically 100% of that time, my sister helping 75% of the time (she has an infant), and my wife came over for dinner and helped some the last 3 hours. I think we're going to divvy up based on how many of whose apples went in, so I think my share will be a bit under 20 quarts.

Got the chance to try the used Squeezo strainer I picked up off of Craigslist. Man I'm glad I bought that! I haven't done an exact timed test to compare, but I'd guess it's easily 3x the speed of my conventional Oxo food mill. Needs a little TLC I discovered (old gasket seal that leaked, we just put a bowl under it) and I'm sure the aluminum is somewhat reactive when stuff happens to sit between batches/runs but quite the labor-saver. Straining is no longer the bottleneck.

I think I'd have a hard time recommending it at the full price of a new model, but if you found one used under $100 it's well worth it IMO. There are food strainers available for much cheaper new on Amazon that seem to get solid reviews (e.g. the Vittorio one for $50). Not sure how they stack up. Some people seem to be concerned about their long-term durability since the worm gear and a few other components are plastic.

Which gives me the thought: should I modify one of the posts back at the top to include a discussion of tools?

Also, is it "kosher" to park filled (not lidded) jars in a warm (200F) oven while waiting for other jars to finish processing? I did that quite a bit yesterday. Can't see why it would cause issues, but want to make sure I'm doing acceptable technique.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Nancy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 796
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #61 on: September 28, 2015, 07:32:41 AM »
Following

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #62 on: September 30, 2015, 07:21:07 AM »
Did some measuring last night. So, my 9-tray Excalibur holds about 10 pounds (before coring and paring) of apples so, if I do a 2-shift drying schedule, which is easy enough for me being at-home (load it before breakfast, run during the day till 7ish, then run a new load overnight) I can process a bushel every 2-2.5 days. This is fast enough that next year I think I'll target which varieties we end up liking best dry and skipping drying other varieties when we pick. So far I think it's McIntosh. Cortlands stay kind of meaty dry, which is nice for being filling, but apples lose a lot of tartness when drying, so a tart-sweet like Cortland isn't necessarily best choice for drying IMO. Though of course they make phenomenal sauce and baked goods.

I experimented with overlapping slices. They work pretty well but the processing time is just enough longer that it interferes with my 2-shift schedule. It's also harder to have my kids help lay the slices, as it's harder for them to understand what's enough overlap but not TOO much. I don't mind the slices sticking to each other.

Still need to try apple butter. Slow cooker is occupied with making soup stock right now.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Penny Lane

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 216
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #63 on: October 04, 2015, 07:45:08 AM »
I spent part of the weekend preserving (and part shoveling out the chicken coop).

  --3 containers of tomato corn bean sauce with herbs, frozen as I don't pressure can
  --6 more pint bags of greens, blanched briefly and frozen, kales and mustard greens
  --pesto without the cheese, which will be added if needed.  I now tend to freeze this in a bag and saw off what I need.
  --several bags of small Seckel pears to the fridge
  --several bunches of lemon verbena ( for tea) and sage, tied together and hung from my wooden clothes dryer.  I will crumble these and store in glass jars in the dark.

The garden is still yielding leeks, kales, mustard greens, arugula ( no flea beetles this time of year!), brussel sprouts, and still herbs.  Relieved tomato season is over!

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #64 on: October 04, 2015, 07:59:47 AM »
Making my first batch of apple butter right now. Tastes phenomenal after an overnight in the slow cooker. Just waiting for the canning kettle to come up to temperature :)

Used less sugar than called for. Spiced it with cinnamon and nutmeg. Don't have any allspice or dry ginger, and wasn't sure how fresh ginger would work in the recipe.

Think I'm going to make the bourbon ginger pears from Erica's book later in the week after we go to the orchard.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 972
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #65 on: October 04, 2015, 12:24:29 PM »
Making my first batch of apple butter right now. Tastes phenomenal after an overnight in the slow cooker. Just waiting for the canning kettle to come up to temperature :)

Used less sugar than called for. Spiced it with cinnamon and nutmeg. Don't have any allspice or dry ginger, and wasn't sure how fresh ginger would work in the recipe.

Think I'm going to make the bourbon ginger pears from Erica's book later in the week after we go to the orchard.
Knowing your taste, reduce the sugar on those pears. :D

Prospector

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7667
  • Location: The sunny side of the street
  • The late worm misses the bird.
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #66 on: October 04, 2015, 12:30:48 PM »
You seriously need to try dehydrating watermelon. Seriously. It will be on the list within minutes. The flavour intensifies and the sugars become super-sweet. Just do it!

Also your list has no tips for juicing and preserving juices - too left field for you? I really want to give apple cider a go for next year though, and I wonder if fresh (not fermented) cider can be frozen successfully for winter use. SWMBO has been looking for ways to concentrate apple juice for winter too - anyone have canning tips for juices?
Follow along in the thrill-a-minute journal. or Come visit The Barnhouse

Camp Mustache Canada 2017 Organizing Committee member - 2 spots have come open.

Moonwaves

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
  • Location: Germany
    • My blog
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2015, 12:58:59 PM »
Also your list has no tips for juicing and preserving juices - too left field for you? I really want to give apple cider a go for next year though, and I wonder if fresh (not fermented) cider can be frozen successfully for winter use. SWMBO has been looking for ways to concentrate apple juice for winter too - anyone have canning tips for juices?
I've used a steam juicer to make apple juice. It comes out very hot, I decant it straight into sterlised and hot bottles or jars, screw/clamp on the lids and leave it to cool. Haven't kept any past christmas (so three and a half months or so) but that's mostly because it was too nice not to drink and hard enough to try and keep it until then. I did mean to try and make some cider last year but never got around to it. I do love my steam juicer.

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2015, 01:01:50 PM »
Knowing your taste, reduce the sugar on those pears. :D

I'll try it your way first and see. Can I substitute fresh ginger for the candied ginger?

Quote
Also your list has no tips for juicing and preserving juices - too left field for you? I really want to give apple cider a go for next year though, and I wonder if fresh (not fermented) cider can be frozen successfully for winter use. SWMBO has been looking for ways to concentrate apple juice for winter too - anyone have canning tips for juices?

Haven't really done any work with juice, partly because we don't drink juice regularly at all. Erica can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure cider can be frozen. (It can be canned too, but that changes the flavor IIRC.)

We're gonna get a gallon of cider this week at the orchard and see what the kids think of it. If I have time in November, I might try making some hard cider if I can borrow the gear I'm missing.

Serpentstooth likes to make boiled cider, more as a flavoring for desserts than as a juice concentrate for reconstitution. She talks about it here but basically it's a gallon of cider reduced down to a pint (roughly the same reduction as a juice concentrate).

Eventually when I have my own orchard, or time to process windfalls (about $0.18/lb), I'll think about getting either a cider press, or a steam juicing setup to get cider more economically. (Gallon of cider is the yield on 12 pounds of apples, so at going rate of $9/gal you're paying $0.75/lb for pressed cider.)
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Prospector

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7667
  • Location: The sunny side of the street
  • The late worm misses the bird.
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #69 on: October 04, 2015, 01:19:58 PM »
I have a cider mill on my to-do list for future non-essential projects. I've read a number of accounts of building them and it looks like a not-too difficult project. Of course the line up of not-to-difficult projects is long, and this is near the bottom.
Follow along in the thrill-a-minute journal. or Come visit The Barnhouse

Camp Mustache Canada 2017 Organizing Committee member - 2 spots have come open.

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1665
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #70 on: October 04, 2015, 03:02:34 PM »
Nothing to add at this time (sadly), but following.

Jon_Snow

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2678
  • Location: An Island in the Salish Sea (with necessary stints in Vancouver)
  • Rockin' FIRE since 2014.
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #71 on: October 04, 2015, 05:24:46 PM »
Nothing to add at this time (sadly), but following.

Me too. Though I hope to rock this thread in upcoming years. :)

mom22boys

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #72 on: October 05, 2015, 11:45:32 AM »
Great thread!  Another great option for cucumbers, rather than canning them for pickles, is to make refrigerator pickles. My mom has a couple recipes that will stay really good for 6+ months in the fridge. Way easier than canning! 

Has anyone tried to freeze cooked spaghetti squash?  I know the squash will last for quit a while before cooking, but I think it will still be a time saver to have some frozen too.

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1665
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #73 on: March 11, 2016, 07:10:48 PM »
This thread hasn't been updated in a while, but I have a question.

My attempts to resist the siren song of the pressure canner are becoming feebler, but there's something I'm wondering. Everything I've ever read about water-bath canning makes sure to say If You Change The Proportions In This Recipe By One Gram You Will Get Botulism And Die Horribly, and then repeats it a few more times, just in case it didn't take the first time.

Am I right in extrapolating that this is not the case for pressure canning? For example, if I look at a recipe and think, "hm, I might reduce the sugar by a couple of tablespoons since I don't like too much sweetness in savory applications," am I going to kill my spouse?

Any expertise is welcome. Thanks!

Birdie55

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 96
  • Location: Nor Cal
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #74 on: March 11, 2016, 07:31:07 PM »
I took one class on water bath canning and one on pressure canning from the Master food preservers in my county.

For pressure canning, they said to always time to the longest ingredient.  So, if you have multiple ingredients in chili, you would look up the meat, beans, etc and can to the longest timed ingredient.  Unless you are following a recipe, then follow that. 

It's more the ingredients than the amount of the ingredients, is what I got from the class.  Maybe Erica will chime in here....

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #75 on: March 11, 2016, 07:36:42 PM »
Cressida - I have NOT done any pressure canning, so hopefully someone else can chime in. As I understand it, pressure canning is always based on the ingredient that requires the longest process time.

Hypothetical recipe

Ingredient A (guideline is to process for 20 minutes)
Ingredient B (guideline is 30)
Ingredient C (guideline is 40)

A mixture of A, B, C gets processed for 40 minutes.

Also, since you brought up sugar specifically. You can modify sugar quite a bit in BWB applications. Sugar performs two primary functions in BWB recipes 1) bonds with pectin if you're doing Sure-Jell type recipes; 2) acts as a preservative once the jar is opened. Sugar doesn't affect pH, and pH is king when it comes to BWB and botulism.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #76 on: March 11, 2016, 07:38:28 PM »
Also, sorry I never finished the main purpose of this thread. Perhaps I'll have the time and motivation to tackle it more this year.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3696
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #77 on: March 12, 2016, 06:26:18 AM »
This is a neat thread.

My wife and I are going to have access to a 750 square foot garden this summer (5x150) as the result of meeting some folks who let people garden on their land and are excited as that's a lot of space. Not sure what we will grow, but we are definitely interested in this thread as a result!

Basenji

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 646
  • Location: Inside the Beltway
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #78 on: March 12, 2016, 11:41:40 AM »
I pressure can chicken stock and it's awesome. I have pressure canned tomato sauce as well because it had some ingredients that were marginal for water canning.

Pressure canning is easy, peasy, and you don't fill the pot with water, only a few inches.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 11:47:01 AM by Basenji »

G-dog

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4261
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #79 on: March 12, 2016, 12:16:19 PM »
This is a neat thread.

My wife and I are going to have access to a 750 square foot garden this summer (5x150) as the result of meeting some folks who let people garden on their land and are excited as that's a lot of space. Not sure what we will grow, but we are definitely interested in this thread as a result!

If I had a lot of space, and storage - I would plant a lot of potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes - basically root crops you can store fairly easily over winter if you have the space in the right location/environment. Sweet corn can also take up a fair amount of space.

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 972
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #80 on: March 12, 2016, 12:16:41 PM »
I took one class on water bath canning and one on pressure canning from the Master food preservers in my county.

For pressure canning, they said to always time to the longest ingredient.  So, if you have multiple ingredients in chili, you would look up the meat, beans, etc and can to the longest timed ingredient.  Unless you are following a recipe, then follow that. 

It's more the ingredients than the amount of the ingredients, is what I got from the class.  Maybe Erica will chime in here....
Yes, this is accurate, with the caveat that you can't ignore density, even in PC, because of heat penetration times. For mostly watery-liquidy-things like chicken broth, etc, it's not a big deal, but if you start canning your own chili or other dense type low acid food, keep an eye on the solid-to-liquid type ratio of approved recipes and match that.

Also, just so people know, avoid low acid things that just pack down into a dense puree - like winter squash - and anything dairy or starchy, like rice.

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1665
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #81 on: March 12, 2016, 07:01:22 PM »
Thanks everyone - this makes sense. It seems like most canning resources treat pressure canning as sort of the ugly stepchild, so I was having a hard time getting a straight answer.

Also, sorry I never finished the main purpose of this thread. Perhaps I'll have the time and motivation to tackle it more this year.

I'd read it. No pressure though. :)

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3696
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #82 on: March 13, 2016, 08:23:49 AM »
This is a neat thread.

My wife and I are going to have access to a 750 square foot garden this summer (5x150) as the result of meeting some folks who let people garden on their land and are excited as that's a lot of space. Not sure what we will grow, but we are definitely interested in this thread as a result!

If I had a lot of space, and storage - I would plant a lot of potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes - basically root crops you can store fairly easily over winter if you have the space in the right location/environment. Sweet corn can also take up a fair amount of space.

Storage might be a problem... we're in a 1BR apartment :)

Though we do have a garage, it probably wouldn't do to put stuff in a garage that probably gets to 100F consistently in summer :)

G-dog

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4261
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #83 on: March 13, 2016, 11:42:28 AM »
This is a neat thread.

My wife and I are going to have access to a 750 square foot garden this summer (5x150) as the result of meeting some folks who let people garden on their land and are excited as that's a lot of space. Not sure what we will grow, but we are definitely interested in this thread as a result!

If I had a lot of space, and storage - I would plant a lot of potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes - basically root crops you can store fairly easily over winter if you have the space in the right location/environment. Sweet corn can also take up a fair amount of space.

Storage might be a problem... we're in a 1BR apartment :)

Though we do have a garage, it probably wouldn't do to put stuff in a garage that probably gets to 100F consistently in summer :)

Each stalk of corn will yield 1-2 ears, and do take up a fair amount of space, and also needs to be planted as a block for good pollination. Depending on how much you like sweet corn, you could planted enough to eat (stagger planting dates to spread out the harvest dates), and optionally enough to freeze or can.
Same for the other crops, of those I listed, garlic and onions would take up the least amount of space. But storage space is always a challenge. If you have access to a dehydrator or alternate - you can dry down tomatoes and other crops and massively reduce storage space.

Mtngrl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #84 on: March 13, 2016, 12:21:30 PM »
I know a woman who stores potatoes and squash from her garden in cardboard boxes under her bed. She says everything keeps very well.

We are just now using the last of the apples we purchased from a local orchard in September. Though I made applesauce and apple butter from quite a few, we also kept two boxes full to eat. We have them in a spare refrigerator in our garage. We turned the temperature in the refrigerator to its lowest setting and keep a bucket of water on the shelf next to the boxed apples for added humidity. Though some of the apples are starting to look a little wrinkled, they are still very edible and quite tasty. Apples are one of our favorite fruits. The ones we have left are Fuji, but we also stored Honeycrisp for a couple of months. I personally don't care for dried apples, so being able to keep them a long time fresh is worth the little bit of electricity required to run the refrigerator.

G-dog

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4261
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #85 on: March 14, 2016, 07:28:56 AM »
I thinly slice apples and dry them in an oven until they are crisp. I don't bother to peel them since the slices are so thin. They are very tasty! I like them more crispy than a softer chewy dried version. The low heat of the oven likely caramelizes some of the sugar. Unfortunately, with all the water gone, it is really easy to eat 3 or more apples in one sitting - calories!

Kaydedid

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #86 on: March 16, 2016, 10:07:19 AM »
You seriously need to try dehydrating watermelon. Seriously. It will be on the list within minutes. The flavour intensifies and the sugars become super-sweet. Just do it!

Also your list has no tips for juicing and preserving juices - too left field for you? I really want to give apple cider a go for next year though, and I wonder if fresh (not fermented) cider can be frozen successfully for winter use. SWMBO has been looking for ways to concentrate apple juice for winter too - anyone have canning tips for juices?

If you're still looking for tips, here's a nifty process for getting applesauce and juice out of apples at the same time.

1) Fill a large stockpot almost to the top with apples (make sure you can still get the lid on)
2) Fill pot up with water until apples are almost covered (leave an inch or so at the top to reduce boiling over)
3) Boil pot of apples until apples are soft
4) Mash apples with potato masher-just enough so you have chunks, not whole apples
5) Set up a strainer.  I use a colander with an old t-shirt in it to strain, and set it on top of a water-filled jar in a large mixing bowl
6) Dump your mashed apples into the strainer.  While they strain, you can get another pot full of apples and water boiling
7) When apples are done straining (not seeing any drips), save the juice and dump the apples into a Vittorio or similar food strainer.  Run them through to get applesauce
8) Waterbath your juice and applesauce separately when you have enough for a full batch (add lemon juice if needed)

The juice is concentrated apple juice, about twice as thick as normal.  It is spectacular warmed up with a little cinnamon, or diluted by half for normal drinking.  Undiluted, it has a ton of pectin, a smooth, almost syrupy texture, but is no sweeter than your apples.  Drinking a whole undiluted quart in a day will clean out your digestive system like you wouldn't believe, so be careful!

SpeedReader

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Lynnwood, WA
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #87 on: March 16, 2016, 09:20:58 PM »
I like blackberry jam unless it's seedy, but I don't much like food-milling out the seeds.  So I make jelly instead.  I freeze my blackberries in gallon Ziploc freezer bags.  When I'm ready to make jelly I thaw a couple bags.  The thawed berries squish very readily with minimal hand pressure, then I strain out the solids with a simple mesh strainer over a bowl -- easily juiced without having to heat the berries.  If I get more juice than needed, I just freeze the extra.


Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1665
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #88 on: April 05, 2016, 11:32:44 PM »
I keep resurrecting this thread.  :)  Anyway, I have another question for the canning experts. Canning recipes always provide an appropriate headspace. Now obviously no one is going to match this headspace to the micron. So my question is, given that you already know you're not going to match the recommended headspace *exactly*, is it better to err on the side of slightly more or slightly less? Or are they equally bad? In asking the question, I'm mostly thinking of the "jars not sealing" result, although if incorrect headspace causes other problems I'm happy to hear about them.

Prospector

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7667
  • Location: The sunny side of the street
  • The late worm misses the bird.
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #89 on: April 06, 2016, 05:42:24 AM »
I keep resurrecting this thread.  :)  Anyway, I have another question for the canning experts. Canning recipes always provide an appropriate headspace. Now obviously no one is going to match this headspace to the micron. So my question is, given that you already know you're not going to match the recommended headspace *exactly*, is it better to err on the side of slightly more or slightly less? Or are they equally bad? In asking the question, I'm mostly thinking of the "jars not sealing" result, although if incorrect headspace causes other problems I'm happy to hear about them.

I would err on the side of slightly less. The important thing is that the lip of the jars is clean. If in the canning process things get between the snap lid and rim of the jar, you won't get a good seal. So a micron below the recommended headspace is better to me.

Also, I am not an expert.
Follow along in the thrill-a-minute journal. or Come visit The Barnhouse

Camp Mustache Canada 2017 Organizing Committee member - 2 spots have come open.

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #90 on: April 06, 2016, 06:53:07 AM »
I keep resurrecting this thread.  :)  Anyway, I have another question for the canning experts. Canning recipes always provide an appropriate headspace. Now obviously no one is going to match this headspace to the micron. So my question is, given that you already know you're not going to match the recommended headspace *exactly*, is it better to err on the side of slightly more or slightly less? Or are they equally bad? In asking the question, I'm mostly thinking of the "jars not sealing" result, although if incorrect headspace causes other problems I'm happy to hear about them.

I would err on the side of slightly less. The important thing is that the lip of the jars is clean. If in the canning process things get between the snap lid and rim of the jar, you won't get a good seal. So a micron below the recommended headspace is better to me.

Also, I am not an expert.

It will work either way. A little extra headscape and you will usually still press all the air out and get a good seal. A little less headspace and you will get some siphoning which technically can compromise the seal but in my experience the seals have still been great even with major siphoning. If I had the choice I'd probably err on too much headspace.

The green headspace measuring tools Ball makes are super easy to use. I'll always check every jar and add or remove with a little spoon if necessary. Goes very quickly once you get the hang of it.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Frugal Lizard

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 418
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Southwest Ontario
  • One foot in front of the other....
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #91 on: April 06, 2016, 07:13:29 AM »
Goblin-
Did you ever get an answer about your canning water getting dirty?
I had the same type of problem and then read Small Batch Canning.  One step that I had been missing all the years that I had been canning was waiting 10 minutes before removing the jars from the bath after processing.  I was lifting the metal rack up then minute the timer went.  The pressure differential between the air and the hot contents in the jar was too great.  Now I wait 10-15 min. until I don't see bubbles in the jar as I am lifting.  Night and day difference with that one little step.  The jars stay as full as I filled them and because there is no food on the rim, seals are 100%.
We have super hard water and I started adding some vinegar to the boiling water and now no more chalky film on the jars.

I was looking for info for a friend who wants to can this year and came across this amazing website:http://nchfp.uga.edu/
It has recipes for fruit using fruit juice - I want to get away from white sugar this year. 

So glad I found this thread - learning a lot of new ways to preserve things.
Seeing the possibilities

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #92 on: April 06, 2016, 07:33:14 AM »
Goblin-
Did you ever get an answer about your canning water getting dirty?
I had the same type of problem and then read Small Batch Canning.  One step that I had been missing all the years that I had been canning was waiting 10 minutes before removing the jars from the bath after processing.  I was lifting the metal rack up then minute the timer went.  The pressure differential between the air and the hot contents in the jar was too great.  Now I wait 10-15 min. until I don't see bubbles in the jar as I am lifting.  Night and day difference with that one little step.  The jars stay as full as I filled them and because there is no food on the rim, seals are 100%.
We have super hard water and I started adding some vinegar to the boiling water and now no more chalky film on the jars.

I was looking for info for a friend who wants to can this year and came across this amazing website:http://nchfp.uga.edu/
It has recipes for fruit using fruit juice - I want to get away from white sugar this year. 

So glad I found this thread - learning a lot of new ways to preserve things.

Yes, in my case it was mainly not tightening the jars enough. The last few batches of canning I did went perfectly.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Cressida

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1665
  • Location: Sunset Zone 5
  • gender is a hierarchy
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #93 on: April 07, 2016, 01:23:31 AM »
Cool, thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm going to tentatively conclude that my seal failure was improper cleaning of the jar rims and probably not headspace, so this is good information.

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #94 on: April 07, 2016, 04:54:14 AM »
Cool, thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm going to tentatively conclude that my seal failure was improper cleaning of the jar rims and probably not headspace, so this is good information.

Could also be overtightening of the lid.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #95 on: April 09, 2016, 10:46:11 AM »
Posting this in case anyone is interested. It's an online boiling water bath canning course. Erica posted about it on her Facebook page but figured I'd share it here.

https://livinghomegrown.leadpages.co/canning-academyl1/
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

OmahaSteph

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 576
  • Location: Omaha
    • Journal: The MILFY Way to FIRE
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #96 on: April 25, 2016, 10:30:33 AM »
Following

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #97 on: June 13, 2016, 06:38:56 AM »
Weather went from 90+ down to 60s yesterday so I decided to do a fun canning project. Did a small test batch and liked it so much I grabbed all the rest of the rhubarb I had. Made 12 half-pints overall.

This is not an approved recipe. Decide for yourself if it uses safe canning techniques. (Or use it as a freezer jam.)

Cherry Rhubarb Jam

Yield 8 half pints

2 lb sour cherries, pitted (frozen or fresh)
2 lb diced rhubarb (frozen or fresh)
3/4 cup sugar, or to taste

1. Cook over medium-high until everything is soft, puree with immersion blender. Continue reducing over medium until texture is right. It doesn't need a lot of reduction, maybe 10%. It's kind of hard to describe what's "right". I usually look for it sliding off of the spoon in big clumps instead of dripping off in liquidy drops, if that makes sense.

2. Fill spotless half pint jars with 1/4" headspace (1/2" is okay too)

3. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Allow jars to sit off-heat for 5 minutes before removing them from the canner.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2517
  • Location: Boise, ID
  • Growing a Pony 'Stache
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #98 on: June 13, 2016, 08:12:44 AM »
Following!

I'm just about through processing my cherry tree's first crop.  Some are being frozen, I'm working on a syrup right now, and a big portion went into jars of vodka and tequila.  Definitely buying a better cherry pitter before next year!

I think a pressure canner is a good investment.  Mine has certainly paid for itself a few times over just with the chicken and beef stock I've canned.  This year I'm pressure canning salsa for sure, because I find the water bath recipes are always too vinegary.  Of course you can do your WB canning in the PC as well, so you might be able to get rid of a redundant pot (I always use it because it has the fitted plate at the bottom, so I don't have to use one of those stupid, flimsy canning racks).

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6664
  • Age: 32
  • Location: SE WI
  • Voluntarist sheepdog
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Preserving the Harvest A-to-Z (WIP)
« Reply #99 on: June 13, 2016, 08:19:16 AM »
Nice! Cherry season here is early next month but these were ones I bought from our local orchard's freezer.

If our own trees get big, we'll get a pitter but the orchard lets you use their pitting machine for very cheaply when you buy from them. Kinda unreal seeing 10 pounds of cherries pitted per minute.

Definitely want a pressure canner but I don't think I can justify it until next year. Looking at the All-American ones.
Presenter at Camp Mustache Canada 2017

Read my urban homesteading adventures here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/let's-try-this-one-more-time/

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.” - Bill Mollison