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Sponsored Post: Oval Stainless Steel Food Container from the MightyFix

stainless-steel-food-storage-container

I have always loved a good lunch box. When I was very young, I had a snazzy metal Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox with a matching thermos. In middle school, I graduated to a reusable nylon lunch bag with our school name and mascot printed on the side. During my office job years, I had one of those neoprene lunch totes that claimed to keep food cool for hours.

Working from home these days, I don’t often find myself in need of a container for my lunch, but that doesn’t stop me from loving them and pining for a new model on occasion.

stainless-steel-food-storage-container-in-action

Enter the Oval Stainless Steel Food Container with Clamp Lid that the folks from MightyNest sent me as part of their MightyFix. They simply understand just how much joy a new lunch container can bring (particularly in September, when we all crave back to school items no matter how long we’ve been out of school).

The container is durable and endlessly reusable. I used it to hold my travel snacks on a recent plane trip and it weathered time in my backpack like a champ. The clamp lid- is non-toxic and non-leaching, it’s dishwasher safe, and it’s resistant to stains and corrosion.

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 MightyNest is offering Food In Jars readers a special $5/month rate for the first month of their subscription. That means that if you sign up for MightyFix today, you’ll pay just $5 for the first month and you’ll receive a stainless steel food storage container as your first fix. The fix will arrive at your door within a week or so!

To sign up: head this way. Offer expires September 30, 2016! (MightyFix is currently available to US customers with free shipping. Canadian and Australian MightyFixes ship for a small fee. Full shipping details here.)

MightyFix Button

(And if that link isn’t working for you, you can also use the code FIJCONTAINERFIX at check out.)

 Oh, and one more thing. MightyNest is currently sponsoring a giveaway over at Eating Rules as part of October Unprocessed. The prizes include my favorite popcorn maker, and copies of Preserving by the Pint. Go get yourself entered!
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Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce on Freshly Preserved Ideas

This Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce is the perfect way to put up imperfect, end-of-season peaches (or use some of the ones you stashed in the freezer at the height of the season).

Ingredients for Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce

Friends, it’s a bittersweet moment. It’s time to share the final recipe I made as part of my summer partnership with Ball Canning. Our goal was to spread the word about the many pleasures of home canning and I do we managed to do it deliciously.

Finished Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce in the pot

Today’s recipe is for Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce and you’ll find the recipe over on Freshly Preserving Ideas, Ball Canning’s snazzy Tumblr. Now, I realize that peach season is over in many parts of the world and is rapidly hurtling to a close in other regions. If you can still get peaches, you should make this sauce. If fresh peaches are but a memory, it will also work nicely with frozen peaches. Just make sure start the cooking process with the frozen fruit, rather than letting them defrost first.

Row of jars of Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce

If you missed them, the other recipes I cooked up for this partnership were Blackberry Lavender Jam, Garlicky Pickled Green BeansHeirloom Tomato Chutney, and Sweet Cherry Compote with Rosemary and Lemon.

Disclosure: I am a paid ambassador for Ball Canning. They compensated me for the development of this recipe! 

 

 

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Tomato Soup Concentrate for Canning

Having a stash of homemade tomato soup concentrate in your pantry is like doing a favor for your future self. Portioning it out in 26 ounce jars from Fillmore Container makes it look extra snazzy!

labeled jars of tomato soup concentrate

My tomato preservation approach is one that is forever evolving. I make a point of trying at least one new-to-me tomato recipe to each season, always hoping that I’ll discover something particularly delicious and worthy of my time, resources, and shelf space.

tomatoes in a bowl for tomato soup concentrate

This year, there were two experimental recipes. The first was this barbecue sauce (which is quite delicious, but probably won’t be something I make every single year). The second is the tomato soup concentrate that I’m sharing today. I’m already hoping that when I get home from the trip I’m currently on (I’ve been away for a week, which accounts for the blog silence), I’ll be able to get enough tomatoes to make another batch.

washing tomatoes soup concentrate

Recipes for tomato soup concentrates that are safe for the boiling water bath canner aren’t always easy to find. I did a lot of reading and worked out more math problems than is typically required for a basic canning recipe in order to bring this to you today. I built my recipe upon the framework laid out in the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s water bath safe Tomato and Vegetable Juice recipe.

chopped tomatoes for tomato soup concentrate

The thing in that recipe that made everyone here possible is the fact that it specifies that, “Not more than 3 cups of other vegetables may be added for each 22 pounds of tomatoes.” Taking my cue from there, I used 15 pounds of tomatoes, and a scant two cups of diced onions. I felt comfortable doing that, because I was keeping to their approach while reducing the batch size by one-third.

milling cooked tomatoes for tomato soup concentrate

From there, it was a matter of chopping the tomatoes and cooking them down with the onion. Once they were soft, I pushed them through a food mill fitted with its finest screen. At that point, I had approximately 24 cups of flavorful tomato juice.

I added Italian seasoning and granulated garlic, and cooked it down until I had a thick, tasty 16 cups. Once I was finished cooking, I added salt to taste (it’s always best to wait until you’ve finished cooking something down before salting it. Otherwise, you can end up with something inedible).

cooked tomato soup concentrate

Then I portioned 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid into five square sided 26 ounce jars from Fillmore Container and filled them up with my soup concentrate. I added five minutes to the processing time required by the NCHFP for the tomato and vegetable juice, to compensate for the increased thickness.

I love canning tomato products in these square sided jars because they give it a more professional look, and I find that the squared off sides make them easier to grab when I’m moving quickly. The 26 ounce size is also great from a portioning perspective. Reheated with a bit of milk, there’s just the right amount for two people to enjoy bigs bowls with a side of cheesy toast or garlic bread.

Oh, and if you find yourself liking the looks of the square shape, know that they’re also available in 8 ounce and 16 ounce sizes.

five jars of tomato soup concentrate

This week, the good folks at Fillmore Container have offered up a case of 12 square sided 26 ounce jars and a $50 credit that’s good in their online store for a giveaway. To enter, use the widget below. The recipe for the tomato soup concentrate is after the jump. Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Fillmore Container is a Food in Jars sponsor. Their sponsorship helps keep the site afloat. They provided the jars you see here and are providing the giveaway prize, both at no cost to me. All opinions expressed are entirely mine. 

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Peach Habanero Hot Sauce

This peach habanero hot sauce brings sweet, gentle heat to all your favorite foods. Make sure to use peaches at the pinnacle of ripeness for maximum deliciousness.

finished peach habanero hot sauce

I am not someone who goes for crazy hot foods. I firmly believe that eating should be grounded in pleasure rather than pain or discomfort. However, I do believe that there’s something uniquely appealing about sauces that allow for the careful, targeted application of gentle heat.

And so, when I develop hot sauce recipes, they are relatively mellow, mild ones that enhance rather than sear. Dealer’s choice, as it were.

quick peeling peaches for peach habanero hot sauce

That’s all to say that this may well be the most tame peach habanero hot sauce you’ll ever encounter. If you’re someone who likes to be challenged by your condiments, this probably isn’t the recipe for you. However, if you like sweet, easygoing heat, you are in the right place.

peppers for peach habanero hot sauce

For this recipe, I used the peeling technique described in this post (quarter peaches, lay them in a heatproof baking dish, bring kettle to a boil, pour over peaches, rinse with cold water, peel). Once peeled, they went into a big pot with diced onion, a sweet orange pepper, six seeded habaneros (wear disposable gloves!), garlic, vinegar, a little sugar, lemon juice, and salt.

ingredients for peach habanero hot sauce

I simmered everything over medium heat while making dinner, giving it a stir on occasion and breaking up the peaches with my spatula with every turn. Once the peaches were totally tender and the onions were translucent, I used an immersion blender to puree the sauce smooth.

peach habanero hot sauce in pot

I canned the sauce in some of the barbecue sauce bottles I got from Fillmore Container, though you could just as easily use 12 ounce jelly jars. I look forward to opening one up in a couple months, when it’s had time to mellow even more.

Oh, and in case you missed my post yesterday, this hot sauce was made with peaches from the folks at the Washington State Fruit Commission. I made this Gingery Peach Butter with the other half of the peaches. Nectarine recipes are still to come.

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Honey Sweetened Gingery Peach Butter

This naturally sweetened gingery peach butter is fragrant, flavorful, and brightly hued. It’s great stirred into yogurt or eaten directly from the jar with a spoon.

close up of gingery peach butter

A couple weeks ago, the annual box of peaches and nectarines arrived from the folks at the Washington State Fruit Commission. This is the seventh summer I’ve been part of their Canbassador program. I always enjoy the challenge of finding new and delicious ways to preserve all that goodness.

quartered peaches for gingery peach butter

This year, I’ve made four different preserves. Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Gingery Peach Butter. Tomorrow, I’ll have a batch of Peach Habanero Hot Sauce. Next week, you’ll see recipes for Nectarine Conserve and Nectarine Ketchup.

pressure cooked peaches for gingery peach butter

I’ve got a new trick to tell you for prepping peaches. For this preserve, instead of peeling them, I gave them their initial cook in a pressure cooker (an Instant Pot, to be exact). The added heat and pressure helped break the skins down. That made it possible to blend the skins into the pulp for a perfectly smooth puree.

pureed peaches for gingery peach butter

Now, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make this preserve. But in that case, you might want to peel the peaches to ensure a lush, smooth texture.

cooked gingery peach butter

Once your peaches are pureed, you add just a little bit of honey and three heaping tablespoons of grated ginger and cook it down. Wanting to retain a softer texture and brighter color, I didn’t take this one as far down as I sometimes do. That makes it’s a lighter spread, better for drizzling over pancakes and stirring into yogurt.

five pints of gingery peach butter

How have you been preserving your peaches this summer? Continue Reading →

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Fig Mostarda

This fig mostarda is a delicious and unconventional way to preserve this season’s crop of fresh figs!

Vertical image of jars of fig mostarda

Sometime in the middle of July, I got an email from the folks at California Figs. They were writing to see if they could send me some fresh figs from the new crop that was just coming into the market. There were no strings attached to the offer and no blog posts were required, they just wanted to send some figs*. As it happens, one of my guiding principles in life is to simply smile and say “thank you, yes please,” any time someone wants to give me fresh figs.

Figs in their packing boxes

A box from California Figs arrived two weeks ago and contained a bounty of figs. Four flats, each containing a different variety (Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Sierra, and Tiger figs, for those of you who are curious). It took me a week to work my way through them, but through steady preserving (and a good bit of snacking), I turned those four flats into five different preserves.

A tray of black mission figs

I’m going to dole these recipes out over the next couple weeks (I’ve been doing a LOT of preserving lately, so it’s going to be mostly recipes around these parts for the next month or so). The first recipe I have to share is this one for Fig Mostarda. Mostarda is a traditional Italian preserve, typically made by candying fruit in a simple syrup that’s been spiked with potent mustard oil.

Black mission figs in an All-Clad pot

We can’t get concentrated mustard oil in the US (it’s the primary ingredient in mustard gas and so it a controlled substance) and so the preserves that I call mostarda are more like chunky jams, made pungent with a liberal application of mustard seeds, a touch of cayenne pepper to tickle your nose, and cider vinegar to lend a certain tanginess.

Adding sugar to the black mission figs

Mostardas as I make them are really great condiments to eat with cheese (I have a feeling that this one would pair really nicely with a crumbly cheddar) or dolloped alongside a platter of cold grilled vegetables (I am imagining it with charred onions and summer squash). Oh, or what about spooning it into a freshly baked gougere that’s just been torn in half? Heaven!

Adding mustard seeds to the figs

The recipe starts with two and a half pounds of figs, which isn’t an impossible amount to obtain (in the past, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for figs at Trader Joe’s. They’re often affordable enough that I can buy a few pounds without too much pain). I used black mission figs, but if you have access to a fig tree, use those. The color will be different, but the flavor will still be good.

Black mission figs with sugar and mustard seeds

One more thing about figs. It’s always important to use recipes that have added acid, as their pH is typically a bit too high for safe canning. I used a goodly amount of vinegar to ensure that this mostarda is safe, but if you’re winging your fig jam, make sure to acidify them like tomatoes and use 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice for every pint of product that you’re canning up.

Line-up of jars of fig mostarda

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