Pickled Red Beets – a Classic Recipe for Water Bath Canning

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Pickled Beets Fillmore Container RecipesPickled Beets are a childhood favorite of mine. Ever since I can remember, they’ve had a prominent place on the relish platter whenever our family gathered! My mother will still happily put up whatever amount of beets come her way, knowing that her kids & grand kids will devour them. Last autumn around this time, I got the somewhat concerned mother’s call that my father had come home from the local produce auction with a pick-up truck filled with beets. I headed right over…because beets were special…and for some crazy reason, I really like peeling them and I knew it would be worth a day of steady work.

When dealing with such a large volume of beets, we had to prep the jars in stages. We gathered all the lids, prepared our large water bath canner, and ran our clean canning jars through the steam cycle of the dishwasher to warm them up while prepping the beets.

Cooking Beets in the turkey fryerMy father was in charge of the outside work, His usual system was to hose them off well, then cook them in the turkey fryer. After the beets were sufficiently cooked (easily stuck with a fork) he lifted out the basket and dumped them into a very large metal bowl and would bring them in for me to peel. Before starting the next batch, my Mother would retrieve some of the beet juice for the pickling brine using her 4th Burner Pot.  It’s the perfect pot for this because its silicone handles make it easy to carry, and it has measurement markings inside the pot.  She never wanted to waste those nutrients and that bright hue.

Since my mother likes to use smaller beets (small enough to be quartered or halved) for her relish trays, I’d set those lovely little specimens aside so we could process them together as to keep track of them. The larger beets got halved or quartered with an effort to keep some consistency in size.

Our family recipe is as basic as it gets for pickling. Some folks like to add some extras…and they’re good too! You might want to consider bundling some of your favorite pickling friendly spices like cinnamon & whole cloves or caraway seeds black peppercorns into a cheesecloth spice bag. Allow spices to infuse into the brine during cooking, but remove the bag before adding the beets.

Here is the Brine Recipe that my Mother got from her Mother.

The amount of brine you’ll need will depend on the size of your beets – more specifically, the amount of space in the jar that isn’t occupied by the beets.

  • 3 Cups Red Beet Water (the water in which the beets were initially cooked)
  • 1 Cup Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • Pepper is optional
  1. Use our 4th Burner Pot (or a large pitcher) to mix batches of the brine. This makes it easy to add to the beets in your kettle as needed and to top off jars during filling.4th Burner Pot Pickling Brine Measurements
  2. In a large kettle bring the brine and the prepped beets to a boil; allow to boil 15 minutes.
  3. With a slotted spoon, ladle the beets into hot jars, allowing a generous 1/2 inch headspace.
  4. Ladle the hot brine into the jar, over the beets. Remove any air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed.
  5. Wipe rim, carefully center lid on the jar, apply ring and finger-tip tighten.
  6. Put jars into the water bath canner and check the water level. You should have a good inch of water above the lids for this duration of processing. When doing multiple batches, be sure to check this between each batch, as water will be lost with each batch.
  7. Bring to a boil and process at a roiling boil for 30 minutes.

Adjustment for Altitude: based on Hot Pack for Pints or Quarts

  • 0 – 1,000 ft : 30 minutes
  • 1,001 – 3,000 ft : 35 minutes
  • 3,001 – 6,000 ft : 40 minutes
  • Above 6,000 ft : 45 minutes

Remove canner lid and allow to sit for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the jars from the canner using a jar lifter, setting them on a towel-lined counter. Let them set until completely cool. Remove rings and store in a cool place.Pickled Beets Fillmore Container

 

The Joy of Pickling- Fillmore ContainerIf pickled preserves are a favorite in your home, may we suggest Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Pickling. It’s the third revised edition  of the best-selling pickle book ever, and is packed full of recipes for all things pickled!

Linda shared her Pickled Peach Recipe in our feature post introducing this exciting addition to our Preserving Library.

 

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The Best Selling Pickle Book + Spicy Pickled Peach Recipe

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The Joy of Pickling- Fillmore ContainerIntroducing the third edition of the best-selling pickle book ever! The Joy of Pickling is packed full of pickling recipes, including 50 brand new recipes. You’ll find recipes that utilize both a variety of preserving methods including canning, no-fuss quick pickles for the refrigerator or freezer, and fermented pickles. Plus, a whole chapter on sauerkraut, kimchi & other cabbage pickles, miso and soy-sauce pickles!

We chatted with Linda Ziedrich, the author, about the book. She shared a bit about what preservers can expect from the third edition, as well as a recipe from the book – Spicy Pickled Peach Slices.

The third edition reflects my pickling research of the past eight years. There are fifty-some new recipes. They include new produce:  sanditas (also called Mexican sour gherkins), lotus root, hinkelhatz and habanero peppers, leek scapes (for which garlic scapes can be substituted), and Swiss chard.

There are new fermented pickles, including green olives, whole watermelons, whole cabbages, Jerusalem artichokes, kohlrabi grated and cured like kraut, and, for the small-scale fermenters, small-batch krauts with beet, kale, and carrot and onion added.

Readers will also enjoy trying my new relish recipes, including a fermented tomato salsa, a roasted tomato and pepper salsa, a harissa made from fresh peppers, and the Dutch-Indonesian mixed pickle called atjar tjampoer in the Netherlands and acar champur in Indonesia.

Spicy Pickled Peach Slices

Spicy Peach Slices - Joy of Pickling2 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken
2 teaspoons mace or chopped nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons whole cloves
1 ½ inch gingerroot, sliced into quarter-size rounds and slivered
2 cups distilled white vinegar (5 percent)
2 ¼ cups sugar
24 coriander seeds
8 allspice berries
2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes
4 quarter-size slices of gingerroot
1 teaspoon pickling salt
About 4 pounds freestone peaches

Put the cinnamon, mace or nutmeg, cloves, slivered gingerroot, vinegar, and sugar into a saucepan. Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the syrup for 10 minutes.

Divide the coriander, allspice, pepper flakes ginger slices, and salt among four pint mason jars.

In a pot of boiling water, blanch the peaches a few at a time until the skins loosen, about 30 to 60 seconds. Plunge the peaches into a bowl of cold water.

When all the peaches are blanched, slide off their skins. Slice each peach into wedges about 1 inch wide at the widest point.

Strain the syrup into a wide pan. Bring the syrup back to a simmer, and add the peach slices. Bring the mixture to a boil, and remove the pan from the heat.

Ladle the peaches and syrup into the mason jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add two-piece lids, and process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 20 minutes.    

Makes 4 pints
Photo Credit: Linda Ziedrich

You can get your copy of The Joy of Pickling right here. If you are more of a jam person, you’ll want to check out Linda’s The Joy of Jam, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves. Don’t forget you can optimize shipping for book only orders, by selecting UPS Ground and leave a comment on your order “SHIP MEDIA MAIL” and we will charge a flat $5 for shipping. Yep, that’s right only $5 shipping for any book only orders!

 

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Winners, New Giveaway, and a New Jar Design

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It’s been a busy preserving season and we’ve been doing our best to give you LOTS of chances to win some fun preserving goods. We’d like to give a shout out to all the winners, and announce one more chance to win, if you didn’t already! Don’t forget to sign up for our email, to be sure you get news about our giveaways in your inbox. Plus, we have some news about a new jar design on Ball’s traditional quilted jars.

Winners

cys-harvest-FB-variants-1All through August Countryside magazine hosted its Preserve the Harvest Giveaway which boasts a new prize every week for 4 weeks. We were pleased to be invited to participate. Congratulations to the winners: Tori S., Debora R., Fred G., and the grand prize winner MaryAnn D.

 

four-finished-jars-of-barbecue-sauce

Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars made a tomato based barbecue sauce in our  BBQ jars that use lug lids. Marisa’s post gives a great tutorial on how to water bath can the lug BBQ sauce jars. You can also find a more detailed post about using lug lids here.  Jennifer G., was the lucky winner of a case of our BBQ jars and a $50 store credit.

Psst…We are doing another giveaway with Marisa this week! Get more details below.

 

Wages LogoA couple weeks ago we announced that we now carry Mrs. Wages products to help you add more variety to your pickling, tomato preserving, or if you want to put up pie filling for the first time this year. Congratulations to our winners: Stacey D., Sue H., Kristi H.,

Hi-Res ChocoCherryPreservers

The makers of Pomona’s Universal Pectin celebrated Pomona’s Day with a giveaway, and a yummy recipe for Chocolate Cherry Preserves! Congratulations to the two lucky winners: Shelley C., and Sharon.

Make sure you are signed up for our emails so you don’t miss your chance at any future giveaways!

Giveaway

Marisa of Food in Jars is sharing a recipe for homemade tomato soup concentrate, and she put it up in our 26 ounce Square Mason jars.  So, we are giving away a case of them plus a $50 store credit! Enter here.

five-jars-of-tomato-soup-concentrate

Photo Credit: Marisa McClellan

Recipes for tomato soup concentrates that are safe for the boiling water bath canner aren’t always easy to find, so this is a post you’ll want to bookmark. Marisa built her recipe upon the framework laid out in the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s water bath safe Tomato and Vegetable Juice recipe.

New Jar Design

BallQuilted-NEWBall has changed the traditional design of its Quilted Crystal Jar line. The new design features the Ball logo inscribed across the back of the jar.

We carry the entire line of Ball’s Quilted Crystal jars which includes; 4 oz., 8 oz., and 12 oz. in regular mouth.

We still have a limited supply of 12 oz. in the old design on our shelves. Stock up now, before the old design is all gone.

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Fruit Medley Smoothie Recipe

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A big thanks to one of our giveaway winner, Jacqueline Strickland. She won our Paper Straw Giveaway earlier this summer, when we introduced our great new paper straw designs and new pricing. Jacqueline selected the Confetti Dots and Robin Blue Dots patterns and used them at an upcoming gathering she was planning, and Fruit Medley Smoothies were on the menu!

Fruit Medley SmoothieSmoothiePaperStraws-FillmoreContainer

  • 1 Cup Organic Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Filtered Honey (or to taste, depending on the sweetness of your fruit)
  • 1 Cup Fruit: Blueberries, Apricots, Mango, Cherries (she used pie Cherries)
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Water or ice as needed

(Serves 2)

We now carry over 40 paper straw designs/colors! From polka dots, to gingham, to chevron, to stars and stripes, to camo and cow print, solid colors and so much more.

Our paper straws are made from FDA approved materials and non-toxic, food contact safe inks and made in the USA. You can learn more about why our paper straws are safe and eco-friendly here.

Our paper straws are perfect for complimenting drinks at birthday parties, weddings & showers, anniversaries, graduation parties, homecoming events, or your favorite smoothie!

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Chocolate Cherry Preserves Recipe + a Pomona’s Pectin Giveaway

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Pomona's Pectin & Preserving with Pomona's Pectin BookThe makers of Pomona’s Universal Pectin are celebrating Pomona’s Day with a giveaway! Pomona was the Roman Goddess of fruitful abundance. Pomona watched over and protected fruit trees and cared for their cultivation, and she is Pomona’s Pectin namesake. Pomona’s Day is August 13th. In honor of her festival day Pomona’s Pectin and Fillmore Container have put together a gift pack for two lucky winners including:

Enter the Giveaway below.

If 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 or no sugar, allowing you to 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.

But, first we want to share a recipe for Chocolate Cherry Preserves from Preserving with Pomona’s Pectin by Allison Carroll Duffy (Fair Winds Press, June 2013).

Chocolate Cherry Preserves

Chocolate Cherry Preserves is a low-sugar cooked preserve made with Pomona’s Pectin. Pomona’s Pectin contains no sugar or preservatives and jells reliably with low amounts of any sweetener.

Yield:  4 to 5 cups

Before You Begin:

Prepare calcium water.  To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.  Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.

Wondering what calcium water is? Calcium water is a solution of the monocalcium phosphate powder (food-grade rock mineral source) that comes in its own packet with every purchase of Pomona’s Pectin. The Pomona’s Pectin directions tell you how to make calcium water with the calcium powder. Pomona’s Pectin recipes call for calcium water because the pectin is activated by calcium, not by sugar. You can read more about calcium water here.

Hi-Res ChocoCherryPreservers

Ingredients:

2½ pounds sweet cherries
1∕3 cup sifted, unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1∕8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup lemon juice
3 teaspoons calcium water
1¼ cups sugar
2½ teaspoons Pomona’s pectin powder

Chocolate Cherry Preserves Directions

1. Wash your jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring canner to a rolling boil, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. (Add 1 extra minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.) Reduce heat and allow jars to remain in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan, heat to a low simmer, and hold until ready to use.

2. Rinse cherries, remove stems, and then slice in half and remove pits. (Our cherry pitter will save you some time on this step!)

3. Combine cherry halves with cocoa powder and the ½ cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

4. Measure 4 cups of the cooked mixture (saving any extra for another use), and return the measured quantity to the saucepan. Add cinnamon, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and calcium water. Mix well.

5. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

6. Bring cherry mixture back to a full boil over high heat. Slowly add pectin-sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin while the preserves come back up to a boil. Once the mixture returns to a full boil, remove the pan from the heat.

7. Can Your Preserves: Remove jars from canner and ladle preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, put on lids and screw bands, and tighten to fingertip tight. Lower filled jars into canner, ensuring jars are not touching each other and are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. (Add 1 extra minute of processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level). Turn off heat and allow canner to sit untouched for 5 minutes, then remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed, then store properly.

GIVEAWAY

Two lucky winners will receive Preserving with Pomona’s book, and a box of Pomona’s Pectin from the folks at Pomona’s; And a case (4 jars) of Vintage Style Jam Jars with bands and lids, along with a cherry pitter, from Fillmore Container.  Enter Below:

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Homemade BBQ Sauce from Food in Jars + a giveaway

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Over on Food in Jars, Marisa McClellan is sharing a recipe for homemade barbecue sauce along with a chance to win a case of our commercial BBQ sauce bottles and a $50 store credit. Enter here to win a case of the sauce bottles and a $50 store credit to Fillmore Container!

four-finished-jars-of-barbecue-sauce

Photo Credit: Marisa McClellan

Marisa McClellan, a food writer, canning teacher, and dedicated farmers market shopper who lives in Center City Philadelphia, is the author of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round and Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces and her latest book Naturally Sweet Food in Jars. We are big fans of her books, as we carry all three. Read our review of Naturally Sweet Food in Jars.

Twelve-ounce-bbq-sauce-jars

Photo Credit: Marisa McClellan

Homemade barbecue sauce preserved in commercial sauce bottles is a great way to share your treasured sauce with friends and family. These 12 oz sauce bottles come in two different versions. This one uses lug lids, and the other uses a continuous thread (just like mason jars). Marisa’s post gives a great tutorial on how to water bath can these sauce jars. You can also find a more detailed post about using lug lids here.

Get the full tomato based barbecue sauce recipe from Food in Jars here and enter to win your own sauce bottles here.  If you are looking for a peach based barbecue sauce, we have one here.

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Mrs. Wages Products Now Available at Fillmore Container

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Wages Logo We have a pretty big announcement…we now carry Mrs. Wages products! Yay! So whether you’re looking for some help in dealing with your bumper crop of tomatoes or cucumbers, want to add more variety to your pickling, or want to put up pie filling for the first time this year, we’ve got you covered!

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’ve broken down their products into a few key areas to help you find what you need.

Pickling & Relish Mixes

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.

Kosher Dill Refrigerator Mix – Add vinegar and water to these natural herbs and spices for a great-tasting pickle.

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.

Polish Dill Refrigerator Mix – Add vinegar and water to these natural herbs and spices for a great-tasting pickle.

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.

Tomato Mixes

Wages-Tomato-Mix-FillmoreContainerBulk Salsa Tomato Canning Mix -  Mrs. Wages is the top selling brand of tomato salsa mix for the home canning. Use this mix, containing just the right spices with fresh or canned tomatoes for a zesty salsa.

Hot Salsa Canning Mix – Use this mix, containing just the right spices with fresh or canned tomatoes for a salsa with a kick! If you don’t like it HOT, try Mrs. Wages Medium Salsa Canning Mix or Mild Salsa Canning Mix.

Ketchup Canning Mix – Use this mix with fresh or canned tomatoes, or tomato juice, for a mouth-watering ketchup that will surely delight your family.

Pizza Sauce Canning Mix – Give your pizza pizzazz and us this mix with fresh or canned tomatoes, or tomato paste for pizza sauce.

Pasta Sauce Canning Mix – Contains just the right spices to help make a spectacular sauce from fresh or canned tomatoes, or tomato paste.

Citric Acid – The addition of Mrs. Wages Citric Acid raises the acidity and lowers the pH for home canning tomatoes.

Fruit MixesWages-FruitMix-Fillmore Container

Fresh Fruit Preserver - Preserves color and flavor in fruits and prevents browning.

Fruit Pie Filling Mix – Enhance your fresh picked apples, peaches & pears with our All Natural Fruit Pie Filling Mix. Create pies, tarts, spiced cakes, crisps, cobblers and other desserts using this product.

Home Jell Fruit Pectin – Mrs. Wages Fruit Pectin takes much of the guesswork out of jelly-making.

No Cook Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin – Enjoy creating fresh homemade jams and fruit glazes with ease. Cooking is not required, so the whole family can join in the fun.

Pepper Jelly Kit – Pepper Jelly Kit in a box, complete with pectin and spices to make the best pepper jelly.

Spiced Apple Sauce Fruit Mix – Create homemade apple sauce, apple butter or apple slices with our All Natural Spiced Apple Mix.

Have a question about Mrs. Wages products? Read through this list of frequently asked questions from their customers.

GIVEAWAY

What kind of product announcement would this be without a giveaway! You have three great chances to win your own Mrs. Wages mixes. Here on the blog we are giving away a Tomato Preserving Kit which includes - Ketchup, Pasta Sauce, Pizza Sauce, Citric Acid and the winners choice of the 4oz Salsa mix (hot, medium or mild). Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

On Instagram we are giving away a Fruit Preserves Kit  which includes – Fruit Pie Filling, Fruit Pectin, Freezer Jam, and Spiced Apple Sauce. To enter just like this post and comment about your favorite Mrs. Wages product, or which one in particular you’d love to try.

On Facebook we are giving away a Pickling Kit which includes all the single batch Mrs. Wages Pickling & Relish Mixes that we carry. To enter just like this post and comment about your favorite Mrs. Wages product, or which one in particular you’d love to try.
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Herbes Salées and other reasons to grow an Herb Garden

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HerbGardenMy Herb Garden has changed a little bit every single year since its inception, and I have to say that there’s something intoxicating about a thriving herb garden. Perhaps it’s the ease of growing them, and their happy wandering nature, or the wonderful flavors they add when tossed into salads, sauces, soups, dressings, cold drinks, meat dishes, omelets, breads, butters, tea,  preserves and just about anything! I’ve continued to add something new every year;

Herbs - Batch

Herbes Salées from Batch
Photo Credit – Reena Newman

I split plants to share or to fill in a void on the other side of the garden and find myself strategically allowing a portion of each plant to flower for the bees & go to seed just to enjoy the different plant life stage, and with the hopes that we’ll see some new fall or spring growth.

Whether you’re able to grow herbs at home, or are seeing them at market or in your CSA box, we’re hoping that you’ll enjoy some ways to put these wonderful sprigs and leaves to good use! If you are growing them, you’ll likely find most plants give you more than you can use on a daily basis, so it’s helpful to have some other preserving methods up your sleeve. The combination of methods that work for you will ultimately depend on the taste & texture preferences of those at your table.

Herbes Salees in jar Fillmore ContainerThis Herbes Salées from Joel & Dana’s Batch (which they are so graciously sharing) prompted a pause in my work to immediately gather & prep a jar of my own! I’m firmly convinced that I will now have some on hand in the pantry at all times!

Chop/dice & measure out the following and toss into a large bowl:

  • 2 cups fresh parsley
  • ½ cup fresh chives
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1 cup leeks

Add ¾ cup coarse salt and 1 tsp celery seeds. Toss to mix and transfer all ingredients into a wide mouth quart mason jar. Cap the jar and refrigerate. Try not to use it for about 5 days so that the flavors can develop. Store on a cool, dark shelf and use whenever you’d enjoy a savory salt! My favorite use so far is in zucchini pie.

You can use a food processor to speed up the chopping, especially if you’re doing a double batch. However, if you’d rather skip that noise & clean-up and are quick with the knife, chopping by hand will do!

The Herbes Salées recipe was excerpted from Batch: Over 200 recipes and Techniques for a Well-Preserved Kitchen. Copyright © 2016 Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Limited, a Penguin Random House Company. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Dill Vinaigrette reCap Salad with spaceDressings, Vinaigrettes & refrigerated marinates & sauces are great ways to put fresh herbs to use for the short term. While most of these should be consumed within a week or so, Vinaigrettes like these are super easy to whip up and are so addictive that you aren’t likely to have waste. If you end up needing to trim your herbs heavily and know that you’ll have to wait to let them bounce back, it’s nice to use a small portion of them in a vinaigrette …it will allow you to enjoy those fresh flavors in your salad as if they were fresh!

Freeze them in Olive Oil.  There are actually 2 methods which I really like – the primary differences being the size of herb pieces, and the equipment needed. I do both because sometimes I want to see the larger more complete leaves, and if I want to boost the flavor, I can add a dollop of the concentrate.

Frozen Herbs Collage Fillmore Container

 

Freezing them in an ice cube tray with olive oil requires no special equipment, almost no mess – a quick & easy way to capture that fresh color & taste. The result is a stock of herby pods ready to be used at a moment’s notice. If recognizing the herb leaves is important for some dishes, then you’ll want to try this.

You can also make and freeze Herb Concentrate ; shared by Theresa at Living Home Grown (who shares my infatuation with herb gardening). This method does require a food processor (more to clean),  BUT you can handle larger amounts more efficiently with less olive oil, so the end result will likely take up less space in your freezer. If you’re more concerned about getting the flavor from your herbs rather than the appearance, then you’ll want to try this.

Dehydrating or drying them is also a good way to condense a large amount into a much smaller, easy to store state.  Keep in mind that most herbs change quite a bit during the drying process. You can re-use spice jars or start fresh with these spice jars and sift/pour tops.

Oregano is a fast & friendly grower and most varieties are perennials in our zone and like to be trimmed. I often grab a couple of fresh springs to throw in a salad, drop into quesadillas or pasta dishes. You can also create preserves!

  • Ellen’s Greek Oregano Jelly Recipe is a good place to start. You can add or substitute other complimentary herbs for a variety of flavor profiles. Grab some soft cheeses like cream cheese or chevre’ and you’ll have an easy appetizer.

Basil, while it is an annual, has become a staple. We’ve started plants from seeds before frost, and then planted more seed in the ground to supplement because we never seem to have enough! Our kids love adding it to quesadillas, and we use it in every batch of roasted tomatoes.Basil

  • Tomato & Basil Jam from Food in Jars is on my canning list again…we go through it so quickly!
  • This Basil Vinaigrette recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod, is in our rotation of homemade vinaigrettes.
  • Basil loves to be trimmed…so every now and then, making a batch of Pesto is a must! It’s also a great thing to do in that pre-frost panic when you’ve still got basil that may turn into a frosted mess. There’s a bit of flexibility to Pesto, so you may be surprised to find that you actually do have the ingredients to make it. Freezing the finished pesto seems to be the best route. Here’s a great place to get started if you’ve never made pesto.

Dill is one of my all-time favorites! It’s also an annual, and will often re-seed happily, but I always re-seed to ensure that I have plenty of dill dancing in the garden.

Chives Fillmore ContainerI love watching our Chive patches bloom every spring. The blossoms are so pretty, that I’m not overwhelmed by guilt if they’re not all put to work in a Chive Infused Vinegar. I do trim the spent blossoms back to encourage growth throughout the summer, and trim handfuls of the tubular leaves to chop and freeze for the winter. In a pinch, I’ll substitute some fresh chives for green onion, or fold them into a soft cheese like chevre for snacking or butter.

 

Winter Herb KvassWM

 

 

Depending on where you live and the severity of the winter weather, some herbs may behave as evergreens for you! More often these will be ones that exhibit the more woody stems; like rosemary, thyme, winter savory and sometimes a few varieties of sage.

 

We’ve enjoyed Lavender so much, that we’ve dedicated an entire post to it! You can find a collection of recipes and tips here.

Lavender Blossom Banner

 

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Preserve the Harvest Giveaway

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In celebration of this bountiful time of year, Countryside magazine invited Fillmore Container to participate in its Preserve the Harvest Giveaway which boasts a new prize every week for 4 weeks.cys-harvest-FB-variants-1

PreserveHarvestPrizes2016We’ve contributed the following fantastic prizes for each week:

Week 1 – Two cases of the Ball Collection Heritage 8oz Jam Jars, 1 copy of Food in Jars cookbook;

Week 2 – Two cases of the Ball Collection Heritage 8oz Jam Jars, 1 copy of Beyond Canning cookbook;

Week 3 –  One case of Orchard Road Jelly Jar Regular Mouth 8oz, 1 pack of  Orchard Road Bands & Lids, 1 copy of Naturally Sweet Food in Jars;

Week 4 –  One case of Orchard Road Jelly Jar Regular Mouth 8oz, 1 pack of  Orchard Road Bands & Lids, 1 copy of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars;

In addition to the prizes that Fillmore Container is supplying, there’s also other fun preserving goodness being given away each week from Pomona’s Pectin, Nesco, All American Canner, Grain Maker and more. Get all the details here. Your weekly entry will also be included in the grand prize drawing August 29th!

Go enter your chance to WIN!

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Preserving Peaches

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Here in Lancaster, PA, we’re just now heading into Peach Picking time for freestone Peaches and are super excited! We’re watching Cherry Hill Orchard’s site to see when they’re officially available and when the Pick-Your-Own opens up. We wanted to pass along some delicious ways to put up those sweet fruits!

Peach Prepping Tips

If you’re new to preserving peaches, be sure to confirm that you’re taking the freestone varieties home with you. Nothing can take the wind out of peach preserving sales than fighting with the peels & pits!

Peeled Peaches

When I have properly ripened peaches, the peeling process is a breeze. I grab my 4th Burner Pot with that nifty basket to blanch my peaches – about 3 at a time depending on their size, and a large bowl of ice, a larger bowl for the peeled peaches are we off! You can use a little fruit fresh or lemon juice to hold off browning. If I’m using a recipe that includes weights, I will often try to weigh batches out immediately after peeling so that I can cover/refrigerate until my peeling is complete.

Recipes

This Peach Chipotle Salsa made by Malia of Yesterday on Tuesday for the 2016 Can-It-Forward Day looks like the best chunky stuff that tortilla chips must dream of. (If you’re thinking of using these as hostess gifts, she even has some charming labels you can print out for free!)

Peach BBQ Sauce in JarsIf you didn’t catch our review of Batch, you’ll want to grab yourself a copy! As luck would have it, the section we featured is dedicated to Peaches! They even allowed us to share their Peach-Bourbon BBQ Sauce recipe which we made, of course…and it’s amazing!

Although, Marisa of Food in Jars has several marvelous Peach preserving recipes scattered throughout her 3 cookbooks; Food in Jars, Preserving by the Pint and Naturally Sweet Food in Jars; she also shares several on her blog. Here are a few of our favorites: Spicy Peach Preserves, Slow Cooker Peach Vanilla Butter, and this Honey-Sweetened Peach Vanilla Jam. You’re also likely to enjoy this Simple Peach Cake, one of her Preserves in Action.

We’ve enjoyed making peach preserves – they’re some of our absolute favorites! This Maple-Vanilla Peach Jam was amazing! It’s sweetened with Maple Syrup and used Pomona’s Pectin. Smashing Peaches

If you’re hoping to incorporate probiotic components into your preserving and eating habits, Amanda, author of the blog Phickle and the incredible Ferment Your Vegetables book, has developed this enticing Fermented Peach Sauce – perhaps the healthiest thing you could do to a bowl of ice cream before devouring it!

Sharon over at Simply Canning, will walk you through the basics of canning peaches (with or without syrup) and how to can Peach Pie Filling and tips on variations.

What’s your favorite method of preserving peaches?

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