Dilled Carrot Spears

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If you are following along with the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge, then you know that July’s challenge is hot pack preserving.

This method of preserving is the act of putting food that is warm or cooked into jars and then processing them. Think tomato sauce, salsa, dilled carrot spears, BBQ sauce, even jam and jelly are hot pack preserves.  Find more details about hot pack preserving, and the pros and cons of this method here.

This recipe for Dilled Carrot Spears was first demonstrated by Marisa McClellan at our booth at the PA Farm Show. It’s a tasty and easy way to achieve try your hand at hot pack preserves. A big thanks to Marisa for sharing this recipe with us.

 

Marisa Pickling Carrots 2

Dilled Carrot Spears

Makes 2 (12-ounce/360 ml) jars

1 pound/460 g carrots

1 cup/240 ml cider vinegar

1 tablespoon pickling salt, divided

1 teaspoon dill seeds, divided

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, divided

2 garlic cloves, divided

 

Prepare a boiling water bath and 2 (12-ounce/360 ml) jelly jars. Place 2 lids in a small saucepan of water and bring to a gentle simmer.

Bring to a boil a separate small saucepan of water in which to blanch the carrots. Peel the carrots and trim to fit the jars. Cut into thin sticks.

When the water comes to a boil, drop in the carrots and cook for 90 seconds. Remove the carrots from the water and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Divide the spices and garlic cloves between the jars and pack in the carrot sticks on top of the spices.

Combine the vinegar, 1 cup of water, and the salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

Pour the boiling brine over the carrots, leaving 1/2 inch/12 mm of headspace. Tap the jars gently to remove any air bubbles. Add more liquid to return the headspace to 1/2 inch/12 mm, if necessary. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Note: To make these without the canning step, increase the blanching time to 3 minutes. That’s just enough cooking to ensure that they’re tender enough to absorb the brine but still snappy.

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Win a Mrs. Wages Refrigerator Pickle Pack

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It’s pickle season! If you are enjoying a bumper crop of cucumbers, and want to add more variety to your pickling, we’ve got you covered with a Refrigerator Pickling Giveaway!

If you aren’t familiar with Mrs. Wages, they make a HUGE variety of canning mixes for pickles, salsa, tomato sauce, ketchup, jams, and pectin, pickling salt, citric acid and so much more. With the help of Mrs. Wages you and your family can enjoy the wholesome goodness of home canned fruits, jellies and vegetables in no time.

We are giving away a Refrigerator Pickling Pack, which includes these 3 pickle mixes from Mrs. Wages.

Polish Dill Refrigerator Mix

Kosher Dill Refrigerator Mix

Bread & Butter Refrigerator Mix

All of these mixes will help you make NO-Process pickles. The preparation includes adding water, vinegar or sugar. Just make and store in refrigerator. They are so easy to make, just check out this video.

 

 

GIVEAWAY

Enter to win your own Mrs. Wages refrigerator pickle pack just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

There are a host of other pickling products from Mrs. Wages. Check them all out below.

PICKLESWages-Relish-Pickles-FillmoreContainer

Bread & Butter Quick Process Pickle Mix – A tender, sweet pickle mix with onions for added flavor and natural herbs and spices.

Dill Pickle Quick Process Pickle Mix – This mix contains natural herbs and spices, just add vinegar and water through the canning process.

Kosher Dill Quick Process Pickle Mix – Enjoy the robust flavor of a dill pickle with garlic. This mix contains natural herbs and spices, just add vinegar and water through the canning process.

Sweet Pickle Quick Process Pickle Mix – This mix contains natural herbs and spices, just add vinegar and sugar to create this delicious Sweet Pickle Relish.

RELISH

Jalapeno Pickle Relish Mix – Use your fresh pickling cucumbers and jalapenos with Mrs Wages Jalapeno Pick Relish.

Sweet Pickle Relish Mix – This mix contains natural herbs and spices, just add vinegar and sugar to create this delicious Sweet Pickle Relish.

PICKLING SUPPLIES

Wages-PicklingSupplies-FillmoreContainerAlum – Use to add extra crispness to pickles, watermelon rinds, and cherries.

Pickling & Canning Salt – This high purity salt produces a sparkling clear brine and is specifically designed for food canning.

Pickling Lime – For pickling cucumbers the old-fashioned way for extra crispness and flavor.

Mixed Pickling Spice – A special blend of fresh, choice spices originally formulated for preparing the famous Mrs. Wages Old South Cucumber Lime Pickle recipe.

Xtra Crunch Pickle Mix – This replaces the need for pickling lime to create crisp and crunchy pickles and vegetables.

 

 

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Thai Basil Black Raspberry Shrub

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Fruit Shrub Spritzers have become favorite refreshments on these hot summer days. Simply pour a little shrub over a glass of ice and fill with seltzer and you’ve got a sparkly delicious drink.  We’ve enjoyed trying out some new flavor combinations too, as we compete with the birds for our Black Raspberry harvest each day, and as our herb patch explodes with such aromatic goodness!

Thai Basil Raspberry Shrub Fillmore Container

Flip Top Bottle Stainless Funnel with Strainer Fillmore Container

Our Stainless Steel Funnel with Strainer makes filling our Flip Top Bottles a breeze!

This week, we added a few sprigs of Thai Basil to our Blackberries during the cooking and the result was quite pleasing. We used the hot process recipe, but cut back on the sugar so that the fruity and savory flavors could share the spotlight. Since these recipes are meant to be refrigerated and the vinegar does the bulk of the preserving work, you have some flexibility with the sugar.

This is as easy method for getting the most out of small amounts of fruit. You can find more Shrub recipes and a Cold Process (no cooking method) here 

What flavor combinations will you be trying out this summer?

 

 

A Review of New Anchor Hocking Jars on Food in Jars + Giveaway

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This week, we are sponsoring a giveaway with Food in Jars. We sent her a couple of cases of our recently added line of Anchor Hocking jars.

three-sizes-anchor-hocking-jars-

These new regular mouth jars are available in Half Pints – 8oz, Pints – 16oz., and Quarts – 32oz. We love these new jars because they are smooth on all sides, sport a softened square shape and shoulders and are perfect for labeling. Find out what Marisa McClellan loves about them in her review of the Anchor Hocking jars.

It’s important to note that these jars do not come with lids, which offers a lot of flexibility on selecting your own closures. If you intend to use them for traditional two-piece canning, the jars work perfectly with Ball’s two-piece lids.

We loved watching Marisa McClellan test these jars out in her recent Facebook Live Jamming Demo below.


 

In the demo, and recent blog post, Marisa filled the new Anchor Hocking Half Pints – 8oz with this Strawberry Meyer Lemon Jam.  Now, I know we are partial, but we think these new jars display preserves just beautifully. Perfect for your pantry, or gifting to friends. The smooth sides make labeling a snap.

strawberry-meyer-lemon-jam

GIVEAWAY

Don’t forget to enter to win a case of the Anchor Hocking jars (jar size is winner’s choice), a dozen lids and rings, and a $25 gift card, good on our website (perhaps you’ll want to use it to get a copy of Marisa’s Naturally Sweet Food in Jars!).  Go here to ENTER. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents.

 

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Lavender Vanilla Bean Strawberry Jam with Pomona’s Pectin

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Strawberries were so plentiful and delicious this year that I found myself arriving home with flats of those glorious berries several times. We enjoyed strawberry shortcake for bedtime snacks, for breakfast, sometimes as an actual dessert and of course, a good amount of strawberry jam was put away for another season!  

Lavender Vanilla Strawberry Jam & Pomona's Fillmore Container

We had some quartered berries left over after company and didn’t think the berries would be at their best till morning if I simply refrigerated them. So, I weighed them, added some sugar, attached a note to remind me of the weight and how much sugar I’d added and put them in the fridge to macerate. 

TIP 1) Using weights is a good way to increase the accuracy of your preserves, and I’ve found it easier to make adjustments when you don’t have exactly the amount of fruit the recipe requires.

TIP 2) If you’re going to use Pomona’s Pectin, be sure to reserve some of the sugar for jam day – when you will need to incorporate the Pectin Powder into it.

Lavender Vanilla Bean Pomona's Pectin in Sugar

 

The next morning we decided that we’d try using some of the fresh Lavender from our herb patch and a Vanilla bean. Since I adjusted the ingredient amounts based on the weight of berries, the measurements were somewhat wonky, so I’m sharing the basic proportions, following the guidelines on the Pomona’s Universal Pectin. (A pamphlet with recipe guidelines for different sweeteners and processes is included with each packet!)

Lavender Vanilla Strawberry Jam with Pomona’s Pectin Recipe (reduced sugar)

Yield: 4 – 5 8oz jam jars

  • 4 C clean, hulled, chopped strawberries
  • ¾ C Sugar
  • 1 ½ t Pectin Powder
  • 1 ½ t Calcium Water
  • Vanilla Bean seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 5 – 7 Sprigs of Budding Lavender (You could also use culinary dried Lavender Buds. We like to use Hope Hills Lavender Farms when we don’t have good fresh lavender. If you’re not in favor of leaving the buds in the jam, use a tea ball, which will allow you to pull them out before jarring.)
  1. Prepare water bath, canning jars, lids in the usual way.
  2. Place prepared fruit into your jam kettle or pan over medium heat.Lavender in jam kettle
  3. Add the Calcium Water to the fruit and stir well, then add the Vanilla Bean seeds and Lavender Sprigs or Buds.
  4. In a separate small bowl, measure sugar. To this sugar, add the pectin powder and stir it very well.
  5. Bring the fruit to a full boil and add the sugar & pectin powder mixture. Stir very well for 1 – 2 minutes to ensure that the pectin dissolves while the jam returns to a full boil. Remove from heat. Remove Lavender sprigs, or buds and Vanilla Bean Pod.
  6. Carefully funnel into jar allowing ¼ inch head space. Wipe the rims and cap with finger-tip tightness.
  7. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

This jam got such a wonderful response from the family. Often I’ll get general comments like “Yes, this is really good!”, but the older my taste testers get, the more  specific the feedback – which I greatly appreciate. They agreed that the jam was just sweet enough, not so sweet that you can’t really taste the strawberry flavor along the other players. Having tasted Strawberry Vanilla Jam before, they knew this one was different, but couldn’t quickly identify the Lavender. Once they knew, they could taste it. I think I like it that way – not overbearing…just the suggestion of that floral savory element.

Pomona's Pectin & Preserving with Pomona's Pectin BookNaturally Sweet Food in Jars cover low res

 

 

If you’re new to Pomona’s Pectin, you may wish to add Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin or Naturally Sweet Food in Jars to your preserving library!

 

 

 

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June Jamming Giveaway with Pomona’s

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It’s time to jump into jamming season, and we’ve partnered with Pomona’s Pectin to help you get started.June Jamming Giveawy

Two very lucky winners will receive:

On June 19th Pomona’s will select the winners and  they’ll share their newest summer recipe with those who entered the giveaway.

In the meantime, after you enter the giveaway, try out this Lavender Vanilla Strawberry Jam made with Pomona’s Pectin.

Click below to enter the giveaway and please share with your friends.

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Salsa Canning Class

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Marisa McClellan, popular canning blogger and author of canning books, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year Round and Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, and Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, is coming to Fillmore Container on August 19th from 10am – Noon for a canning class and a book signing.

Salsa Canning Class

The hands-on canning class will demonstrate how to make salsa and discuss the safety guidelines of preserving salsa. Whether you’re a preserving pro or a newbie, you’ll enjoy Marisa’s perspective and the wealth of experience she brings. Each class attendee will get to take home their very own jar of preserved salsa and a case of Orchard Road Pint Jars & Lids.  Marisa’s books are available on our site, and can be purchased that morning, or you can bring yours if you’d like her to sign it.

Seats are limited, please reserve your spot today.

REGISTER HERE

 

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Pomona’s Pectin Jam Recipe Round Up

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Pomonas_Universal_PectinIf you aren’t familiar, Pomona’s Pectin is a sugar-free, preservative-free, low-methoxyl citrus pectin that does not require sugar to jell. It enables you to make jams and jellies with little to no sugar, or by using alternative sweeteners such as honey. By reducing the sweetener you can make a healthier version of your preserves. For those of us that love to jam, but are trying to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, Pomona’s is the way to go. To learn more about making low sugar or sugar-free jam with Pomona’s read this, or consider getting the book Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin.

We’ve pulled together a few of our favorite jam and jelly recipes that use Pomona’s.

Pomona’s Pectin Recipe Round-Up

Plum-Strawberry-Rosemary Jam

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam Pomona'sRecipeCollage1

Strawberry Vanilla Preserves

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Prosecco Jelly

Low Sugar Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Blubarb Jam

Maple-Vanilla Peach Jam

Sweet Cherry Vanilla Jam

Pear-Cranberry Conserve with Almonds and Crystallized Ginger

Pear Vanilla Jam with Honey

Cranberry-Habanero Jelly

Sunrise Marmalade

Gingered Lemon-Fig Preserves

Amish Christmas Jam

Mulled Merry Merlot Jam

Chocolate Cherry Preserves

Lavender Vanilla Bean Strawberry Jam

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Honey Sweetened Preserves

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Honey has a long history of being the favorite natural sweetener, so it’s resurgence into preserving recipes isn’t surprising.

Why Honey?

It’s a natural, much healthier alternative to processed sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its supporting role of a sweetener allows the flavor profile of the fruit or other ingredients to shine through instead of the super sweetness of sugar.

Substituting Honey for Sugar with Pomona’s Pectin:Pomonas_Universal_Pectin

If you’re familiar with Pomona’s Pectin, you know that there are 2 parts; a liquid – calcium water (that you’ve already made using water, according to the directions on the packet) and pectin powder. The powder is what gets incorporated to the sweetener of choice. When you’re substituting honey, you simply combine the pectin powder with the honey & mix well before you add the honey to your fruit.

Important things to keep in mind:

  • Honey is (believe it or not!) a stronger sweetener than sugar, so if you’re goal is to replace the sugar with honey, ¾ cup honey will equal 1 cup sugar.
  • Your Jam color my darken more with honey sweetened recipe, but they should still last at least a year in the jar, if properly sealed. Sugar does a better job in maintaining that brighter shade – so if you’re really particular about the color of your jam, it’s something to consider.
  • Pay attention to the type of honey that you’re purchasing or planning to use. Most apiaries will label their honey clearly with the type of honey – and the source of the botanical flavor source – such as clover, wild flower or alfalfa and so forth. For preserves, a mild honey is often recommended.  
  • Once you open your honey-sweetened preserves, you can experience a shorter refrigerator life. Here are some suggestions – like with most jams, jellies & preserves – consider how quickly your family or household will consume that opened jar and go from there. If you don’t consume it quickly, or if you enjoy having 5 jam jars going at a time, go with some smaller jars like these.  Do your best to avoid contamination – try to use a clean knife or spoon for scooping jam and resist spreading it and then double dipping.
  • Honey does not react with pectin in the same manner in which sugar will in order to create the “set”. In light of that, only pectin formulations that do not require sugar; such as Pomona’s Pectin or sugar-free pectin are recommended.
  • It is not recommended to feed honey to children under 1 year of age, or who have compromised immune system without the approval of your pediatrician.

Marisa’s latest book, Naturally Sweet Food in Jars, has an entire section devoted to recipes that use Honey as the sweetener. During one of her preserving classes at Fillmore Container, we made this Pear Vanilla Jam with Honey. It was amazing!

Pear Vanilla Jam with HoneyPear Vanilla Honey Jam-FC

Makes 5-6 pints

6 pounds ripe, thin skinned pears (like Bartlett or Bosc)
3 cups honey, divided
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons calcium water
2 tablespoons
Pomona’s Pectin powder

Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold 5-6 pints of jam (the yield varies depending on how much water the pears contain).

Wash, core and chop pears. Place them in a low, wide pan and add 1/2 cup water, 2 cups honey, vanilla seeds and beans, the lemon zest and juice, and the calcium water. Stir to combine and place on the stove. Set the burner to medium-high heat and cover the pot. Cook the pears, stirring regularly, until they are soft. This should take 35-40 minutes.

Once the pears are tender, grab a potato masher and break them down into a chunky sauce. Whisk the pectin powder into the remaining cup of honey. Bring the pears up to a simmer and stir in the pectin-spiked honey.

Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, until the jam begins to thicken. Once it is thickening, remove the pan from the heat. Funnel jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

When time is up, remove jars from canner and set them to cool on a folded kitchen towel.

Sealed jars are shelf stable for up to a year. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten within 2-3 weeks.

Marisa shares a wonderful variety of “Honey Sweetened” recipes on her Food in Jars Blog.

 

 

Fillmore Container Honey Jar Collection 2

How to Make Strawberry Freezer Jam with Mrs. Wages

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If you haven’t ventured into freezer jam yet, you should. With no-cook freezer jam, you get to preserve the bounty of summer without even turning on the stove. Not only, is it probably the quickest and easiest way to make a batch of jam, the flavor it offers is much more representative of perfectly ripened fruit.

All you need is ripe fruit, sugar (or other sweetener) and Mrs. Wages No Cook Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin. Before you know it, you’ll be topping your yogurt or toast with fresh homemade jam. Freezer jam does have a different consistency than cooked jam.  It offers a softer set, which makes it perfect for spreading.

No Cook Strawberry Freezer Jamstrawberry-freezer-jam

The original recipe is published on www.mrswages.com

Ingredients

4 cups crushed strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 ½ cups sugar or Splenda® No Calorie Sweetener (granular)
1 pouch Mrs. Wages® No Cook Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin

Instructions

Place prepared fruit in a large bowl. Set aside. (If using frozen fruit, allow fruit to thaw in refrigerator before crushing.)

Combine sugar or a no calorie sweetener, such as Splenda, and Mrs. Wages® No Cook Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin in a small bowl. Blend well.

Stir sugar mixture into crushed fruit. Stir for three minutes.

Ladle jam into clean, freeze-safe containers, leaving ½-inch headspace. Secure lids and let stand 30 minutes to thicken. **This is a great time to those single-piece lids or other lids that have already been used for canning and can’t be used again in those heated processes.**

Unopened containers may be stored in the freezer up to 1 year or 3 weeks in refrigerator. Once opened, keep in refrigerator and use within 3-5 days. Depending on how quickly your family goes through jam, its important to consider the size of your container.

Jars and Containers for Freezer Jam

It’s important to remember to only use jars, or containers that are freezer safe.  Jars that do not have shoulders (ones that are straight sided or “tapered”) are the easiest because the contents can expand upward in the jar during freezing, especially if you’re freezing liquids, such as freezer jam.

In addition to the chart (below) of Ball jars that are freezer safe; Orchard Road wide mouth pints are also freezer safe. If the description of the jar doesn’t mention that it is safe for freezing, double check with your supplier. Shop our freezer safe options here.  You can read more in our Freezing in Jars 101 blog post.

Freezer Safe jar chart

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