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Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 13:14

Safe or Unsafe?

Evaluate this recipe for Stewed Tomatoes from Just a Pinch Recipes and ask yourself if it is safe to do or not. Why or why not?

Ingredients

tomatoes
bell peppers, any color or mixed
onions
minced garlic
celery
canning salt

Directions
1. Cut up celery, onions (slivers) bell pepper, & minced garlic (store bought is ok if you don’t have a lot of fresh) Keep garlic seperate. Don't add with veggies at this time. I use equal parts of all veggies & then add several Tb. of minced garlic to pot of tomatoes when I go to heat them.

2. When you cut the veggies just place them in a large bowl & scoop into tomatoes as much as is needed. Set aside for now.

3. Slip skins on tomatoes by plunging into boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, then plunging into a sink of cold water. This is refered to as shocking them. If you have stored the tomatoes in fridge until you have enough to can, set them out to get to room temp first. Core tomatoes & cut in half if large. If small, leave whole.

4. The white pan I have here held 11 quarts of stewed tomatoes.
5. Place 8 cups of your veggie mixture in large granite pot or stainless steel (not aluminum). To your pot of veggies, add about 4 or 5 of your large tomatoes that have been cut up & squeeze to make a juice. Just enough to barely cover veggies. Heat for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to give it up. Just heat through. You still want the veggies tender��"crisp as they will cook more in the hot bath.

6. Add your prepared tomtoes & about 5 T. minced garlic to this size pot now & continue heating just until hot.

7. Fill quart jars adding 1/2 Tablespoon of canning salt per quart. Wipe jar rims so no food particles are on it. (I didn't say it was gonna be a neat job-refer to picture.)Place heated lids on just finger tight.

8. Hot bath for 10 minutes. Start timing when water comes to boil.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Canned Stewed Tomatoes


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Even this newbie sees several problems. I like that she read a label and then made up her own. I also like the lack of measurements, the lack of acid and a 10 min BWB. I feel so silly working so hard to do it right, and she just wings it.
Does she play the slots too?


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

SO many things sending off alarm bells. But I followed the link, did you see where she said she eats these "straight from the fridge"? I assume that means she'll open a jar, use some (OK, cooked in chili, as long as it's boiled for 10 minutes and there's no cross-contamination) and stick the rest of the jar in the fridge. They even eat them (straight from the jar, no heating?) as a side dish! It's a wonder she's still around after 25 years of doing it this way.

Just scary how many pages of comments this recipe has - I only looked at 2 pages of the newest ones, didn't see one saying that this was not safe. One person said she "thought you needed a pressure canner" but then was glad to have found you apparently didn't and "guess what she was going to be doing today"!


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Don't feel silly. Feel very wise.

I just wish that 1/2 the people that posted all the positive comments were 1/4 so wise.

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Aside from the garlic and celery (and lack of acid), the ingredient list looks like the NCHFP salsa recipes. I'm surprised that those recipes don't include garlic. But one could always add garlic powder and celery seed for the taste. If she followed the proportions and canned them in pints using the NCHFP recipe and processing time, she'd have her "stewed tomatoes" and they' be safe to BWB. I suppose you could always use citric acid (subbed for the vinegar using 1/2 tsp of CA for each oz of vinegar in the recipe, as in canning plain tomatoes, that would be 4 tsp CA in place of the 1C vinegar) if the vinegar affected the taste too much.

This post was edited by ajsmama on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 15:36


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

The approved Stewed Tomatoes Recipe (BBB p. 69) uses the same ingredients (except the garlic) but in measured amounts. No added acid.

It requires 4 qts. of tomatoes to 1/4-1 cup each of the really low acid peppers, onions, and celery (she uses equal amounts of all), and requires pressure canning, pints for 15 min. and quarts for 20 mins. vs. her 10 min BWB.

I was sorely attempted to sign up on the site just to blast this recipe but I was so steamed at the time wife told me to wait or I'd end up using only 4 letter words to comment on this botulism bomb in a jar recipe.

God save us from the "no one has died...yet" canners in this world!

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I was looking for a BWB recipe to compare it with (esp. after reading that comment from the person who was happy she didn't need to PC), the salsas were the closest I could find.

I think you should sign up for the site and tell everyone the major problems and direct them to the NCHFP site for similar recipes (both PC and BWB, for those who don't own a PC). You are a MFP, right? I'd sign with you credentials. I was tempted to sign up so that I could comment, but I only have done the NCHFP online course and haven't PC'd before (though I asked for one for my birthday this year).


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Dave,
I am having one of "those" Monday's at work, so thank you for the "whaaat??...laugh 'cause the instructions are so bizarrely funny...then shake my head in disbelief at the 'we eat it out of the fridge or cold for a side at dinner' remark" moment.

Nominate her for a Darwin Award maybe?

This post was edited by malna on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 17:16


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I gave my BBB to my sister last week, but Ball Complete (pg 378) has Stewed Tomatoes and Vegetables (without the garlic), it does require 1/4 tsp citric acid per pint, 1/2 tsp per quart and PC for 15 (pint) to 20 (qt) minutes. And of course a LOT more tomatoes than low-acid veggies.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I think it would be a lot more effective to politely note the problems with the recipe and not blast her. At least anyone who reads the comments will know!


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Veeta - I am sure you are right and I encourage you, or anyone else who can do it tactfully, to do it.

But this old man has a very low tolerance level for folks who actively encourage others to do things that are unsafe. Sure you can go play in the traffic, no problem! And that it is unsafe is both well known or easy to discover with minimal effort.

If she wants to do it that way in her own kitchen, fine. That is her choice. But she doesn't have the right to encourage others to do it without first determining the safety of it.. It displays a lack of responsibility, a lack of regard for the safety of others.

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

All I can say is that I am so very, very glad to have found this site when I was still very new to canning. I have found that without fail, we receive thoughtful and considerate answers, even to questions that have been asked over and over.

I'm just so glad that I learned the difference between websites like GardenWeb's Harvest Forum and ones like Canning Granny before I canned anything. I still visit other sites that I have found reliable, but once I discover advocates of "Grandma cooked it this way for decades and we're all still here" methods, and the sheep follow those recipes blindly, or posters are criticized for promoting safer methods, I'm ready to move on because I no longer trust anything else that gets posted there.

I'm grateful for the patience of the people here who are so knowledgeable. I search the archives for answers to questions or topics I want to explore, but after reading the hits I get, sometimes the answer still isn't clear. It is so easy to chase newbies off with condescending answers, but the people on this website seem to always take the high road, even when answering folks who keep asking the question a different way hoping to get the answer they want to hear.

A big hug and thank you to all that take the time to answer questions. To pay back, I try to post when I feel like I have something worthwhile to contribute, and I appreciate each and every one of you who do the same.
Jill


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Regarding searching the forum, I've had much better luck searching using Google's advanced search feature and limiting the search to the Harvest Forum. If anyone needs more specific information on how to do that, just let us know.

There are some canning forums and blogs that are not receptive to challenges even when supported with documentation from the NCHFP, the USDA or reliable books. I still think it's important for the benefit of those who might be paying attention to post corrections, but there is a lot of shoot the messenger mentality.

A lot of people don't like the facts to interfere with their opinions. It's a miracle more people don't get sick and I find myself wondering if we'll see an increase in the % of problems with the proliferation of unreliable (or in this case downright dangerous) blog postings.

Carol


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I nominate Carol to comment on Just a Pinch! She's the most tactful person I know. I too worry that we're going to see an "epidemic" of food-borne illness from home-canned food now that more people are taking it up. It's not just the "preppers" - my Junior-League member sister in San Jose has decided to try it with her CSA produce, using the W-S book. No problem with her low-sugar apricots, but I gave her my BBB just in case. Only 1 jar had sealed, she called me to find out why, turns out she had put them in the BWB as she filled them, then didn't have enough to fill the last jar so took them all back out to redistribute, didn't soak the lids again after she pried them off. I don't know if there was too much headspace since she brought the one jar that sealed (the last one, I assume) to my parents' house and they opened it before I could look.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Ok, I posted a lengthy comment on the post. One that for me that was mostly polite ...I think.

Would welcome any additional comments there.

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Gads, ajsmama. Thank you for the comment but I can assure you tactful is not a word usually applied to me! I've had my moments here on the forum, for sure.

Your sister's experience reminds me of an older friend who canned tomatoes and despite my careful instructions, only filled the BWB about halfway up the jars. Heaven knows what else he did, though I suspect he didn't add acid.

Fortunately my husband went over to visit and made him re-do the batch with a full canner of water. I always steer away from his food at potlucks, especially his infamous chili, which he usually makes the night before and then leaves sitting out to be reheated the next day.

Carol


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I remember that story Carol - a couple of years ago, wasn't it?

Chili is usually better the next day, but I store mine in the fridge ;-)

I just ordered the last copy closeout books (?) had of the new USDA Guide, I'll take look at it and may pass it along to my sister. I was going to order 2 copies, but oh well I have the files, and the Ball Complete has PC directions once I get one. I'll just make note of any good-sounding recipes before I give it to her. She's also getting a jar lifter and other tools, and my spare PC rack I use in the BWB. She did this jam with regular kitchen tongs, and I don't know if she used anything on the bottom of the pot.

Dave, I'll look at your comment and "second" it.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

It is thing such as this that scare me about online canning recipes. It is unfortunate that new canners are miss lead like this. I read the comment you left Dave I believe your approach was very tactful and helpful to all that read after you. The poster mentioned that is how all her canning say to do it. I wonder what books she is referring to?
~Tina


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

well done! Now don't you feel better? I was too lazy to register myself, but I'm glad someone put that out there for all the newbies reading.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I'm glad I got my copy ordered. Still several copies from other dealers.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

well done! Now don't you feel better?

Yeah I do. But my wife was reading over my shoulder while I was writing so I had to take a few things out before she'd let me hit "Submit". She's small but mighty. :-)

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

There are a lot of canning recipes on that site. One can only hope the rest are not as unsafe as this one.
~Tina


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

If there's one you're interested in (from any source other than the approved sources Dave spoke of), just post a link here and someone will help you decide if it's safe or not.

Not only is the originator defensive, she's got other people defending her methods now. Latest person actually said her grandma BWBed meat - and I thought she was going to say how much more info we have today, but no, she was defending the "do your own thing" method. I don't know if she would actually feed her kids BWBed meat these days?


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

My great-grandmother's twin toddlers died from canned fish. My great-grandmother was busy hanging out laundry and wanted to give them a healthy snack to focus on while she worked. I never forget that story. It's absurd to think that no one ever died or got seriously ill from a particular food merely because your immediate circle survived.

And, of course, in previous generations, people routinely cooked things for hours. Anything harmful in the jar was wiped out by that heat.

Carol


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Wow...I am new to canning. I don't even count the times I canned with my mom as a kid but that recipe has sent up a number of red flags for me as a newbie.

I'm thankful that there are folks like Dave and Carol and a few others who's words of wisdom I look for. Otherwise I might have thought this haphazard approach would be alright for canning.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Not only is the originator defensive, she's got other people defending her methods now.

Yeah that the kind of response you usually get when anyone tries to question or even suggest alternatives. No matter how polite the comment posted or how well info-supported it is, it always seems to trigger a defensive response followed by a condescending one telling you to just go away.

Personally I have never been able to understand this flat-out-refusal-to-learn/change attitude but there is no doubt it exists.

All we can do is hope others with a more open mind will read the posts we made and choose to ignore this set of instructions.

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Not only is the originator defensive, she's got other people defending her methods now.

Yeah that the kind of response you usually get when anyone tries to question or even suggest alternatives. No matter how polite the comment posted or how well info-supported it is, it always seems to trigger a defensive response followed by a condescending one telling you to just go away.

Personally I have never been able to understand this flat-out-refusal-to-learn/change attitude but there is no doubt it exists.

All we can do is hope others with a more open mind will read the posts we made and choose to ignore this set of instructions.

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I went on there again and looked through a thread on canning and at there canning recipes. IMO it is not a good place for a newbie to be. I did register only so I could make a comment on the canning thread. There is someone who said they want to learn how to can. I joined it to make a comment and plant the seed about safe canning. I also directed her to the NCHFP site as a trusted source for tested and approved recipes. Hopefully she will look it up and not just go by their philosophy of just a pinch.
~Tina


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I don't know why it double posted? I don't know how to delete it when does that. I just erased it. Sorry. Anybody know how to delete them when they double post?
~Tina

This post was edited by Christina818 on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 11:15


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I can assure you, if I get cancer I'm not going to say, "I want the same treatment my mother received in 1953."

Carol


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 15:50

Christina, the double posting, or getting an error message when trying to respond in a thread is going on across all the GW boards the last couple of days. Lots of people complaining on the forums, hopefully it will be corrected soon. It's nothing you are doing or can avoid right now from what I'm reading.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

There are many people out there using old methods of canning. I live in a small town and many people here still use the hot water bath method for everything and just change the length of time for the processing. I had one lady remark to me once that the only way she could get the shopping done was to turn down the flame under the jars and shop while the batch processed for 6 hours. Boy, did my eyes get big! I run into that a lot. And, I still see steam canners for sale, though I wouldn't buy one.

Back in the day, my grandmother canned in an old steam canner that looked like a big box. She canned everything that way and food stored in her basement was good till well after her death many years later. I know because it didn't kill my Uncle who checked the seals and decided it was good enough to eat. I'm not condoning canning using that method or the one in this recipe, but it is interesting to note that people have and still do, get along nicely without the influence of the FDA.

I personally own an All American Canner and use it for just about everything but pickles. It cuts the processing time for tomatoes just about in half. I'm all for saving and spending the extra money for the pressure canner for safety. I even converted my Mom's old small All American with a replacement valve for a weight. I would much rather be safe than sorry since pressure canning is a much more safe and reliable way to process canned foods.

As to the lady who was relieved that she didn't have to use a pressure canner, I can't for the life of me understand why since the PC cuts down the processing time and is a much improved method for today's altered foods (another subject). And knowing a better and more reliable way of safely canning, why wouldn't you?


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

6 HOURS?? For what, green beans or something?

I think a lot of the perception of safety has to do with sample size. In a town of 200, like where I grew up, probably nobody is going to get botulism in living memory.

But when you look at the population of the US, or the world, somebody is.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

It's hard to convince people that their circle is too small a statistical sample to be meaningful. Nor do many recognize that today there are newer more resistant strains of bacteria coupled with a population which includes greater numbers of medically fragile/immune-compromised persons.

Annie (of Annie's salsa) has posted here about her family's pickled mushrooms which had been a family tradition for years and years. Until the picnic which sent everyone to the hospital. Fortunately there were no fatalities, but that's one tradition that bit the dust.

Carol


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

"Back in the day" is a phrase many use to justify sticking with old methods when in truth they are just lazy. And what they tend to forget is how things were really done when Grandma was canning and cooking.

They mis-remember steps, they forget how much stronger vinegar was, they forget the processing times Grandma used, and they forget that when Grandma opened the jar it was dumped into the pot and well cooked.

Of all the issues with this particular recipe what concerned me most was the "eat right out of the jar" recommendation. That is no different than say BWB canning beans for 10 mins. and then eating them right out of the jar.

But what angers me the most about all of this is that there is simply no valid, no sane, reason on earth for continuing to use these outdated methods and preaching these antiquated ideals such as found on that site. No matter the age, the size of the town, the level of education or experiences it can't be justified. Not when there are so many sources of current information available to anyone who just is willing to look.

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

OMG, look at this one - I searched for "top rated" canning recipes. And there are so many more, as Christina said...

And they DO have canning "tips" from NCHFP, instructions on using PC, etc. on that site, so SOME members are concerned with safety.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pumpkin Pepper Jelly


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Just scrolled down and saw this one - I've got to comment on this, esp. after the recent case in WA that Linda Lou just posted about!

But Dave, I wanted to check since I don't PC - when NCHFP says not to add liquid to raw pack meat, is that b/c the meat makes a broth when you PC it? Seemed strange to me...

Here is a link that might be useful: Canning Venison - almost got it right (PC part)!


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

when NCHFP says not to add liquid to raw pack meat, is that b/c the meat makes a broth when you PC it?

Yes, depending on the type of meat and how it is packed it can create as much as an almost full jar of its own broth. Normal broth level in my past experience with venison is about 2/3 jar full but I use hot pack almost exclusively and prefer it.

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Oh my, but I wish I'd never looked at that canned venison recipe. I made a comment also, but I'm sure it won't do any good. That is some scary stuff at that website. Cooking venision for 3 hours in BWB...and turning jars upside down afterwards....these people are willfully ignorant. There is no shame in not knowing, but it's the willful disregard of facts, and willfully and actively refusing to investigate the possibility that they could be wrong, and the powerful commitment they have to do it their way regardless of the possible consequences (and the absolute refusal to see that there could even be consequences), and the willful refusal to broaden their knowledge base...those are the things that frustrate me. I wish I'd never indulged my curiousity to look at those so-called "recipes."


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

It's morbid curiosity ;-) I'm subject to it too, had to check it out after Christina's post. The thing about the venison recipe is that she thinks that 3x as long in BWB is equivalent to PC! When all she had to do to protect herself and others was to check the processing time, she knew it was supposed to be PC'd.

I don't know, was there ever a time when BBB said to process meat for 60 minutes? Or maybe she's just remembering it wrong. All the comments are a couple of years old - hope everyone's still around after eating this meat.

But one can only hope that by directing future readers to the NCHFP website, we have averted at least 1 tragedy like the one in Carol's family.

Carol, my condolences. To some people, that many generations back must seem like ancient history, but my family is long-lived and 4 generations have been alive at the same time (usually living together) for a good many years over the past century, the family "stories" aren't just interesting anecdotes to us. Your grandparent must have been deeply affected by the loss of his/her siblings, and I can imagine the grief and guilt their mother must have felt. Thank you for sharing.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

If my grandmother were alive and canning today, she would be fully aware of newer methods. I can't believe that people just knowingly and mistakenly WB their low acid veggies and meats in this day and age. When I've spoken to people here that do it that way and I ask about it, they just say it's the way their Mom did it and their's before them. It's longer for veggies, like green beans and even longer for meats.

There are many old food preservation methods that are in use and safe today, but the old methods of canning aren't among them. Young families with children and no time for the internet rely on their mothers for instruction in my parts who just keep handing down the same old canning information and procedures. In fact, in my area, at least 1/3 of the population have no computers.

As Dave said, today's foods, unfortunately, just won't safely hold up to old methods. Actually, it's pretty scary to think that our food has been so totally tampered with and degraded. Where I've been fortunate to have a computer in my retirement years with the time to involve myself in finding the information, many people here don't know the subject matter to even look up the information. One young mother asked me what a GMO was. So, if someone doesn't know about a subject they won't know what the relevance of it is to a procedure. It's definitely a complicated world. Sometimes, I just want to shake people.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

The part about all this that really makes me made is that she and others on that site are teaching people the wrong way to do things! Put out there for anyone to see and putting others at risk. If they want to can as their grandmother did and continue to use canning guidelines from 1947 (or what ever year it is from) so be it. That is fine for them. It is just plain irresponsible to put their recipes out there and putting others at risk. Dave told the women who posted the recipe that she should at least put up a disclaimer. She just flat out would not take his advice. What was the response something like I've been doing it this way for 30 years and no one has gotten sick. All I have to say to that is thank god! As a child I ate green beans that my great grandma BWB for 3 hours did I get sick no did anybody die no. That was how it was back in those days but not today. As carol said earlier "If I get cancer I don't want treatment like its 1953!" Research is done for a reason! To keep us safe! Some people just are not willing to learn even if their life depends on it.
~Tina


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

My 1948 Kerr canning book gives a 210 minute BWB time for meat or 75 minutes at 10psi. However, while it does provide a BWB processing time it bold-faces that meats and vegetables are low-acid and preferably processed in a pressure canner.

So doing what grannie or great-grannie did 50 or 60 years ago generally involved a PC and processing times similar to those currently recommended.

I don't know of any time real home food preservers then who would BWB meat for 60 minutes and the only jars that were inverted in my neighborhood were jams and jelly.

And believe me, I grew up with pretty old-fashioned folks and Mennonite neighbors who eschewed tractors for horses. I know traditional.

I haven't investigated the specifics but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the BWB directives for low-acid products were provided during WWII when pressure canners were in short supply as metals were diverted for war production.

IIRC there are some old studies that indicate lengthy BWB times will (eventually) eliminate botulism. However, the times are so great and so wasteful of energy for an iffy product I'd think only the desperate would attempt it.

Personally I have no problem with people deciding to ignore good sense and do what they wish with the food they preserve.

I do object if:

1) The taxpayer is on the hook for medical bills.
2) Children or unwitting victims are being fed (i.e. houseguests).
3) The approach is disseminated to the uninstructed and naive without due notice of the risks.

And I think pumpkin puree in pepper jelly sounds repulsive but truth to tell, with all that vinegar and 6 1/2 cups of sugar, the risk is probably negligible.

Carol


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I totally agree. I ate Grandma's beans and corn as well. Country people are known to be very rigid in their ways. Many of the younger ones are wising up, which is a good thing. Too bad they can't influence the stubborn set. I have to admit, as soon as I got my All American, I went on a canning spree. It was wonderful to find out just how easy it is to can meats, dry beans and veggies. There was a world beyond pickles and tomatoes, after all! If it can be canned, I'll can it. Now, I've entered the world of dehydrating, as well. I've even gotten into brining and making my own corned beef and Canadian Bacon.. I just love having the knowledge to be able to do all these things, so I can't imagine anyone not wanting to learn new things. There is always something new to learn.

I belong to that "Pinch a Recipe" site. I'll be sure to look that one up and leave plenty of links to reliable methods. In fact, I know just the one and it's for venison, bison and other wild meats including beef. All include the PC. I'll leave myself a note to do that tomorrow and leave a lengthy warning about water bathing low acids and meat. There is also a particular article about a child I may link as well, just for a wake up call. It's not related to canning, but it is about a case of botulism acquired through bad ground beef. Botulism is botulism, so this story may have some impact. It's worth a try to wake people up.I certainly wouldn't want to see anyone in harms way over bad advice.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Oh, Carol, I missed that post before, about your great-grandmother's twins. How awful :(.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

The time period I refer to when I mentioned "back in the day", just a colloquialism (for long ago, really), is much more than 40-50 years ago. I'm actually referencing the Great Depression Era (my mother just passed in May at 90), so when my grandmother was canning from her garden, it was a way to eat during the Depression. Few could afford the very expensive PC's. I do remember my mother mentioning that beef was kept in the cool stone celler in crocks of sugar and salt. The only time my mother remembered her mom cannng meat with the steam canner, was when her parents got so mad that vagrants were stealing their chickens, so they rung all their necks and canned the meat.

Just a little addition here, if you haven't heard of Clara on Youtube who is around 95, she has a video blog of cooking during the Great Depression, complete with recipes . Living in the city, she and her family did not fare as well as those in the country with the availability of gardening. Clara also has an interesting little book out called, "Clara's Kitchen", available on Amazon. When Mom was living, I read her several excerpts from this book and by her reaction, I know that she and my grandparents fared much better than those in the cities. Clara is everybody's favorite Youtube mom. Here is a link where you can see a vid and some information on her. Cute.

Here is a link that might be useful: Great Depression Cooking with Clara


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Since I could only post one link at a time, her is a very interesting bit of history on the USDA along with excerpts of their studies and findings from 1909 - 1926. Very interesting timeline of studies.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA History and Findings


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

@Reallyrosey:

What an awesome history link!

Do you (or anyone) know what a "water seal" canner was? Google doesn't seem to. Apparently it reached 214 degrees?


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I found it on Google. There's a University of Missouri Extension bulletin from 1914 that describes a water seal canner. They even show a picture. It's apparently a kind of hybrid between a water bath and pressure canner.

Think of a triple-insulated water bath with an extra-tight lid. Under those conditions you probably will achieve a low pressure, maybe a couple of pounds.

This kind of canner would be more efficient than a regular BWB and the processing time could be reduced. I'm thinking too bad they discontinued that idea.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Google Books Water Seal Canner


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Wow, good searching!

From the history page, it looks like processing times were not that much shorter than BWB....or maybe that was before rigorous scientific studies.

It's funny that there are still steam canners all over amazon, even though they were shown to be unsafe so long ago, and not water-seal ones.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

It's a bit of a misnomer to say they are "unsafe." It's more like "untested." My oldest canning books do list the steam canner as an acceptable alternative to BWB.

However, over time the USDA and the various Extension agencies decided to focus on BWB and pressure canning, as those were in most common use, not to mention the steam canner merely duplicates what the BWB does, albeit on a smaller scale.

Consequently, it's no longer known whether processing times for higher-acid products would be the same, less than or more than the BWB and obviously, it's not wise to "assume."

There have been a couple of selected studies on steam canners. IIRC it might have been Utah that did one. But the studies were sponsored by the manufacturer, so obviously there's a question about its objectivity.

For those who wish to do so, I see no reason why a steam canner couldn't be used for jams, peaches, similar high-acid products as long as you accept the potential for mold, fermentation or other forms of waste if the processing time proves inadequate.

But I can see for an elderly lady who puts up a few jars of jam once in a while it might be a convenience and not particularly risky.

Carol


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Carol, wow! That link to the old University of Missouri publication is awesome. I downloaded a copy to print out as an item for my kitchen. Scrolling upwards, there is a lot of information given on Summer offerings of courses at the college. Very interesting literature. Thanks so much. I just love reading all this old history. Too bad I didn't like it as much when I was in school. I'd have aced every exam! ;)


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I remember my Mom canning in the oven. Her ancient housewives handbook which I still have, says to place the filled jars in a roasting pan on the lowest rack with about 2" of boiling water poured around them, When bubbles started to rise in the jars, you were supposed to lower the heat and start timing. It required 60 minutes for vegetables. At the end you had to turn off the heat and open the oven door a crack to let the jars cool for at least 10 minutes before taking them out, Of course, these were jars with glass lids and reusable rubber rings that were clamped on until they sealed. The book also shows how to rig up a steam canner using you wash boiler.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Here is what I posted to Just a Pinch on canning meats. Not so sure if it's tactful or not, but it is to the point. I included an instructional video. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'm open.

Here is a link that might be useful: Canning Wild Game and Meats Safely


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Murkey---- ooooh, that's just plain scary!


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Thanks, Carol, for the more info on steam canners!

I was thinking of this bit, from the history page:

' In revisions of Farmers' Bulletin No. 1471 (Stanley, 1931; 1932; 1933), steamers and ovens were brought back as recommended methods of canning fruits, tomatoes and other acid products, even though heat penetration tests with these methods (Denton, 1918; Castle, 1919; Normington, 1919; Steinbarger, 1931; Haddock, 1933; Purdue University AES Report of the Director 51 (1930), reported by Tanner, 1934) demonstrated that the safety of these methods was questionable. '

It's funny, I learned to can with a BBB so old it talked about actual cans :), but I never heard of a steam canner until I saw them on Amazon, just this year.

I'm not an old lady, but I have trouble lifting, and I thought they were some newfangled modern invention and a great idea! Until I read the reviews. But now you make me wonder if, for jams and stuff, one might be a good alternative...


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Rosey...that was a good post you did over at Just a Pinch. Well written.

I remember my grandparents "canning" also. I don't remember if they had a pressure canner or not (I was very little), but I remember being fascinated by the thing that sealed the tin can lids on the real cans! My mother is 92 and she remembers it well.

For those who want to can jams and jellies in small amounts...the Ball website (freshpreserving.com) is selling a jam maker that does only small quantities. I have no idea whether it's a good idea or not, but this info is for the person who mentioned that lifting the heavy pots full of water was a problem. I think the jam maker at Ball only makes 4 jars at a time.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Thanks, Jill. I'm starting a group there that hopefully will be a place that new canners can come to glean some information from seasoned canners who follow safety procedures. Will see how that works out. My only concern is being able to monitor what others might include.

Oh well, something new to do. :)


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Sorry, I didn't look at the recipe, just saw the title that included pumpkin. I did look at the venison recipe.

The new jam and jelly maker doesn't can the jam - just cooks and stirs it. Basically a crockpot with a paddle like a bread machine ;-) You don't have to lift a big pot of water to BWB, once you take the jars out you can scoop water out with a measuring cup and/or ladle and dispose of it (use it for dishwater, plants, etc. depending on how much you let it cool) until the pot is light enough to lift and dump.

Thanks Rosey for posting over there - I haven't been able to watch the video due to DSL problems (heavy rain) but I did see the beginning where they emphasize that canning instructions change and you should look at extension website or call annually to make sure you're up to date.

Speaking of which, when was the recommendation to process for the ingredient taking the longest when canning a mixture deleted? I think I had originally read that recommendation on this forum, I tried searching NCHFP and could find any notice of the change.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Rosey nice post! I left a comment as well as joined your group. I hope you will get more people on that site that are interested in staying up to date. Aside from canning just a pinch is a great source for cooking recipes. I am a recipe collector. Thanks again.
Tina


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

As far as I know, processing times are always for the ingredient taking the longest time. Did I miss something?


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

My mother (who would be 101 if still with us) graduated from what was then called the Home Economics School of Cornell University is 1932. By the time I remember (early 1950's) all her vegetables and meat went into the freezer. She never canned anything except pickle, fruit and jam because she felt most other canning was not safe with the equipment she had. She still had her notes from college classes on food safety. I wish I had them now.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

when was the recommendation to process for the ingredient taking the longest when canning a mixture deleted

As far as I know, processing times are always for the ingredient taking the longest time. Did I miss something?

That guideline, which never really was "official" just derived from early canning lore as sort of a fall-back provision, died a slow death over several decades as more and more testing was done and more recipes were written and tested.

It only ever applied to made-up recipes anyway, recipes where a specific PC processing time wasn't available.

As more testing and research took place beginning with the major revisions in 1976 and through the studies in the 80's, it was recognized that it fails to factor in either the density of the food or the lack of stability in pH during shelf storage. So its use was increasingly discouraged. When USDA became NCHFP - in 2000 if I recall correctly - and transferred all the testing oversight to the various university labs it was pulled from most all publications.

Not that it died, the "Grandma did it this way" canners still strongly practice it. But as published information became more available and canners learned more about all the issues involved in safe home food preservation, more and more came to realize how unreliable that recommendation is.

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

It's likely that processing for the longest time required for a single ingredient is OK, but it's unproven. However, assuming that it does work, it often results in less-than-optimal quality because an excessively long processing time compromises flavor and texture.

When the NCHFP tests recipes they are working for optimal results - highest level of safety + greatest nutritional content + best flavor and texture. That doesn't necessarily occur when you're winging it.

Carol


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Well, then it makes sense that there's no notice of the change on NCHFP site, since it was never there. This is the only other canning site I ever go by, so I must have read it here a few years ago (but since 2000). Thank you for setting that straight.

I did join Rosey's Pressure Canning group (Dave, there is another one she just started, the one we all joined at first was a general canning group including BWB started by someone else). It was great to see the videos with the AA canner, but mine is an older model with no overpressure plug and a petcock. Can the lid be modified? The young woman in the video said she uses hers on a glass range, I've been afraid too (not to mention we couldn't really get a good test on the dial gauge last year due to its being at an angle). I did ask for a new PC for my birthday, but if the AA could be modified for the same amount of $ or less, and I can use it on the glass, I'd rather do that. My mom made me nervous about using one without a safety valve.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Thanks, folks, for the less-heavy suggestions :).

How to I find RR's pressure canning group?


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Nila - Rosey started the group on just a pinch it is called Canning under pressure I believe. She is advocating for proper pressure canning methods. If you go to that site and join the site you will find it under the community groups.
Tina


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Here's the link

Here is a link that might be useful: Rosey's new group


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

AA canners can be modified. If you do a search on this forum you'll find a number of threads pertaining to AA updates. Then you can return with any additional questions.

Regarding your glasstop range, there are also quite a few threads pertaining to that. But basically you need to check your range model and you may need to call your manufacturer's customer service. It's possible to PC successfully on some glasstops but not on others. If the heat cycles on-and-off on your burners it's darned near impossible to maintain a steady pressure.

Carol


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I've read quite a few threads on glasstop PCing the past few years, that's why I had decided to ask for a new (lighter weight) Presto. But now Rosey's dug up 2 videos with people using the AAs in glass, got me wondering. They are new ones though.

I'll look for AA updates. Thanks


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 10, 13 at 18:07

As Carol said just because some can do it doesn't mean all stoves can do it. You can easily determine if your burners cycle off and on or not with any large pan you already have. if they do then there's no point in spending money to fix something that old. But the 16 qt. Presto apparently works.

But what worries me is you say it has no over-pressure plug. If not then I sure wouldn't plan to use it,. But even way back in the 30's when they were called Kleen Canner they had some sort of over-pressure plug - looks like a small nut - so how old is this thing?

Can you post a picture of the top of your lid.

Dave


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I'm considering buying a new lid if the same one that fits the 915 will fit the old No. 7. I'll post a picture on the "Old All American" thread. For $135, I could get the 23 qt Presto as long as it'll maintain pressure (my "power element" does cycle on and off).


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Thanks, folks, for the new group info!


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Sat, Aug 10, 13 at 19:43

For $135, I could get the 23 qt Presto

You can get a 23 qt Presto for a lot less than that and many have. Walmart has it for $74 and so does amazon.

But based on the 101 discussions we have had here about it, only the 16 qt will work on the glass stove.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Amazon has the 23 qt for $74. I will have to search again for glass top discussions, I know many people have bought the 23 qt, I don't recall that 16qt is the biggest that will work on glass.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I just rediscovered a 1940 Kerr home canning book a friend had given me - meat was 180 minutes in a BWB or 60 minutes @ 15psi. But that book also has instructions for open kettle and oven canning, and recipes for canned plum pudding (with suet), milk, and peanut butter. Just wondering, Carol, did they drop those recipes by 1948?

My how times change!


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Some things have changed. The plum pudding and the milk are still in it but unless I missed something the peanut butter is gone.

Open kettle canning is still there but with the phrase This method has been succeeded by more modern methods. It's only recommended for jams, jellies and strong vinegar pickles (so 100% vinegar pickles can be open kettle processed but pickled beets with vinegar and water 50:50 are BWB). The risk of contamination while packing is mentioned as well as the weaker seal.

Oven canning is not recommended as an approved method. The only place I see it mentioned is dry-sealing walnuts, which makes sense.

It's interesting what these old books say about the American diet. So in the meats I see more variety meats like brains, sweetbreads and headcheese. Of course more people were doing their own butchering. What surprises me is there are more ethnic foods than I would have thought. There's an all-meat chili that sounds pretty authentic and better than some recipes I've seen lately, tamales and senf gurken. Posters are always asking about those. And there's even a Saccharine pickles recipe. Who knew they were canning with sugar substitutes then?

I love these old books. I have to say I still use a number of the pickles and sweet preserves.

Carol


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

>It's interesting what these old books say about the American diet. So in the meats I see more variety meats like brains, sweetbreads and headcheese. Of course more people were doing their own butchering.

Yes, that was true of cookbooks, too, in the early 70s when I was growing up and learning how to cook. They would have separate whole chapters for things like brains, kidney, tongue, etc.

(I mean basic books like Fannie Farmer and Joy of Cooking, not coffee-table cookbooks :).


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Yup, my Joy of Cooking, ca. 1952 gives instructions for preparing beaver. I have to admit I skipped that one.

There is an interesting study called The Joy of Cooking too Much which traces the increases in portion sizes and sugar and fat contents of recipes in cookbooks over the years. And we wonder why obesity is a problem.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornell Joy of Cooking Too Much


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

ajsmama, I can with the 23 qt Presto on a glass top. I have had no issues at all. I paid more than $74 also. That is a great deal!


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

Very interesting study, Carol. I'm amazed at the changes in portion sizes just since 1996! I have to look to see what year my edition was published - not that I use it that much. But I have to say, if I cook 8 chicken thighs in the slow cooker with a mushroom sauce or a tomato sauce and the meat is almost falling off the bone, DD will eat almost 1 thigh and somehow the other 7 disappear (or only 1 left) between the rest (3 )of us. But cook those thighs on the grill or broiler, and I will definitely have 1 or even 2 (if large thighs DD won't eat a whole one, but DS will finish it plus another) left over.

I've been buying pre-portioned (4 thighs to a pack) club packs at BJ's b/c they're less expensive than grocery store and also I don't have to separate and use the Foodsaver to freeze, but I wish they'd put 2 thighs in a pack instead so I could just cook 6 instead of 8. I guess I have to open 3 at a time and repackage half of them?

24 thighs weigh app. 10 pounds so 6-7 oz each with bone, I should be able to just cook 4 for the 4 of us but then DS and DH think I'm trying to starve them. I think these are a lot bigger than the chickens we had when I was growing up, even now a 7 lb whole chicken will last us 2-3 meals plus soup, but put a hunk of meat in front of the guys and they will eat 1/2 lb (cooked weight w/o bone) in a sitting!

I can get by with 1.5 lb steak again b/c DD will eat maybe 2-3oz (and she LIKES steak), but a 3 lb roast will give 2 meals plus some sandwiches. I think the key is any meat I carve we eat less of, anything put whole on a plate or mixed into a sauce, we eat more. I can stretch a pound of stew meat with beans and rice or pasta into at least 3 meals of chili or soup however.

Kali - I think it's been even less expensive around the holidays, but I don't know if I want to wait that long.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

I got on here to look for an old recipe I lost. Couldn't find it. Now I'm just about scared to death to can anything.
I guess my old ways are totally obsolete. I'll be 80 in Oct. and have been canning all my married life, which was 59 years. To the best of my knowledge, in all that time I only had one jar of pickled beets spoil.
Where do you people get all this info? I never thought to look anything up because I hadn't made anyone sick. I used the Kerr and Ball canning books and my mothers recipes and ways to do everything the way she did. I remember she was meticulous about being clean. I don't think she ever had a measuring cup in her life or spoons either.
Just thinking, I wonder if tomatoes then had more acid than they do now. I do remember she would set qts of dills out on the driveway to seal. Yes, we had some very hot days back then.
So far this year I have canned bread and butter pickles, dills, some pickled beets and okra. I think this will be my last year to can, as I'm getting weary of this big garden, and it's high time my kids and grandkids learn to do their own. I will guide them to this forum, although I still don't know where you are getting all this information.
The recipe I was looking for was for Sweet Pickle chips, in case some old timer gets on here and might have it. It didn't take 14 days like another one I have.


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RE: Canning Lesson for the Day :-)

National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP) at University of Georgia is the authority (working on behalf of USDA) on home canning (plus other methods of preservation, as you can guess). Ball has also done extensive research and testing so their books are to be trusted. Search this forum for "best canning books" and you'll see a (short) list of ones considered safe. The Ball (and Kerr, same company now) books are updated every few years so your mom's is not likely to be completely trustworthy, as you can tell by the comments Carol and I were making on the 1940's Kerr books.

Here's a quick (vinegar) Sweet Pickle recipe that can be done as slices or spears - I wouldn't bother with the lime, just use Pickle Crisp.

Welcome to the forum!

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP Quick Sweet Pickles

This post was edited by ajsmama on Fri, Aug 16, 13 at 20:14


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