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Author: mzladyjake Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 21259  
Subject: Canning Date: 7/21/2007 11:33 AM
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Hello all!

A friend gave me a water-bath set-up, and yesterday I attempted my first canning experience.

The jalapenos look great.

The tomatoes I am not so sure. When I removed the jars there was some obvious juice on the towels. I know they "suck down" as they cool? And then that seals them?

I will check the seals in awhile, just wondering if anyone knows the answer to the above questions?

Thanks

LJ
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Author: ez3 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19713 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/21/2007 7:03 PM
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The tomatoes I am not so sure. When I removed the jars there was some obvious juice on the towels. I know they "suck down" as they cool? And then that seals them?

Yes, that is the process. Leave a little more "head room" next time for the juice to expand and you won't have it over flow.

If everything seals OK, you will want to wash the outside of the jars.

ez3

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Author: RocketsMomma Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19714 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/21/2007 7:40 PM
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Yes, that is the process. Leave a little more "head room" next time for the juice to expand and you won't have it over flow.

The head space you leave that ez3 is describing varies for different food canned and sometimes for different size jars. Usually the recipe tells you how much air space to leave.

So I am curious Mz LJ, were yours filled to the top with liquid before you canned them? Also, how much air is at the top of your jars now that they are sealed?

And welcome to the board! :-)

RM

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Author: mzladyjake Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19715 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/21/2007 9:02 PM
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Thank you for the welcome, and for reassuring me that all my canning efforts were not in vain!

I did quite a bit of research on the Internet before I started. Had a surplus of 12 ripe tomatoes that I picked yesterday morning. Chose a simple recipe for my first time:

Tomatoes-Whole or Halved (with liquid)
Ideal for use in soups, stews, casseroles and sauces.

Approximate Yields:
21 pounds whole tomatoes for canner load of 7 quarts.
13 pounds whole tomatoes for canner load of 9 pints.

To remove skins, wash tomatoes and dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skins begin to split. Then dip in cold water, slip off skins, core and remove any blemished or discolored parts. Leave whole or cut in half.

Raw Pack

Heat water, for packing tomatoes, to a boil.
Add lemon juice or citric acid to canning jars along with 1/2 teaspoon salt to each quart jar, if desired. Pack hot jars with prepared tomatoes and fill with boiling water leaving ½-inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim and screw threads and adjust lids and screw bands.

Processed 3 pint jars for 40 minutes.

1 jar is now about an inch below the lid. The other two are full, but the tomatoes are at the top and the water at the bottom. I got quite serious about trying to get all the air bubbles out and think it compacted them quite well! ;-)

Thanks so much Ez3 and RM!

LJ

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Author: ez3 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19716 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/21/2007 9:32 PM
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Hey LJ,

Thanks so much Ez3 and RM!

You're welcome!

I use to can peaches, pears, and apricots when the kids were still at home. After a few batches I didn't worry about getting all the air bubbles out. I did focus on leaving enough "air space" or "head space" at the top of the jars. Those first few batches were over-flowing on me also.

The apricots did the same as your 'maters. Floated to the top, with the liquid at the bottom. Not the best looking thing, but tasted good.

I moved on to jams after a bit, and it's the same story. Watch that "air space".

Hope you have fun in your canning experiance! (-;

ez3

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Author: RocketsMomma Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19717 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/21/2007 10:51 PM
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The apricots did the same as your 'maters. Floated to the top, with the liquid at the bottom. Not the best looking thing, but tasted good.

Yeah, what is it about that? Happens to me too. And my jams have this separation look no matter how much of that fluffy stuff I scoop off the top of the pan.

But it sure does taste good, doesn't it?

RM

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Author: mzladyjake Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19718 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/21/2007 11:18 PM
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Oooohhhh... I just love apricots!

I have fond memories of driving through Wyoming in the early 70's and buying baskets full at roadside stands! Too bad they don't grow in Central Texas where I live, though there are tons of others - pears and figs are plentiful right now...

My next canning job will be to make spaghetti sauce. I've found a couple of recipes, but they say to use a pressure canner. I only have the water-bath set up. Anybody have a good recipe that uses the water-bath?

Thanks! I'm going to like this group! :-)

LJ

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Author: Stockbuyer2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19720 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/22/2007 2:45 AM
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"My next canning job will be to make spaghetti sauce. I've found a couple of recipes, but they say to use a pressure canner. I only have the water-bath set up. Anybody have a good recipe that uses the water-bath?"

I always just freeze my tomato stuff I put up.

Portion out into Ziplock bags, get as much air as possible out of the bag, then seal laying flat on a cookie sheet or something like it. After frozen I stack them in milk crate type crates standing on end.


Stockbuyer2

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Author: RocketsMomma Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19721 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/22/2007 7:49 AM
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I freeze my sauce too. And in the past few years haven't made sauce, just can tomatoes. (Freezer is always full, no room!) I've not seen many recipes for canning sauce but I haven't looked lately.

RM

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Author: mzladyjake Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19722 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/22/2007 11:31 AM
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I do have a good freezer now, but a couple of times the door hasn't closed completely and I've lost everything...

Good suggestion...

LJ

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19723 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/22/2007 7:32 PM
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I do have a good freezer now, but a couple of times the door hasn't closed completely and I've lost everything...


That's why you're supposed to keep your freezer locked. It's not to keep anyone out. It's to ensure the door is closed.

After losing an entire freezer of stuff, including all the ice cream, and taking months to get the smell out of the freezer, I have learned my lesson and now keep the key tied on a string around the handle so that I can't lose it, and I always make sure the freezer is full.

Regards,
Cathy

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Author: mzladyjake Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19724 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/22/2007 10:28 PM
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Good idea Cathy!

I have a side by side fridge though. It is the icemaker that occasionally tries to "prop" it open.

I've grown accustomed to giving it an extra little push, but will see if there is a way to install a hasp!

LJ

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Author: ez3 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19725 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/22/2007 11:59 PM
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I have a side by side fridge though. It is the icemaker that occasionally tries to "prop" it open.

Well, in that case, you really do not want to use that freezer for long term storage. My experiance has been 4-6 weeks max. The reason? That freezer goes through a defrost cycle to keep it "frost free".

The food seems to change flavors in 6 weeks. Ice cream changes texture.

If you get a "deep freeze" look at a chest freezer. Up-rights loose too much temp. When you open the door all the cold flows out. But, that's a personnal choice. If you have a bad back, the up-right may be a better choice.

ez3

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Author: mzladyjake Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19726 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/23/2007 2:23 AM
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<The food seems to change flavors in 6 weeks. Ice cream changes texture.>

I've noticed that.

After years of suffering through the fridge with the tiny freezer that I had to defrost continually, I am so happy to have a frost free!

It is on my list to get a good chest freezer for long term storage...

Thanks for the heads up!

LJ

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Author: OleDocJ Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19727 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/23/2007 5:28 AM
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After years of suffering through the fridge with the tiny freezer that I had to defrost continually, I am so happy to have a frost free!


You must live in a humid climate. I live in the central valley California where the humidity is low. I just defrosted my upright freezer to remove 8 years worth of cumulated ice!!! It was way over due!! I reckon I doubled my storage space by removing the accumulated ice!

The freezer compartment on my fridge is frost-free. I only use that for short term storage.


OleDoc

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Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19728 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/23/2007 8:35 AM
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What y’all need is a freezer alarm. My new one gots a built in one but if yarn’s don’t you kin buy one like http://www.bellparts.com/details.php?price_id=729476 . ;-)

C.J.V. - cheap insurance, dat

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19730 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/23/2007 9:34 AM
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If you get a "deep freeze" look at a chest freezer. Up-rights loose too much temp. When you open the door all the cold flows out. But, that's a personnal choice. If you have a bad back, the up-right may be a better choice.



As you note, this is a personal choice. I can say that the reason I prefer an upright to a chest freezer is that I can't easily see what I have in the chest freezer, so for me, things would get lost. I find an upright much easier to keep organized, so just thought I'd throw that out there for others to consider.

That said, having a freezer has been one of the best things we've done in terms of being able to store lots of food, buy things on sale, and generally always be stocked up. We had one before the kids when it was just DH and me, and I expect we'll have one after they are gone because I find it just so very convenient.

I highly recommend having a separate freezer, whether that's an upright or a chest type.

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Author: mzladyjake Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19731 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/23/2007 1:11 PM
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<You must live in a humid climate.>

Oh yeah! Central Texas...

With all the rain we've had, humidity levels have been through the roof. Only 10% chances for more rain the next 3 days, but it has been crazy weather wise!

My garden is SO happy, and wildflowers that are normally gone by the end of May are still blooming - and it's almost August! Totally unprecedented...

Hard to keep up with all the mowing on my acreage though, and mosquitos are going to be a real pain.

LJ

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Author: mzladyjake Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19739 of 21259
Subject: Re: Canning Date: 7/25/2007 12:59 PM
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<My next canning job will be to make spaghetti sauce>


Thank you zsimpson!!! :-)

LJ

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