Canning food with interruptions

jill2761(Southeast Texas)May 26, 2011

I try to allow plenty of time for canning sessions. I organize the tasks so that some prep work is done ahead of time, maybe the evening before, and the canning done the next day. However, I take care of elderly parents and my time planning sometimes falls through.

Certain foods can't really be prepped ahead of time, and I'm wondering how to do this the right way.

Potatoes: I can't peel them ahead of time because I don't want them sitting in the ascorbic acid water. I think I read somewhere that you weren't supposed to let things soak. Correct me if I'm wrong on that one. After peeling, they have to be boiled for a few minutes, then put in jars while still hot.

It doesn't sound like there are any convenient stopping places to do potatoes in parcels of time. If I boil them, and reheat them to can later, it seems like they would be overcooked.

Any advice on this? If I'm wrong about my info, please let me know. I planned on an all day potato canning session today, but family needs cut in to the point that I can't do a canner load of potatoes from start to finish. How would you do them?

Jill

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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Jill, you just don't want to soak veggies so they can reasorb bacteria when you are cleaning them. After you peel and cut up I see no problem with doing them ahead.
I would not cook them first. They would be a mushy mess.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 4:26PM
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jill2761(Southeast Texas)

Thanks Linda.

I don't soak them when cleaning them. I guess I didn't word that right.

I wash the potatoes well first under running water, but don't soak them at all. Then I peel them and drop them into a bowl of water (1 tsp ascorbic acid to 1 gallon of water). When I've peeled all of them, I wash them again and drain them. Then I cut them up, dropping them into a clean ascorbic water solution to prevent darkening. When all are done, I rinse and drain them, then boil and process according to the directions.

I'm so happy to hear I can process them later, but I want to be clear on whether to drain them or leave them in the clean ascorbic water solution.

If I am not going to process them immediately after peeling, washing, and cutting up, I can leave them in the ascorbic water until ready to process? How long can I leave them in the water? A few hours? Overnight? I thought the reason for not leaving them to soak in the ascorbic water was to prevent loss of vitamins.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 4:45PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I can leave them in the ascorbic water until ready to process? How long can I leave them in the water? A few hours? Overnight?

Sure. Just peel, rinse, cut into chunks, plop into a bowl of the ascorbic acid (I use Fruit Fresh), cover and stick in the fridge. Hours or even over night. When ready to fill the jars, just drain off the soaking solution, heat and fill the jars.

Not sure why you are doing the double soak and rinse? It's a time consuming, unnecessary step I'd think.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 5:31PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

You are soaking them in the ascorbic acid so they don't turn dark. Leave them in the water overnight in the fridge if you need to. If you drain the water off they will turn black.
Just a little note. If you want firm potatoes, add Pickle Crisp to each jar. The commercial canned ones have it. I did it and am much happier with the texture. I think I used about 1/2 tsp. per pint jar.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 12:47AM
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jill2761(Southeast Texas)

I bought pickle crisp to use this year. Last year was the first year I canned potatoes,and I thought they turned out great even though I didn't have the pickle crisp. I was really pleased with the taste, texture, and convenience of having them ready to use. I'm using the pickle crisp and we'll see how much it improves things.

I appreciate all the advice. I now have a refrigerator full of peeled and sliced, diced, or chunked potatoes sitting in water with ascorbic acid. All are ready to boil and process tomorrow. It makes it so much easier that I can prep these ahead of time because I still have about 50-70 pounds of red pontiac potatoes on the porch waiting on me to wash and peel.

I also have 8 cups of blackberries mixed with 4 cups of sugar to make blackberry preserves (Ball Complete) in the refrigerator.

I've got to get these all out of the way because the tomatoes are starting to come in. The time crunch wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have anything else to do! lol.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 3:34AM
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