Saturday, July 9, 2011
TIMES TIDE AND PEAS WAIT FOR NO MAN
A lot of people are afraid of canning because the think they'll accidentally poison their families. To make certain the food is safe use your senses. LOOK at it. It should be the same color as the day you canned it. SMELL it. It should smell the same as the day you canned it. FEEL it. The lid should be hard to pry off. If it comes off easily, toss it. When in doubt, throw it out.
Jars not sealing properly are what causes most spoilage. Two things that I find causes most failures in the jars not sealing are that I didn't allow for the proper amount of headspace. I use a ruler and measure now, instead of just guessing. The other thing is forgetting to wipe the rim before placing on the lids.Another thing to remember is that canning is serious business, treat your preparation area like a lab and make sure every thing is clean, clean, clean. There's no such thing as overkill when it comes to this.
The hot days are good for drying herbs also. I put mine in the bottom of my broiling pan and put them inside of my car. It makes the best dehydrator. And your car smells like the herbs afterward. Be forewarned, if you dry dill in your car, expect to have cravings for dill flavored potato chips. Or maybe that's just me!
Speaking of herbs, my favorite herbalist Marqueta is having a giveaway on her blog: sweetefelicity.blogspot.com/ If you've never visited her blog, I'll know you'll enjoy it. Marqueta is a wonderful mother with the most adorable children. She is also one of the kindness, most Godly woman that you could ever hope to meet. As we say around here, she's the real deal. Her giveaway is for her E-Book, The Young Lady's Guide To Natural Health is chockablock full of wonderful information. And although no one will ever call me a young lady anymore, I enjoyed it also and found it informative.
I know that you probably have your own favorite recipe for strawberry jam but just in case ....
1 quart of roughly sliced strawberries or whole ones if the do not have hollow centers ( I measure them by placing them in a quart-sized ziploc. When I can just barely close the bag, that's the right amount)
5 C. sugar
1/2 C. lemon juice
Place the the strawberries and sugar in a large non-metallic pot and let them set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Heat the berries/sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice and boil an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir and skim the foam.Place in sterilized half pint jars, leaving a 1/2" headspace. Wipe rims and place sterilized lids on. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.