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Tag: Canning & Preserving

Meyer Lemon Syrup

Meyer Lemon Syrup

Meyer Lemon Syrup

2 1/2 pounds Meyer lemons

2 C. sugar


Prepare a boiling water bath canner and four half pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Juice the lemons and measure out 2 1/2 C. of juice. Pour it into a saucepan and add the sugar. Stir to combine, bring to a boil and simmer for two minutes. Funnel into the prepared jars, wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. When time is up, remove jars from canner and let cool. Sealed jars are shelf stable for up to one year.

Roasted Garlic Jelly

Roasted Garlic Jelly

Roasted Garlic Jelly

3 medium heads garlic

1 T. olive oil, divided

1 T. balsamic vinegar, divided

1 C. dry white wine

2/3 C. water

1/2 C. white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed

3 T. lemon juice

3 C. granulated sugar

2 (3oz) pouches liquid pectin


Using a sharp knife, cut off tops of garlic heads, exposing cloves. Place each head on a small square of aluminum foil set on a baking sheet. Top each head with 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Scrunch foil loosely around garlic heads and roast in preheated oven until garlic is golden and very soft, 45 to 60 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Separate cloves, pinching each one to extract the soft roasted garlic. Discard skins. In a medium stainless steel saucepan, combine roasted garlic, wine, water, white balsamic vinegar and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Transfer garlic mixture to a strainer lined with several layers of dampened cheesecloth or a dampened coffee filter set over a deep bowl. Let drip, undisturbed, for about 30 minutes. Measure 1 2/3 C. garlic juice. If you do not have the required amount, add up to 1/4 C. dry white wine or water. (This step can be done up to one day in advance. Cover and refrigerate juice until ready to use). Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars, and lids. Transfer garlic juice to a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Stir in lemon juice and sugar. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in pectin. Return to a boil and boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam. Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store.

Balsamic Pickled Shallots or Onions

Balsamic Pickled Shallots or Onions

Balsamic Pickled Shallots

3 – 3 ½ lb. small shallots

2 ½ C. distilled vinegar

1 ½ C. balsamic vinegar

2/3 C. golden caster sugar

1 T. salt

1 tsp. pickling spice

1 tsp. of cinnamon

2T. of salt for the brine

Boiling water enough to cover the shallots


Tip the shallots into a large bowl and pour over a kettleful of boiling water with the salt to cover and leave overnight.  The following day, drain and peel the shallots. Set the peeled shallots aside and place all the other ingredients into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, then simmer for 3 mins. Drop the shallots into the pan and simmer for 10 mins until just tender. Remove the shallots with a slotted spoon and place in sterilized jars. Then pour the vinegar over to cover the shallots. Seal the jars and leave for at least 3 days. Ideally these shallots are best when left over time.

Kumquats in Syrup

Kumquats in Syrup

Kumquats in Syrup

4 to 5 C. whole kumquat fruits (about 65 kumquats)

1 1/2 C. sugar

3/4 C. water

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole cardamom pods

1 whole clove


Gather the ingredients. Wash the kumquat fruits. Use a paring knife to slice a thin sliver off of the stem end of each fruit (that’s the end with the whitish round dent). Pierce each kumquat twice with a toothpick. Put the prepared kumquats into a pot and add just enough water to cover them. Bring the kumquats and water to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander. Return the kumquats to the pot and again cover them with water. Once again place the pot over high heat and boil the fruit for 2 minutes before draining. Repeat the whole procedure for a total of three 2-minute boils. After the kumquats have drained in the colander for the third time, return them to the pot. Add the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and clove. Cook over medium heat, stirring ​constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved. Raise the heat to high and bring the ingredients to a full boil. Reduce the heat so that the mixture is gently simmering and cook for 30 minutes more. There should be bubbles steadily rising to the surface of the liquid, but the fruits should not be vigorously bouncing into each other. Remove the pot from the heat. Spoon the kumquats into clean canning jars (it is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe because they will be processed for a full 10 minutes). Leave 1 inch of headspace. Once you’ve transferred all of the fruit to the jars, spoon the syrup from the pot over the fruit. The kumquats should be completely covered by the syrup, but there should still be at least half an inch of headspace between the surface of the food and the rims of the jars. Wipe the rims of the jars clean with a moist cloth or paper towel. Screw on the canning lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Homemade V-8

Homemade V-8

Homemade V-8

6 lb. of vine-ripened, organic tomatoes (preferably heirlooms), coarsely chopped

2 C. chopped organic white or yellow onion

2½ C. chopped organic celery

1 C. chopped fresh parsley (stems are fine)

2 T. honey

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cumin powder

6 drops hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Sriracha

Splash or two of Worcestershire sauce

Freshly ground pepper to taste


Put all the ingredients in a large stainless-steel pot. Bring them to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until very soupy, about 40 minutes. If a thicker juice is desired, first carefully blend the vegetable mixture in batches in a countertop blender, then put it through a food mill. For a smoother and more delicate juice, go straight to the food mill. A sieve might work but it would probably take forever. Next time I’ll try using my hand blender instead of the countertop blender. Update: The hand blender worked well. Chill for at least several hours before adding more salt or other seasonings. This juice will keep for at least a week in the fridge. I tried freezing some in a small plastic freezer container but haven’t defrosted it yet. I’ll let you know how it comes out when I do.


Update: When I defrosted the frozen tomato juice it had separated some, so that you could see teeny bits of tomato. It tasted okay but looked a little odd. I put it in the blender, and that made it all bubbly and sort of orange, though after sitting in the fridge for a while it settled down.


For long term storage, this juice would probably fare better if canned in glass jars using the instructions below. If you use the frozen juice in a recipe, I’m sure it would work fine.


To preserve your juice in glass jars: Heat juice 5 minutes at 190°F (I love my digital kitchen thermometer). Do not boil. Add 2 T. lemon juice or 1/2 tsp. citric acid to each quart jar. Add 1 T. lemon juice or 1/4 tsp. citric acid to each pint jar. Ladle hot juice into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 40 minutes and quarts 45 minutes in a water-bath canner.

Bourbon Peach & Thyme Jam

Bourbon Peach & Thyme Jam

Bourbon Peach & Thyme Jam


3 large fresh peaches, peeled

3 T. granulated sugar

Juice from 1/2 lemon

2 T. bourbon

1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme, lightly packed


Using a sharp knife, cut peaches into 1/2-inch segments. In a large saucepan, place peaches, sugar, lemon juice, bourbon, and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and reduce the heat to bring the jam to a simmer. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until jam thickens to desired consistency (about 20-30 minutes). If the peaches are too large for your tastes, mash them a bit with a fork to smooth out the jam. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Serve on bread, scones, biscuits, or as an ice cream topping.

Peach-Thyme-Black Pepper Jam

Peach-Thyme-Black Pepper Jam

Peach-Thyme-Black Pepper Jam

3 1/2 pounds peaches, peeled and pureed

2 T. lemon juice

1/4 C. packed thyme – leave on stems for easy removal

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

1 package of no sugar needed pectin

Sugar to taste – I used 3 cups


Thyme and black pepper pair well with stone fruit like peaches. Add the thyme, pepper, pureed peaches and lemon juice to a pot, and bring to a full boil. Add the pectin, bring to a boil and cook for one minute. Then add sugar to taste – if the pectin doesn’t need sugar to set, you can add as much or as little as you like. Before adding the sugar, my jam tasted savory – three C. brought it up to a nice balanced flavor. Boil for one more minute, then ladle into sterile jars. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Canning  Chicken (Raw Pack Method)

Canning  Chicken (Raw Pack Method)

Canning  Chicken (Raw Pack Method)

4 whole roasting chickens or 35 assorted chicken pieces

8 whole bay leaves

8 teaspoons lemon juice

8 teaspoons salt (optional)

8 teaspoons dried parsley or 8 teaspoons dried cilantro


Remove fat and skin from chicken pieces. Have sterilized hot quart canning jars ready. Have damp hot cloth ready to wipe rim of jars. Seals should be hot in water. Lay out the chicken pieces in groups for each jar. Pack each jar half full. Add to each jar, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp parsley or cilantro. Fill the jar with hot water. Leave at least 1 1/2 inch head room. Wipe jar rim with damp clean cloth. Place seal and ring and tighten. Have the pressure cooker ready, fill the jars in the rack, lower the rack. Please the lid on the pressure cooker. Pressure cook 15 lb. pressure for 90 minutes.


DO NOT LEAVE THE KITCHEN. You must adjust the heat to stabilize the pressure and maintain the 15 lb pressure. This is not hard to do. When 90 minutes have passed. Turn off the heat, take off the burner or leave on, let it cool naturally. Do not remove the pettcock, the pressure gauge. Let the steam go out naturally. Take the jars out, place on a towel, out of drafts. Let seal.

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

Canning Spaghetti Sauce

10 lbs fresh tomatoes

3 tablespoons oil

4 1⁄2 cups onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1⁄2 teaspoons oregano, crushed

2 bay leaves, crushed

1 tablespoon plain non-iodized salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper, crushed

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon celery leaves, minced


Peel, core and chop tomatoes. Combine with remaining ingredients in heavy saucepan. Simmer 2 hours stirring often until desired consistency. Pour into hot jars to 1/2 inch from top. Wipe jar top and threads carefully with damp cloth making sure they are thoroughly clean. Put on lids and bands. Place in water canner with at least 2 inches of hot water over tops of jars. Bring canner to gentle boil and process 30 minutes. At end of processing time, remove jars to draft free area to cool at least 12 hours. Inspect each jar to make sure it is sealed, remove bands and wipe with damp cloth. Label with date and store.

Canning Raspberries

Canning Raspberries

Canning Raspberries

4 C. water

1 -4 3⁄4 C. sugar

1 1⁄2-3 lb. berries


Use 1 C. sugar for VERY LIGHT SYRUP; 2 C. sugar for LIGHT SYRUP; 3 C. sugar for MEDIUM SYRUP; 4 3/4 C. sugar for HEAVY SYRUP. Boil sugar& water together for 5 minutes& skim, if necessary; keep hot but not boiling. Wash fruit, drain& fill hot sterile jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Bring syrup to a full boil& cover berries with syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any trapped air bubbles (I use a chopstick to do this) & adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath, 10 minutes for pints or 15 minutes for quarts.

Canning Pizza Sauce

Canning Pizza Sauce

Canning Pizza Sauce

4 pints

25 -28 tomatoes

2 large onions, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. cracked pepper

1 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. parsley, chopped

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. rosemary

1 tsp. celery seed

2 tsp. salt

1⁄2 tsp. summer savory


Peel and puree the tomatoes. Mince the onion and garlic. Put olive oil in deep pan and sauté the onions and garlic until transparent. Add the tomato puree and the rest of the ingredients; stir well to blend. Cook on low until mixture is reduced by ½, stirring occasionally. This will take 1-1/2 to 2 hours. When sauce is done and nicely thickened, ladle into hot pint size jars, clean the rims of the jars, and seal. Process for 25 minutes in water bath.

Canning BBQ Sandwich Meat

Canning BBQ Sandwich Meat

Canning BBQ Sandwich Meat

5 Pints


58 ounces tomato sauce

2 cups chopped onions

1⁄2 cup green pepper

1⁄4 cup packed brown sugar

1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons salt

1⁄4 teaspoon bottled hot pepper sauce

1⁄4 cup mixed pickling spices

6 cups cooked beef or 6 cups pork


Combine first 8 ingredients. Tie pickling spices in a cheesecloth bag. add to sauce. cover and simmer 15 minutes. remove the spice bag. and add the meat to the sauce. Cover, heat. Pack into hot jars, leaving 1 inch head space. Adjust the lids. Process in pressure canner at 10 pounds, 75 minutes for pints. BEFORE SERVING: Boil uncovered 10 minutes before tasting or using. Serve on your favorite bun.

Canning Navy Beans (Easy Method)

Canning Navy Beans (Easy Method)

Canning Navy Beans (Easy Method)

1 1⁄2 cups dried navy beans

1⁄2 teaspoon salt (optional)


Put 1 1/2 Cups Dry Navy Beans in each quart jar. Add salt as desired. Fill Jar with boiling water to 1 inch from the top. Put on lids and rings. Place in canner with hot water. Pressure can at 10 lb. pressure for 20 minutes. Beans will continue to soften when you use them in either your soup or for baked beans.

Strawberry Balsamic Sweet Onion Jam

Strawberry Balsamic Sweet Onion Jam

Strawberry Balsamic Sweet Onion Jam

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

4 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed, crushed

1 1/2 cups diced sweet onion (I used Vidalia Onions)

1 tsp butter to reduce foaming

1 box Sure Jell or powdered fruit pectin

7 cups granulated sugar


In a large pot, over high heat, add the strawberries, onions, butter, balsamic vinegar, and pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil (one that doesn’t stop while stirring). Add the sugar and return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for one (1) minute. Remove the pot from the heat. Ladle the jam into your hot jars, you want them filled to within ¼” of the top rim. Be sure to wipe the top rim of the jars with a damp paper towel to get off any drips or spills. Cover each jar with a lid and a ring. Process jars 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner. Remove jars and allow them to cool 24 hours undisturbed on your kitchen counter-top. Jars are sealed when the button on the top of the lid is fully depressed and won’t move up and down. Yield: 10 – half-pint (8 oz) jars

Canning Baked Beans

Canning Baked Beans

Canning Baked Beans

8 pints


2 lb. dried navy beans

1⁄2 lb bacon

1 -3 large onion

2⁄3 cup brown sugar, packed

4 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1 cup orange juice (optional)

2⁄3 cup molasses (I use Grandma’s molasses which has a higher concentration of sugar)


Soak beans in 3 quarts of water, (make sure they are covered!) for 12-18 hours. Drain but do not rinse. Return beans to pot and cover with 3 quarts of fresh water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer until the bean skins begin to split. Drain the beans, reserve the liquid. Transfer the beans to a 4-quart or larger covered baking dish. Chop the bacon and onions. Add them to the beans. Combine the brown sugar, salt, mustard, and molasses in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the reserved bean liquid (or 1 cup orange juice and 3 cups water). Pour the sauce mixture over the beans. Don’t stir! Cover the beans and bake them in a preheated 350-degree oven for 3 to 3.5 hours. The consistency should be like a thick soup. Adds more liquid if the beans become too dry. While the beans are baking, prepare your canning jars and two-piece caps (lids and screw bands) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep the jars and lids hot. Ladle the hot beans into your prepared jars, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Release any air bubbles with a nonreactive tool, adding more beans as necessary to maintain the proper headspace. Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with the lids and caps, hand tightening the bands. Process your filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 1 hr 20minutes (pints) or 1 hr 35minutes (quarts). After the pressure in the canner has returned to 0, wait an additional 10 minutes, and then carefully open the canner lid. Remove the hot jars with a jar lifter. Place them on a clean kitchen towel away from drafts. After the jars cool completely, test the seals. For added safety, boil the contents for 15 minutes before tasting or eating. (If you follow accurate canning protocol, that should not be necessary!). It takes a big pot to make this so if you want to double it, prepare two separate pots. My canner only holds 5 quarts so it can only hold a single batch anyways.

Canning Vegetable Soup

Canning Vegetable Soup

Canning Vegetable Soup

19 Quarts


11 lb. tomatoes

4 1⁄2 lb. potatoes

3 1⁄2 lb. carrots

2 lb. turnips (optional)

3 3⁄4 lb. green beans

7 cups corn

1 1⁄2 lb. celery

1 lb onion

1 1⁄2 lb. green peppers

3 lb. cabbage


Per quart:


1/2 teaspoons pepper

1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoons salt

Pinch of parsley


Chop as for soup. Heat, fill jars and process. Makes about 38 pints or 19 quarts. Add per quart: 1/2 teaspoons pepper, 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of parsley. Process: 15 lb. pressure. pints – 60 minutes. quarts – 70 minutes.

Canning Sweet Potato & Ham Soup

Canning Sweet Potato & Ham Soup

Canning Sweet Potato & Ham Soup

2 quarts


4 sweet potatoes, peeled cubed

2 lb. ham steaks, diced

1 cup water

4 cups ham stock

1⁄2 teaspoon ginger, crushed

1 tablespoon brown sugar


Cook all together until potatoes are 1/2 cooked. Pack into 2-quart jar. Pressure cook at 11 lb. pressure 90 minutes as always check ball book.

Canned Sugared Lemon Slices in Syrup

Canned Sugared Lemon Slices in Syrup

Canned Sugared Lemon Slices in Syrup

16 half pints, 8 pints


32 lemons, sliced thin with juice

4 cups sugar

4 cups water

1⁄4 cup salt

1⁄4 cup red-hot candies (optional)


Slice lemons as thin as you can get without breaking the rind. Save all the juice when you are slicing the lemons.(Add the lemon juice to the syrup.). Wash and sterilize 8 pint jars, wide mouth if you have. Heat the jars in the oven upside down in a pan with water 250* Heat seals in water. In large kettle, add water, sugar and salt. Turn heat to medium and dissolve sugar, do not burn, stir. Have a hot water bath canner ready with water heating. Pack lemon slices in jars, about 4 lemons per jar. Pack tight. Add syrup carefully. Make sure there are no air pockets, stick knife gently down the sides. Wipe each jar rim with a hot damp cloth, Place seal and ring on jar. Place jars in canner and process in hot water bath 20 minutes. Make sure boiling water is over the tops of the jars. Note: If you want the syrup to have more color and flavor, add the red hot cinnamon candies to the syrup and stir until they dissolve when making the syrup. Take out of the canner and place on a towel out of drafts until they seal. You can also turn upside down if you wish.

Makes 16 half pints. Excellent Christmas gifts. Attach a card listing the uses.


Originally, I made this recipe to use in a lemon upside down cake and from there used a standard sweet canning syrup. The sweet & sour syrup can be used as a base, then soy sauce/ginger or any other spice added, thickened for oriental dishes. The lemon slices can be used as garnish, drinks, cakes, breads, rind can also be used. This recipe is multiple use. I have used the slices to decorate cakes.

Canning Cuban Black Beans

Canning Cuban Black Beans

Canning Cuban Black Beans

2 lb. dried black beans

2 cups onions, chopped

1 cup bell pepper, chopped

6 teaspoons garlic, chopped

1 1⁄2 tablespoons salt

1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon oregano

1⁄4 cup cider vinegar

1⁄2 lb salt pork


Sort dry beans. Soak overnight in water. Drain beans, add new water covering by 2″, and bring to a boil. When boiling begins, remove from heat and set aside. Sauté onion, pepper, and garlic in olive oil until onion is glassy. Add remaining spices, salt and vinegar to the sauté pot. Sterilize 8-pint Mason Jars. Add 1/4 cup of sauté mixture to each jar. Chop Salt pork into small pieces and divide into eight “piles”. Put one “pile” of salt pork into each jar. Add 1 slightly heaping cup of black beans to each jar. This should leave about 1 1/2″ headspace in jar. Do not overfill with beans. They expand a lot during processing. Overfilling will cause jars to leak in canner. Top off each jar with bean juice, leaving 3/4″ headspace. Put of lids and process 1 hour 5 minutes at 10 psi. After processing, remove from heat and allow canner to return to ambient pressure of its own accord. Remove and cool jars. Needs to age a month or so to blend flavors. When serving, it is normal to add a bit of water, since water boils out during processing. Serve ladled over rice and add a dollop of sour cream.

Cherry Anise Jam

Cherry Anise Jam

Cherry Anise Jam

4½ lb. pitted cherries

2 lb. sugar

4 star anise

¼ tsp. (or to your taste)

2 juiced lemons


Mix ingredients in a sauce pan Cover and cook on low heat for 1 – 1½ hours (or until desired consistency).

Brown Sugar and Vanilla Bean Apple Sauce

Brown Sugar and Vanilla Bean Apple Sauce

Brown Sugar and Vanilla Bean Apple Sauce


10 C. peeled, cored, sliced apples

1/2 C. packed brown sugar

Juice of 1 1/2 -2 lemons {plus zest if you like it extra lemony}

1 vanilla bean, seed it and throw in both the seeds and cook with the pod


Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and cook for 30-ish minutes or until apples are soft and begin to break apart. Mash with a hand masher or just stir until a good chunky consistency is reached.

Canned Preserved Lemons

Canned Preserved Lemons

Canned Preserved Lemons

1 dozen small lemons (about 3 pounds)

1 cup coarse sea salt

Extra-virgin olive oil


Fill a 1-quart canning jar with boiling water. Let the water sit for 1 minute; drain the jar and invert it on a clean towel to dry. Slice off and discard the stem and blossom ends of 6 of the lemons and cut them lengthwise into eighths. Put the wedges in a nonreactive bowl. Juice the remaining lemons; you should end up with about 1 cup of juice. Set the juice aside. Add the salt to the bowl and toss the lemon sections to coat before packing them into the jar. As you fill the jar, add the salt from the bowl, evenly distributing it throughout the jar. Cover the lemons with the juice, leaving ½ inch of headroom between the juice and nonreactive lid. Let the lemons sit at room temperature for a week. Shake the jar every day to redistribute the salt and juice. After a week, add oil to cover and refrigerate for up to 6 months.

Pickled Carrots and Daikon with Lime

Pickled Carrots and Daikon with Lime

Pickled Carrots and Daikon with Lime

1/2 pound carrots, shredded

1/2 pound daikon, shredded

1 teaspoon kosher salt

6 lime leaves

1/2 cup hot water

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds


Toss carrots and daikon with kosher salt in a bowl; let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse carrots and daikon with cold water, drain, and transfer to a small bowl; add lime leaves. Whisk hot water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and coriander seeds together in a separate bowl until sugar is dissolved; pour over carrots and daikon. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit until it comes to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 1 hour.

Nigella Plum Jam

Nigella Plum Jam

Nigella Plum Jam


4 pounds plums, pitted and halved

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup nigella seeds, lightly crushed

1 lemon, outer peel grated, halved and juiced, (seeds reserved in a muslin bag)


Prepare jars for canning. You’ll need to sterilize jars for this recipe. Put a small plate in the freezer (you will use this later to check the jam set). Put the plums, sugar, water, nigella seeds, seed bag, lemon juice, and lemon halves into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture constantly for about 15 minutes, then drop the heat to medium-low, holding the jam at a constant simmer but making sure not to burn it. After about 10 minutes, remove half of the plums with a slotted spoon and set aside in a small bowl. This helps keep some plums whole in the final jam. Continue cooking the rest until thickened. When the jam is thick, return the reserved whole plums to the stockpot and cook a few minutes more.  Test the jam set, using the plate in the freezer. Continue cooking on low for a thicker jam. When set is reached, remove the seed bag and lemon halves and compost them. Put the plum jam into sterilized jars and gently tap the bottom of the jars on the counter to release any air bubbles. Using a clean damp towel, wipe the rims of the jars and place lids and rings on jars. Process in a water bath for 5 minutes if using pint jars, 10 minutes if using quart jars. Remove the jars with tongs and let cool on the counter. When the jam is cool, remove the metal rings, check for proper seals, and label with date and contents. Store in a cool, dark cupboard until ready to use, for up to a year. NOTE: Nigella Plum Jam is really delicious served alongside a gamy meat like roasted duck or venison chops. It also imparts a simple sweetness to a cheese-filled crepe or blintz. Fennel seeds are a great substitute for nigella seeds. You can also substitute chamomile flowers for nigella seeds in the same measurement for a more floral-scented jam. If you prefer a completely smooth jam, place nigella seeds in the lemon seed bag and leave out of the final jam.

Gooseberry Jam with Orange

Gooseberry Jam with Orange

Gooseberry Jam with Orange


2 lb gooseberries (green or red)

juice and zest of 2 large oranges

4 1/2 cups jelling sugar or use granulated sugar and pectin (add pectin according to instructions on the package)

4 clean jam jars


Wash the gooseberries, remove stems and crowns and heat, just covered with water, until soft. Add orange zest and juice and return to a boil. Add all of the sugar. Stir using a wooden spoon (a metal spoon will get too hot!) until the sugar is dissolved. Test whether the jam is setting properly: Allow a drop of jam to fall on a saucer and place in the refrigerator for 1 minute. If it has thickened nicely, the jam is ready. Quickly fill the jars and apply the lids. Tighten the lids securely and turn the jars upside down, in order for the vacuum to be created. The jam will have a shelf life of one year. After opening, store in a cool place.

Honey Lemon Apple Jam 

Honey Lemon Apple Jam 

Honey Lemon Apple Jam

12 cups chopped apples

2 cups lemons juice (I used a combination of freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice and bottled)

2 cups honey

3 cups sugar

1 envelope of liquid pectin (can be omitted if you use a few firm, green apples)

zest of three lemons

Prepare your canning pot, as well as seven pint jars, lids and rings. Combine the chopped apples and lemon juice in a large, heavy-bottomed pot (an enameled Dutch oven works well here) and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the apples have broken down. When you’ve got a nice, chunky applesauce, add the honey and sugar and stir to incorporate. Bring the fruit to a boil and cook for at least five minutes at a roll (watch out though, it will bubble and depending on the size of your pot, can get a little splashy). Add pectin and boil for a few minutes more, to active the pectin. When it seems nice and jammy, turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Fill jars, wipe rims (this jam is sticky, so you may need to add a bit of white vinegar to your towel, to help ensure a clean rim), apply lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes (if you are above 1,000 feet in altitude, adjust your processing time accordingly). Eat on toast, spoon on muffins or use to glaze roasted chicken pieces.

Herbed Marmalade Marinade

Herbed Marmalade Marinade

Herbed Marmalade Marinade

Use as a salad dressing, vegetable marinade and sandwich spread, as a marinade for chicken thighs and zucchini that are destined for the grill, and for chopped salads.

2/3 C. extra-virgin olive oil

3 T. red wine vinegar

3 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 T. lemon or orange marmalade

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. dried basil

1 T. dried oregano

1 T. dried thyme

2 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. fine sea salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a blender, combine the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, marmalade, garlic cloves, basil, oregano, thyme, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until just incorporated and pour into a mason jar for storage. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Balsamic Onion Jam with Fig

Balsamic Onion Jam with Fig

Balsamic Onion Jam with Fig

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This is delicious on a cheese board, on a grilled burger with some blue cheese, or in a grilled cheese sammich with a strong cheese like an aged white cheddar or Manchego


1 Tbsp. mild vegetable oil

3 sweet onions, sliced in ¼” thick crescents

1 jalapeno, sliced in thin crescents

â…“ c. white sugar

â…“ c. brown sugar

1½ c. balsamic vinegar

¼ c. cider vinegar

½ c. dried mission figs, sliced in quarters


In a large non-reactive pot on low, lightly sweat the onions and jalapenos and onion until the onions start to become translucent. Add some S&P and everything but the figs. Simmer, still on low, for an hour.

Add the figs, simmer on low for another hour-ish. When it is done, the mixture should be reduced by half, and the liquid thick and syrupy and almost evaporated. Pay lots of attention that it doesn’t scorch.  Put in a sterile jar and keep in the fridge for several weeks.

Canned Green Tomatoes

Canned Green Tomatoes

Canned Green Tomatoes

green tomato (as many as you want)


Slice green tomatoes into pint jars. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to each jar. Cover with boiling water. Put lids on and put in water bath canner. Bring to boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from canner, tighten caps and cool on counter top. Can also use quart jars, adding 1 tsp. salt.

Canning Them for Frying

Slice tomatoes thick, 1/4-1/2″ thick. Pack in wide mouth quart jar with 1 tsp. canning salt.  Add 1/2 tsp. Citric Acid to each quart (or 1 T. Lemon Juice).  Fill with boiling water, leaving about a 1/2 inch headspace. Process quarts  in a boiling water bath for 40 minutes.

They will be soft when removing from the jar, but will hold up for frying.

Coat in seasoned flour, dip in egg beaten with a little milk, then coat in cornmeal.  Panfry in about 1/4″ oil until golden brown.

Canning Summer in a Jar Salsa

Canning Summer in a Jar Salsa

Canning Summer in a Jar Salsa

14 pints

5 lbs tomatoes (red and green tomatoes seeded and chopped = 5 pounds)

1 lb chile (I used 2 jalapenos, 2 bell peppers, 1 habanero, 1 Tabasco, and 1 chipotle that I made)

1 lb sweet onion, diced

1 C. vinegar (5 percent acidity)

1 lime, juice and zest of

1 tsp. cumin powder

3 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. salt

1⁄2 tsp. black pepper

4 garlic cloves, minced

6 ounces tomato paste

1⁄4 C. fresh cilantro (Also additional fresh cilantro can be added at time of serving)


Place all but the paste and cilantro in a heavy bottom pot bring to a boil then simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add paste stir in and cook 10 minutes. Add the cilantro stir in and simmer for 5 more minutes. Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe jars and adjust lids and process in water canner for 15 minutes.

Canned Copycat Rotel

Canned Copycat Rotel

Canned Copycat Rotel

6-7 pints

12 cups cored, peeled, and quartered tomatoes

1 Onion, diced

1 cup finely chopped chili peppers (anaheim, ancho, poblano, hatch or other mild pepper – add in a jalapeno for spice, if desired)

1 tablespoon canning salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dry oregano

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1-2 T. Sugar

citric acid to add to jars: 1/4 teaspoon for each pint (1/2 teaspoon for quarts) OR 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice for pints (2 tablespoons for quarts)


Put all ingredients in large enamel pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into sterilized pints. Seal and process in boiling water bath.

Sour Celery and Bell Pepper Asian Pickles

Sour Celery and Bell Pepper Asian Pickles

Sour Celery and Bell Pepper Asian Pickles


1 pound celery, trimmed, leaves removed

2 tsp. peanut oil

8 ounces red bell peppers, cut into long, thin strips

Pinch of kosher salt

4 tsp. sugar

1⁄2 C. Japanese soy sauce

1⁄2 C. distilled white vinegar

1⁄3 C. cool water

1 tsp. black sesame oil


Use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough strings from the celery, then slice it at an angle, ¾ inch thick. Transfer to a medium bowl.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and salt and sauté until the bell pepper softens and blackens in spots, 7 to 8 minutes.  Add the bell pepper to the celery, along with the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, water, and sesame oil and stir well. Your pickle is ready to eat, but the flavors will become even better if you wait until the next day. To store, place in canning jars or containers with tight-fitting lids and evenly distribute the brine. (Don’t worry if there doesn’t seem to be enough liquid at first; in a day’s time, the liquid level will rise significantly.) Cover and refrigerate; this pickle will keep for at least a month.

Green Tomato Preserves

Green Tomato Preserves

Green Tomato Preserves

4 lb. green tomatoes

1 lemon, juice of

5 C. sugar

1⁄8 C. crystallized ginger to 1/4 C. crystallized ginger (optional)

Wash the tomatoes, core and cut into chunks; place in a large canning kettle. Add the lemon juice and sugar, bring to a boil and continue boiling until syrup is thick. Ladle into hot sterilized jars and process in water bath as recommended in your area.


Onion-Thyme Jam

Onion-Thyme Jam

Onion-Thyme Jam

Makes about 1 cup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 medium sweet onions, chopped (about 4 cups)

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried)

1 bay leaf

1 roasted garlic clove, mashed (optional)

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar


Melt the butter and olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the onions, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and a few cracks of pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.  Add the vinegar and sugar and cook, stirring frequently, 20 minutes or longer until thickened. Remove bay leaf.  Transfer jam to a bowl and let cool. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.  Can be refrigerated for a few days; return to room temperature before serving.

Canning Chili Beans

Canning Chili Beans

Canning Chili Beans

Boiled Water, kept at a simmer

7 quart mason jars


Per Jar:

1 C. dried kidney beans

1/4 C. tomato sauce

1/2 tsp. canning salt

1 tsp. smoked paprika OR plain paprika

1 tsp. granulated garlic

1 tsp. granulated onion

1 tsp. dehydrated onion

1 tsp. chili powder’1/4 tsp. cumin

vinegar to wipe rims of jars


Using clean quart jars…. add 1 C. dried kidney beans.

Add tomato sauce.

Add spices.

Fill remaining jars with boiled, hot water.


Debubble/stir contents. Wipe rims of jars with vinegar, checking for any crack, nicks and making sure rim is clean of debris. Add lid and ring, which has been soaking in hot, simmered water. Place into pressure canner. Canning: 1″ headspace, processed for 90 minutes for quarts, 75 minutes for pints at 10lbs of pressure for Michigan. Check your pressure poundage in your state. When pulling them out of the canner, cover them with a towel and allow them to cool for 24 hours. Check for sealing, remove bands/rings and wash jars in hot soapy water with 1/2 C. vinegar added to the water. Rinse and dry. Label. Place into your pantry.

Basic Herbal Jelly

Basic Herbal Jelly

Basic Herbal Jelly

1 C. of apple juice

2 C. of herbal infusion

2 tsp. lemon juice

4 C. sugar

1 package pectin

6 fresh sprigs of herbs for the jars

Proceed with the jelly directions on the box of pectin. Place a fresh herb sprig or flower into each jar.

Infusion:  To make an infusion, simply bring 2 C. of water to a boil, and take off the heat. Add a generous handful of herbs to the pan, put on the cover, and let cool to room temperature. Strain off the herbs and measure out 2 C.

Basil (sweet) – basil and water infusion (add 2 T. cloves for spicy flavor), strain.

Cinnamon/cherry juice (make infusion with ¼ C. crushed cinnamon), strain.

Clove/tangerine juice (make infusion with ¼ C. crushed cloves), strain.

Fennel – fennel and water infusion, add vinegar for all or part of the lemon juice.

Lemon balm with red grape juice.

Lemon thyme with white grape juice.

Lemon verbena and lemonade.

Marjoram and grapefruit juice.

Mint with water or apple juice.

Parsley with water or dry white wine.

Sage with cider or apple juice.

Savory and cranberry juice.

Scented geranium with water or apple juice.

Sweet woodruff and white wine.

Tarragon and white wine or with water (add vinegar).

Thyme and purple grape juice.

Zesty Rhubarb Relish

Zesty Rhubarb Relish

1 C. Sugar

3/4 C. Cider

1/2 C. Water

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. minced Jalapeno Chile

1/2 tsp. Mustard Seeds

1/2 tsp. ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground Allspice

1/4 tsp. dried Red Pepper Flakes

1/4 tsp. ground Cloves

1/4 tsp. ground Nutmeg

4 C. Rhubarb, sliced into 1/2″ pieces

1 lg. Onion, chopped

1 C. sliced Pitted Dates

1/2 C. Golden Raisins


Wash 2 pint jars and keep hot until needed.  Prepare lisds as manufacturer directs.  In 4 quart non aluminum pan, combine first 11 ingredients (sugar through nutmeg).  Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add rhubarb and onion, cover and simmer over medium low for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add dried fruits and simmer for 20 minutes more, or until mixture is thick.  Ladle hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/2″ head space.  Wipe jar rim with a clean damp cloth.  Attach lid.   Process in boiling water canner 15 minutes.