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Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

Posted by robinkateb z4 VT (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 28, 11 at 10:16

I am going to be teaching a course with 4 times to meet. I will be teaching a new recipe each week, all water bath canning. So, what would you teach to the canning newbies? Each class is 2 hours. It starts at the end of September so I may have to freeze fruit for jam now, plus I need to get the recipes approved for safety.

I was thinking:

Crushed Tomatoes
Poached Pears
Seedless raspberry jam (Mes Confiture)
Green Tomato Salsa

I would welcome any thoughts and recipes. Plus, anyone have a favorite pear chutney recipe? The friend who set me up with this gig wants one.


Here is a link that might be useful: Hippo Flambe

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

I'd vote for the crushed tomatoes and green tomato salsa (unless you want to do Annie's Salsa instead :).

Add a basic dill pickle class since they are so popular and then a canned fruit. Poached pears is probably fine just not a favorite in our house. We'd prefer a class on peaches or a berry/applesauce.



RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

I'd definitely do a jam for two reasons - one I think it's easiest, two most people will want to do jams or jellies.

Crushed tomatoes would be great, or just canned tomatoes. I think a lot of people would like to be able to have their own home-grown tomatoes to call on over the winter.

I also would go for Annie's salsa rather than green just because I think most people would want to do a salsa. You could also use Annie's salsa as a learning tool for not canning your own recipe unless you get it tested as she did.

I agree with the pickles as well. Although a canned fruit would be nice, I think they will be easy for beginners if they have already learned jams and tomatoes. Pickles are a slightly different item than the others on the list.

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

As a newbie myself, I think you have a good start with the basics, crushed tomatoes, the pears (if they're local), though maybe a different jam since 1) raspberries are expensive, 2) Ferber's recipes require sitting overnight, and 3) may be harder to get approved with use of fresh lemon juice, and of course you'd have to BWB.

Maybe Apple Pie Jam? Though I like jams without pectin, and I haven't made that one, at least you should be able to get local apples the end of Sept. Or maybe a peach jam if local peaches are ripe then? An apple (or pear) butter or sauce would be nice, no pectin required.

Do you have an approved BWB recipe for Green Tomato Salsa? I was thinking maybe more like a ripe tomato salsa (not sure if you'd have trouble getting Annie's approved for this class, but NCHFP has some) or maybe a pasta sauce (like one of Ellie Topp's, I like the Tomato Basil but maybe just the basic Seasoned or Roasted would be good for a class)?

Then of course you have to have pickles - quick pickles would be easiest, and you could offer a choice of bread and butter or dill since the basic vinegar/water "brine" is the same, just the sugar and spices vary.

How many classes are you teaching? I was thinking start with the basics, then you could offer more exotic recipes to the graduates next summer?

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

I was planning on the green tomato salsa because of the time of year. In October around here the issue becomes what to do with the green tomatoes before the first frost. Plus it is a recipe that the folks who are approving my recipes will be able to check better. I figured I would talk about Annie's salsa and then send them to my blog for the recipe and how to on it. Plus, green tomato salsa does not require peeling tomatoes. What do you think?

Pickles are a great idea, except I don't have a canned cucumber pickle recipe I like. I lacto ferment mine. I suppose I could do Dilly Beans...

Thanks for the input

Here is a link that might be useful: Annie's Salsa on Hippo Flambe

RE:: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

Pears are in season here that time of year and there is a great pick your own orchard. I figured with the raspberry I would swap in the fruit that had set overnight. Like a cooking show. I actually did that in a class I taught last year. Plus, we eat a lot of that jam so the canned product will be welcome here.

I am teaching this one 4 week course now, if it is well received I could do anther one in the spring (I hope). The starting the end of October I will probably be doing a 4 week cooking with whole grains class.

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

How about chow chow or something else with the green tomatoes that doesn't require peeling? I haven't seen a green tomato salsa recipe, and I don't know how well it would be received by people who might be used to red salsas. But the Ball Complete book has a "salsa verde" recipe if you need one. They also have other recipes using green tomatoes, including some pickled/dilled and other relishes.

One idea is "End of the Garden Pickles" from the same book, if you're trying to use veggies before frost. Though that doesn't have green tomatoes in it, I don't see why you couldn't substitute. Or my favorite now is the NCHFP Green Tomato Pickles, which are a sweet relish type thing, not really a "pickle". The brown syrup (from brown sugar) may throw Yankees off but it's delish if you like sweet pickles.

NCHFP Sweet Tomato Pickles

Oh, here's the link to the recipe - though when I made it last year I found I needed to double the syrup ingredients to have it wet enough, and didn't need to simmer the tomatoes for nearly as long as they said.

BTW, I looked at your blog and was wondering about subbing 1/2 lemon juice 1/2 water for the vinegar. I hadn't seen that sub here. When I make Annie's Salsa I just use a cup of lime juice (b/c I like the taste better than vinegar).

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

The half lemon juice half water is based on 2 things. The National Center for Home Food Preservation says to use twice as much 5% vinegar as bottled lemon juice to acidify tomatoes. So the amount of bottled lemon juice you would need to make the salsa acidic enough is half. However the safety of Annie's Salsa is not just how acidic it is, you also need to be concerned with how thick the salsa is. If it is too thick you will not get proper heat penetration to properly sterilize it. So to maintain the proper thickness you need to add water.

I have made the green tomato salsa/salsa verde recipe many times before. Linda Lou posted it here. Although I have the Ball book out from the library and I might use that recipe as it also has cilantro in it. What I might do is make the green tomato one and bring in a jar of Annie's for folks to taste. I taught a salsa workshop last summer and everyone who attended was surprised by how much they loved it. I love it because it is more versatile in the kitchen. When I taught no pectin jam the attendees were realy surprised by how much they loved the tomato orange marmalade.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acidification of Tomatoes

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

If this is to be an entry level, basic class, I would stick with very common items with an explanation of how you can do other things.

My list would be a fruit jam (whatever is in season), Red Salsa (Annie's recommended!! LOL), Dill Pickles (provide recipes for Bread & Butter) and applesauce.

I never peel my tomatoes for Annie's salsa. Just my choice, but there's going to be peels in there anyway from the peppers.

Dill Relish from green tomatoes might be another option.


RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

Robinkate, I don't have any suggestiosn because I love canned pears, plain or spiced. My girls love canned pears when I add cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and those red cinnamon candies to the syrup but I like them plaint. I use the overnight method to make jam/preserves, Readinglady got me started with that and I love them too.

I think the tomatoes are a good idea because I know people who want to can tomatoes who won't can anything else. I think showing people that there is a way to use up the green tomatoes is a good idea too.

Good luck, and have fun, I've got to remember to check your blog more often!


RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

Thanks Annie! I was planning on doing pears in a Riesling wine syrup, it can be eaten as is, made into sorbet and used in a tart or pie. The only other jam/preserve i am thinking of is Tomato Orange Marmalade.

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

I actually like your variety of recipes.

Tomatoes are great since it is a basic ingredient. You can have the conversation about borderline acidity. You can teach the blanching method of peeling. You can mention the option of pressure canning.

I like the poached pears. It's a seasonal ingredient. I might do a simple syrup - then give the option of doing plain syrup, or adding different spices.

I like the salsa verde. Everyone is always looking for ways to use up green tomatoes. It also gives you the opportunity to discuss the necessity to adding sufficient acid for the low acid ingredients, and the importance of following approved recipes.

Lastly, I like the raspberry jam. Perfect opportunity to show that you can pull your fruit out of the freezer in the middle of winter to make your jam.

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

I'm still not sure about 1/2 lemon juice and 1/2 water. I get the density issue, but with pH of water being so high (relatively speaking), I don't think that cup of liquid ends up being the same 5% acidity as the vinegar. 1/2C of lemon juice is enough to acidify the salsa ingredients, but when you add that 1/2 C of water you raise the pH of the mixture...I'm sure someone with a chemistry background could do the math.

FWIW, page 40 of Putting Food By says you can make a 5% solution of citric acid using 1 Tbsp of citric acid to 1C of boiled (assuming city?) water(they actually use 2 Tbsp to 2C but you only need 1C of liquid).


Oh, maybe a green tomato jam would be nice to use the green tomatoes - surprise people! Unless you're already making the Tomato Orange Marmalade.

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

If you sub bottled lemon juice you still use the full amount, you do not dilute in half with water.
I know, technically it is 2 times as acidic, but that is the safe guideline. Use the same amount.

You peel tomatoes because that is where the bacteria is. Plus, I don't like the peels that roll up and taste like paper. If the recipe says peel, there is a reason for it, not just for taste. It is often a safety issue behind it.
I am doing a 4 week series, too. Mine is for a low income program. I am using what is donated.
Raspberry Jam with Pomona's Pectin
Pickled veggies or salsa
Freezing veggies

Best wishes to you !

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

Linda, If you say it is the guideline I believe you. I do find it frustrating that many of the guidelines err so much of the side of caution instead of retesting. Needing to make it twice as acidic being one example.

I may change to blackberry jam as someone just told me about a place where I can pick them for free. So I can freeze them ahead of time for the cost of picking.


RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

The lemon juice won't taste as strong and acidic as the vinegar would.
I think it wise to pick free blackberries. I got free frozen raspberries to use and free Pomonas Pectin, too.
The gals at Pomona's are the nicest ladies ! This is a great thing to use for the low income, too. No sugar or low sugar needed. Will save them a lot of money on sugar if they make jam again. Same with using the Pomona's since you can make up to 22 cups for just a little more cost than a box of other pectin that makes about 8 cups.
I have most of the jars I need free, too. Then, some free lids and rings.
I have another lady who will donate tomatoes.
There are plenty of pint and quart jars donated, just not enough half pints.
I feel very blessed by all of the generous donations !

RE: Teaching A Canning Series, Choosing Recipes?

I would stick to the basics. Tomatoes, green beans, pickles and a jam or jelly. Anything too fancy would have daunted me when I began. Encourage trying new (approved) recipes as their families like. My biggest discouragement was trying something new and my family or I not liking it. Too much work to have to eventually pour it out or give it to the pigs, LOL. Tomatoes are a basic, can be used in a variety of ways. I say green beans because I feel they are a staple and usually too plentiful right about now. I happen to LOVE the French Onion Soup recipe but my family does not. So I have tons of jars of that, usually thrown in a crock pot for roast seasoning now. Anyway, I would stick to the very basic things and advise them to try different things once they get going. Lori

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