How to Can Diced Tomatoes

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If you need a basic way to put up some tomatoes for another day, this is it. The end product has a bit more of a stewed tomato, than a true chopped tomato. It is a very simple way to preserve tomatoes for a future soup, stew, stir fry, tomato sauce, salsa, or whatever your heart desires.

Diced Tomatoes for Water Bath Canning

Yields 4 pintsDiced Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs Roma or paste tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup bottled lemon juice, divided

Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 regular-mouth 1-pint jars. Prepare the lids according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While it heats, core the tomatoes and using a small, sharp knife, score the bottom of each tomato with a shallow X. Fill a large bowl two-thirds full with ice-cold water. (The cold water stops the cooking and cools the tomatoes down enough for you to peel them after blanching.)

Working in batches, add the tomatoes to the boiling water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer the tomatoes to the bowl of ice-cold water to cool. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, making sure to give the water a chance to come back up to boiling between batches. If the water isn’t hot enough, you will have a hard time removing the skins during peeling.

When the blanched tomatoes are cool enough to handle, grab one and peel the skin off with your fingers. The blanching should have loosened it to the point where it curls off the tomato and is easy to pull free.

Chop the peeled tomatoes and place them in a pot with as much of the juices as you’re able to capture during the chopping process. Bring them to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 30-35 minutes, until the juices thicken. Stir regularly to prevent burning.

Add 1 Tbsp of bottled lemon juice to each prepared jar. Ladle the hot chopped tomatoes with their juices into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch/12 mm of headspace. Gently tap the jars on a towel-lined countertop to help loosen any bubbles before using a wooden chopstick to dislodge any remaining bubbles and add additional tomatoes, if necessary.

Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

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How to Use Low Temperature Pasteurization for Pickles

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We recently hosted a canning class taught by Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars. The hands-on canning class, at Fillmore Container, focused on low temperature pasteurization. For those of you that are following along with the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge, this month’s challenge is all about Low Temperature Pasteurization

Back ofClass pickles

What is low temperature pasteurization?

It is a preservation technique in which you simmer your filled jars in water that’s between 180 and 185 degrees F. You do this for a longer period of time than you would normally process them in a boiling water bath canner. The longer, lower temperature allows you to kill off bacteria while achieving the goal of retaining a firmer texture pickle. Here’s the basics of the preserving method along with the pickle recipe that we made during the class.

Cucumbers

Why use low temperature pasteurization?

Have you ever made a batch of pickles with the highest of hopes, only to open up the jars in October or November and find flavorful but soft, soggy slices or spears? If this is something you’ve experienced, you probably found yourself wondering, “How can I make crunchy, shelf stable pickles?” If that sounds familiar, then low temperature pasteurization may be for you!

PickleStationsClass

What do I need?

All you need to try out this style of preserving is a canning pot, an adjustable heat source, and a reliable thermometer. You may need to practice a little to figure out how to get your water to maintain the proper temperature. However, once you do, you’ll be rewarded with crisp, snappy pickles! To find out more about this method read this post.

RECIPE
Garlic Dill Pickles

Yield: 10 pintsPreparing jars

Ingredients

6 pounds pickling cucumbers
3 cups apple cider vinegar
3 cups water
3 tablespoons pickling salt
1 teaspoon dill seed per jar
1 teaspoon peppercorns per jar
1 teaspoon mustard seeds per jar
1-2 garlic cloves per jar

Prepare a low temperature pasteurization pot and 10 pint jars.

Wash cucumbers well. Trim away the blossom end, which is a very important step. While trimming the cucumbers may seem wasteful, there’s an enzyme (pectinase) that will cause your pickles to become soft. Trim about 1/16 inch from that blossom end before pickling. After trimming, cut cucumbers into halves, spears, or coins.

Combine the apple cider vinegar, water, and pickling salt in a saucepan or 4th burner pot (rack removed) and bring to a boil. (Read more about our versatile 4th burner pot here.)

Portion the spices and garlic cloves into the prepared jars. Pack the cucumbers into the jars and add the brine, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.pouring pickling brine

Using a wooden chopstick, wiggle out any trapped air bubbles, and add more brine, if necessary.

Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner or in a low temperature pasteurization pot for 25 minutes at 180F.  Note the thermometer clipped on the water bath canner in photo below.

waterbath processing

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

When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortable handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.

Jars of Pickles

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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.

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

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

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, All American Canner,  CoolBot, Grainmaker, The Sausage 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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How to Dry Herbs in your Oven

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Washing HerbsIf you’re a couple of years into your herb garden, you’ve likely realized that there are some herbs that you just can’t keep up with. Some of them – like our Thyme, Oregano and Savory – faired very well over the winter, had expanded their growth area and were bursting with new growth.

I knew a large quantity of aromatic leaves would go to waste if I wasn’t able to preserve them quickly, and I didn’t have a dehydrator or an ideal drying location in our home, so I turned to our oven, to dry some fresh herbs and fill jars of dried herbs ready for cooking!

Here are the basics:

Space oven racks for optimal circulation and preheat your oven to the warm setting, or 200 if that setting isn’t available.

Trim and clean your herbs, removing any unsavory leaves and extra stalks/stems. Try to remove as much of the water from washing as you’re able…by gently swinging them in a large towel or sack, or patting them dry. The dryer they are going in, the more evenly they will dry in the oven. 

Herbs ready for the ovenLay your herbs in a single layer on large cookie sheets. If you line them, it will make it easier to collect the leaves as they fall off, but it isn’t a required step. Different herbs will dry at different rates, so try keeping like herbs together so that they may be removed together. 

Put them in the oven. Place a silicone spatula or spoon in the opening of your oven to wedge it open a bit so that the steam doesn’t build up.  Check on your herbs after 10 minutes. If you have multiple trays, you may need to just keep checking occasionally to ensure that the don’t get burned.  

When your leaves are good and dry, remove them from the oven and allow to cool until you can handle them. Then gently strip the leaves off of the stems. If your oregano leaves are on the larger size, you can just break them up by grasping the stem and sort of crushing them. 

Dried Herbs from Giving GardenWhen the dried leaves are completely cooled, funnel them into the jar of your choice and label & date them. 

Here, we used the cracker jars as master storage, which allowed us to keep the leaves more intact.

Using chalkboard paint, we made panels for labeling on a variety of 8oz jars. We filled the smaller jars, wrote the herb name in chalk and capped them with some colorful single-piece lids. 

Other options…

If most of your recipes call for a combination of herbs which you’ve just dried, you can mix them together before jarring.

If you wish for a more finely finished product, you may crush them more completely. Our spice jars paired with the pour sift caps work well for this, or you can re-purpose spice jars that you may already have on hand. 

Drying herbs isn’t the only way to preserve or extend their goodness! Here are a few of our most popular herb related posts:

Once you make Herbes Salées from the amazing Batch Cookbook, don’t be surprised if it becomes a regular habit!

Freezing Herbs in olive oil is a low fuss method that yields great rewards when your herbs are buried in snow.

This round-up of Homemade Salad Dressings and Vinaigrette Recipes will help you use both fresh and dried herbs. 

 

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Fermented Tomato Salsa from Joy of Pickling

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Did you know the third edition of The Joy of Pickling has 50 brand new recipes! We chatted with Linda Ziedrich, the author, and she shared a bit about what preservers can expect from the third edition, as well as a recipe from the book – Fermented Tomato Salsa.The Joy of Pickling- Fillmore Container

The third edition reflects my pickling research of the past eight years. 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 enjoy trying my new relish recipes, including this fermented tomato salsa recipe. Because chopped tomatoes are especially prone to spoilage, fermenting prepared salsa is tricky; most people who do this add whey or keep the fermentation very short. But you can make a fully fermented, deeply flavorful salsa by fermenting the vegetables whole before you chop them.Fermented Salsa

Fermented Tomato Salsa

Yields: About 3 1/2 cups

Tools: We used a 2 quart sized Mason jars, Pickle Pebbles and a Pickle Pipe.Fermented Salsa Ingredients

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds firm, meaty whole tomatoes, ripe or semiripe

½ pound green jalapeño peppers, tops sliced off

¼ pound onion, peeled and cut into chunks

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 ½ tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) pickling salt

1 quart water

Mix the tomatoes, peppers, onion pieces, garlic, and cumin together in a two-quart mason jar. Add the lime juice. In another container, dissolve the salt in the water. Pour the brine over the vegetables, and weight them. Cover the jar (use an airlock, if you have one), and keep the jar at cool room temperature. Skim off any yeast or mold that appears.

After three weeks, cut a pepper vertically to be sure it has completely changed color, from bright green to olive green. If it has, gently transfer all the vegetables to a bowl, taking care not to burst the tomatoes, which will have swelled. Coarsely grind the vegetables, in batches, in a food processor or blender. Transfer the mixture to one or more smaller jars, and store them in the refrigerator. The salsa should keep for weeks.

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Peach Freezer Jam with Mrs. Wages

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Preserve some peaches without turning on the stove, with this no-cook peach freezer jam. If you haven’t made freezer jam before, we encourage you to read our post about How to Make Freezer Jam.

Easy Peach Freezer Jam

The original recipe is By Joy Isaacs, from Mrs. Wages® Test Kitchen

Ingredients

4 cups peeled, crushed peaches (fresh or frozen)*

1 ½ cups sugar or Splenda® No Calorie Sweetener (granular)

3 Tbsp bottled lemon juice

1 pouch Mrs. Wages® No Cook Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin

Directions

Place crushed peaches** in a large bowl, stir, sugar (or Splenda) and bottle lemon juice until well blended.

LET STAND for 10 minutes.

Gradually stir contents of Mrs. Wages® No Cook Freezer Jam Fruit Pectin into the peach mixture. Stir for three minutes.

Ladle jam into clean, freeze-safe containers, leaving ½-inch headspace. Secure lids and let stand 30 minutes to thicken.

*If using frozen fruit, allow fruit to thaw in refrigerator before crushing.

**For thicker jam, bring crushed peaches to a boil before mixing with other ingredients.

Note: Freezer jam set is softer than cooked jam which makes it perfect for spreading.

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.
 
If you aren’t familiar with freezing in jars, please read this.

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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.

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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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