Thread Number: 78726  /  Tag: Recipes, Cooking Accessories
Putting Up Preserves
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Post# 1027168   3/15/2019 at 23:06 by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        

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Watching lots of vintage television as one does it seems "putting up my preserves" was big with housewives/households late as the 1960's. Do people still do this?

Growing up know many Italian families in area "canned" tomatoes from their own gardens. Now and then friends will give us chutney or other preserves they've done themselves.

Bought job lot of Mason jars at a thrift years ago for very little money. However only have used them to store laundry products. *LOL*

Post# 1027172 , Reply# 1   3/15/2019 at 23:40 by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        

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One of my sisters used to make grape jelly, it is an all day affair over a hot range.  You won't have time or energy for anything else that day.

Post# 1027173 , Reply# 2   3/15/2019 at 23:56 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I do a couple dozen quarts of tomatoes every fall.  Give some to relatives other I keep. Does not take that long, 2 -3 hours I'm done.  Processing add to that, but actual work time is not too bad for the results.


Can't beat home canned tomatoes...

Post# 1027183 , Reply# 3   3/16/2019 at 06:46 by Kate1 (Idaho)        

I can things from my own garden. Around here itís extremely common still and every fall you see women getting together and having marathon canning sessions. Canning supplies are also very common wedding gifts. I love having food that Iíve grown available to me throughout winter.

Post# 1027186 , Reply# 4   3/16/2019 at 07:45 by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
I sure do

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Even this winter on February 15 the local grocery store had a surplus of Roma tomatoes and gave me over a bushel of them for $20 and I turned it into tomato sauce one evening only took a few hours with the pressure canner.

And donít forget the famous canning parties that weíve had at the WaireHouse Museum.


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Post# 1027187 , Reply# 5   3/16/2019 at 07:47 by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Home canning is so much easier today

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With a dishwasher modern electric range central air conditioning itís a breeze, and canning in February was really nice because all that heat felt so good,lol


Post# 1027196 , Reply# 6   3/16/2019 at 11:27 by Xraytech (Rural southwest Pennsylvania )        

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Still do plenty of canning here, I can whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, dill pickles, applesauce, string beans, peach jam, plum jam, black raspberry jelly, occasionally sour cherry jelly.
Also like to fry hot Hungarian peppers and onions in grease and can with tomato sauce.

Hoping to get into some slightly more time consuming stuff, like canned new potatoes and stew beef

Post# 1027198 , Reply# 7   3/16/2019 at 13:06 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

When Sandy threatened us with power failures, I had a bunch of raw ground meat so I turned it into sloppy joes and pressure canned it. It worked out fine at 10 pounds of pressure and I did not have to worry about keeping it refrigerated, but fortunately, the power stayed on. YAY!

Post# 1027202 , Reply# 8   3/16/2019 at 14:19 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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Really admire people who do canning and preserve making (called jam on my side of the tracks). John's ( Combo52) photo of canned Roma tomatoes is suitable for framing...very nice!

Post# 1027210 , Reply# 9   3/16/2019 at 16:02 by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

I'm known by the whole family for the best jellies and jams. I can a lot of vegetables in fall with the old bomb-exploding type of pressure cooker. Preserves are pretty much jam with whole pieces in it.

Post# 1027214 , Reply# 10   3/16/2019 at 16:15 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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Here is how they do it in Italy.

Post# 1027226 , Reply# 11   3/16/2019 at 18:21 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Glad to see it's not a lost art.  I'm one of the few in my family that still cans.  I also dehydrate Roma tomatoes for "sun dried" tomatoes, if you ever buy them you know the cost.  I can buy a half bushel and dry them for the cost of one small package.  I have a dehydrator but use my oven.  It has a dehydrate function.  Been temped to make jerky but never have.

Post# 1027236 , Reply# 12   3/16/2019 at 19:27 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I've never tried canning, although I have had some interest. But...I've never actually gotten around to it. Too lazy, perhaps. Plus I'd probably worry about doing something wrong--even if I slavishly followed the latest instructions--and killing myself with food poisoning.

I'd be more likely to try freezing.

Post# 1027252 , Reply# 13   3/17/2019 at 00:42 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

The only change I"ve made to my canning process over the past few decades is to add Ascorbic Acid to the tomatoes.  Historically the tomatoes were more acidic, now not so much.  Still use open kettle, still use old jars for the most part.

Post# 1027253 , Reply# 14   3/17/2019 at 00:42 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Remember canning tomatoes from long ago-from my Moms and Stepdads garden.Was sort of fun-yes AC helps here-did it during the summer!The canning pot took up two burners on the GE cooktop.Another burner for the blanching pot.That was my job-we had quite a production line.Those Kerr canning jars-you could get them at any grocer at that time.The box of jars had the lids,too.

Post# 1027258 , Reply# 15   3/17/2019 at 00:58 by neptunebob (Pittsburgh, PA)        

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I know that in the 1800's, people could not stand to can horseradish sauce.  A man named Henry J. Heinz took on the job of canning the vegetable and made a fortune.  Horseradish sauce, along with a lot of other foods are made by a leading Pittsburgh company, HJ Heinz. 

Post# 1027271 , Reply# 16   3/17/2019 at 07:18 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

While I don't have the space to store a lot of home-canned goods, the upright freezer that arrives next week means I'll be able to make freezer jam (blueberry; peach; strawberry; rhubarb) this summer!

I've always enjoyed canning tomato sauce and salsa, but rarely eat anyone else's home-canned goods unless I know they follow current food safety rules.

Post# 1027328 , Reply# 17   3/17/2019 at 16:01 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        

Hey Launderess,

As has been mentioned, you can also use the jars to freeze. When I make stock I "put it up" in pints and quarts. I do the same with chili. I've also made strawberry-rhubarb jam and rhubarb/orange/carrot marmalade and put it in 8 and 12oz jars. I used to make Concord grape jam, but the birds have been feasting on my grapes the last few years before I get a chance to get out there.

Just be sure to boil/sterilize the jars and lids, fill with the molten lava (jam), wipe the rim, put the lid and ring on hand tight and flip them upside down for 10-15 minutes. Invert to upright and when cool enough, freeze.

Good luck,

Post# 1027402 , Reply# 18   3/18/2019 at 12:43 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Grew up

Watching my Grandmother, I still can, Hopefully I can grow a good garden this year and have tomatoes , green beans, squash, and who knows what all else, I make pickles and jellies too., Apple butter is my favorite thing, I make it in the crock pot.

Post# 1027409 , Reply# 19   3/18/2019 at 13:27 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        
Iíve personally

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never done any canning, but over 40 years ago I did make jam, both plum and blackberry.

But my paternal Grandma canned EVERYTHING! My grandparents owned a vacant city lot next to their home in Richmond, Calif. Grandpa grew a vegetable garden that took up the entire lot. He grew corn, green beans, peas, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, beets, strawberries, blackberries, you name it, he grew it. Grandma ran a dry cleaners in El Cerrito and after working all day taking in dry cleaning and laundry and doing alterations, in the Summer, after dinner she got out both of her huge Presto National canners and set to canning. What Grandpa didnít grow, like peaches and pears, Grandma picked at truck farms by the bushel basket and she canned them too.

They had a basement where the rows and rows of Mason jars, filled with the fruits of Grandmaís labor were stored. She also canned Mince Meat that she used Venison in, my Mom just raved about ther Mince Meat, and she made crocks full of Sauerkraut too. We had Grandmaís canned vegetables, fruits and jams at every meal when we went to visit. Her canned green beans were out of this world.

This was the way many of our grandparents generation managed to make ends meet during the Depression and how they coped with rationing during WWII.

My maternal Grandma stopped canning just as soon as Grandpa bought her an upright Admiral freezer. She froze strawberries and peaches that were way better than any that you can buy in the store.


Post# 1027414 , Reply# 20   3/18/2019 at 13:50 by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        

I started do home canning to maintain some of the traditions my grandmothers used to make and my mom is also not doing all that she used to as well. When I go to some of the festivals and see the prices of preserves being sold, I told myself it is time for me to begin doing some of this myself. I started out making things using the recipes packed the Sure-Jell powdered pectin. Fig jam and blackberry jelly were family favorites I tried first and was successful. Followed by fig preserves and kumquat marmalade. All of these are great on homemade bread or biscuits. The marmalade also makes a great glaze on roasted chicken or pork loin. Fig glazed roast pork or ham is delicious too. This past year I made the family Chow Chow recipe and my mother and sister said I "nailed it!" Tasting just like they remembered. The relish (Chow-Chow) recipe is not highly peppered like man recipes I have seen, this one is sweet and contains the acid of apple cider vinegar and prepared mustard also, pickling spice is also simmered in a sachet in the mix. Most of what I made is given away to family as gifts as most of this is in 8 oz. jars However the Chow-Chow recipe yields so much that I canned pints and a couple of quarts of the stuff too. Will bring one to the next family gathering we will have.

Post# 1027415 , Reply# 21   3/18/2019 at 13:56 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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If you havenít tried it, Plum jam makes a delicious glaze for Baked Ham. I use about a 1/3 of a cup of Plum jam and mix in about a tablespoon of brown sugar and a 1/2 tsp of dry mustard. I spead this mixture on the ham during the last 30 mins or so of the baking time.


Post# 1027427 , Reply# 22   3/18/2019 at 17:01 by brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

I grew up with 1 acre of vegetables, so every summer was full of bottling and freezing.

We would generally bottle high acid foods, like Tomato's (With Added acid), and fruits in a sugar syrup. This was all done using Fowlers Vaccola bottles, lids and seals in a water bath.

Beetroot, cucumbers got pickled in vinegar, and sealed with wax in jars, the same with Tomato Sauce (Ketchup). I hated that stuff as a kid, it was vinegary and peppery, it was always a huge treat to have bought ketchup.

Beans, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Peas all got blanched and frozen.

By the age of 10 I took over all the bottling (Canning) and got paid 5c per jar that I completed. Mum did the preserves and frozen vegetables because they needed cooking/blanching and handling boiling water. With the Bottling, they went in cold and came out cold, so the risk was minimal. With the tomato's, mum would blanch them and then I'd end up with a tub of them bobbing in cold water to peel.

When my grandmother went into a home, I inherited the Fowlers Vaccola Water bath unit that we'd always used. I need to start collecting the bottles, even just to do a batch, but the effort now without the big garden, hardly seems worth it.

Post# 1027432 , Reply# 23   3/18/2019 at 18:12 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I used to make raspberry jelly nearly every Summer, and occasionally pickles, but I've not done so for several years. I hope to do so again in the future.

My mom would can tomatoes, green beans, strawberry jelly, and freeze corn many years. We didn't have a big garden, but a couple of her friends did, so they would let her pick what she wanted as they had plenty.

My sister lives on a farm, and therefore has a very large (approx. 30' x 80') garden. She grows just about any kind of vegetable - lettuce, corn, beets, etc. and cans most of them. Most of the people in her area have gardens, and also can and freeze.

No offense to Launderess, but her original post illustrates how out of touch many city people are as to what goes on in rural areas of this country.

Post# 1027461 , Reply# 24   3/19/2019 at 01:27 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Growing up my mother used to make strawberry rhubarb jam, been many decades since I had any.  She always used to put paraffin on top to seal it.  I ave all her recipes but can't say I have came across that one.  Once in a while I'm tempted to make some, but always seem to be busy in mid June when the berries hit.

Post# 1027467 , Reply# 25   3/19/2019 at 02:46 by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        
Strawberry & Rhubarb Jam

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Is probably one of the top fruit preserve combinations out there; has been so for decades....

You can find recipes online or in many cookbooks. There are two main versions; those made with pectin, and those without. Some mix in other berries like blackberries or raspberries. When going with a non-pectin recipe something else (another fruit or something) will need to be added to compensate for fact rhubarb doesn't contain any.

Post# 1027493 , Reply# 26   3/19/2019 at 10:43 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Not sure why, but even though my second favorite pie is strawberry-rhubarb (blueberry takes the checkered flag) I prefer keeping them separate as preserves.

This thread has me all jazzed for making jam this summer!

Post# 1027503 , Reply# 27   3/19/2019 at 13:02 by oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

"This thread has me all jazzed for making jam this summer! "

I've been jazzed up for making jam since September. I don't like winter at all, but if there was no winter, Summer wouldn't seem as great.

Post# 1027672 , Reply# 28   3/22/2019 at 09:26 by jeff_adelphi (Adelphi, Maryland, USA)        
Last falls tomato canning

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Whole tomatoes, Soup, and Sauce

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Post# 1027686 , Reply# 29   3/22/2019 at 11:27 by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        

How many tomato plants did you have?

Post# 1027722 , Reply# 30   3/22/2019 at 17:22 by Jeff_adelphi (Adelphi, Maryland, USA)        

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That was 2 bushels of locally grown tomatoes from a nearby farm market.

Post# 1027765 , Reply# 31   3/22/2019 at 23:13 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I put up grape and peach preserves here about 15 years ago. I was between jobs with plenty of time. It was fun, but a lot of work, as I recall.

My mom harvested some wild grapes from a nearby field in the 1950's and put grape jelly. She sealed the jars with wax. We had plenty of jelly for months.

Post# 1027797 , Reply# 32   3/23/2019 at 11:12 by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

I make jam every year: strawberry and blackberry at a minimum, and one or two more that change each year, like orange marmalade, plum, or peach.  A lot of people use open-kettle canning for these, but I like to pack them hot and then put them in a water bath for about 5 minutes.  They don’t have to go under pressure.


For strawberry jam, add the juice of a lemon (1 oz) to every pound of fruit, crush the berries with their weight in sugar (1 c crushed berries to 1 c sugar), and boil them a few cups at a time to the gel point (around 220°F, but you have to check with a spoon). 


I prefer whole strawberry preserves.  They are made with the same lemon juice to every pound of fruit, and equal weight of sugar.  But they have to be boiled carefully to avoid breaking the fruit.  You boil them to the gel point, even though preserves will never actually set.  Modern people don’t realize that old-school preserves look like whole fruit in syrup. Adding pectin absolutely ruins everything.


Blackberry jam is also notorious for not setting, even when the berries are tart.  I’ve learned a trick that works for me, though.  I send them through the reamer of the Kitchen-Aid first, while they’re still raw.  Then I add the juice of a lemon (1 oz) to every pound of pulp and an equal weight of sugar (1 c pulp to 1 c sugar), and I boil a few cups at a time to the gel point.  I get a much better set than I do when I cook the fruit first and them make the jam.  I tried it both ways for several years running, and my results were consistently better with the reamed raw berries.


I never add pectin.  I think the texture of pectin-loaded jam is kind of creepy, maybe because people add too much.


When I was little, we canned green beans by the bushel: pink tips, greasy backs, half-runners, chucky beans.  We’d pick for half a day and then string and can for half a day.  Mostly my grandmother ran the boiling pot while everybody else did the stringing.    Beans have to be canned under pressure, because they lack acid.  That is hot work, and time consuming, so you really have to want it!!


We also canned a lot of tomatoes and occasionally some sweet peppers.  My aunt used-open kettle for her tomatoes, but I don’t think that produces the best product, unless you can keep the finished jars constantly cool.


Corn, squash, and green peppers went into the freezer.  Cucumbers were turned into pickles; we always used recipes that did not require canning, which does not include bread & butter pickles.  When I was really little, people still made a lot of kraut with the abundant cabbage; I don’t remember any of that, but the older generation remembered it fondly.


Canning is a crazy hot business in the hottest time of the year.  For those who do a lot of it, I would recommend a so-called patio stove, those propane-tank, one-burner stoves that stay outside.  There are models available that burn very hot, which is exactly what you need for canning.  Keeping the boiling water out of the kitchen makes for a much nicer day of canning.

Post# 1027804 , Reply# 33   3/23/2019 at 13:17 by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
@ jeff_adelphi

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Thats a wonderful looking kitchen you have its almost commercial in its layout.

Post# 1027931 , Reply# 34   3/25/2019 at 02:33 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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As I now recall, the peach preserves I made were really called "conserves". I guess the difference is larger pieces in the conserves. Anyway, people liked them. I still have some in the back of a cabinet, but after 15 or more years I don't think I'm brave enough to try a jar.

Since that time, I started vacuum sealing garden produce and keeping it in the freezer instead. A brief blanching in boiling water, a plunge into ice water, and then vacuum seal and freeze. It doesn't last as long as canned stuff, and occasionally the vacuum is lost with frost formation inside the bag, but overall the results are good.

Post# 1027949 , Reply# 35   3/25/2019 at 08:05 by mikael3 (Atlanta)        

Some things are better frozen than canned, corn being high on the list.  Green peas, too, whether you grow your own or not.  Yellow squash freezes well for casseroles, but you have to like it mushy if you put it into anything else.


These days, for most people, there’s very little need to can or freeze any vegetables, since markets have good (not great, but good) stuff out of season, year round.  Tomatoes are an exception to that, and I would still can my own if I had the time.  Heirloom green beans are another, since those have very limited availability, even in summer.


Jams, though, are never as good from the market as they are from your own kitchen.

Post# 1027951 , Reply# 36   3/25/2019 at 08:37 by Oliger (Indianapolis, Indiana)        
Some things are better frozen than canned, corn

Yes, corn has natural sugars in it that start turning into starches as soon as you break it off. If you freeze or cook it as soon as you break it off of the plant, it preserves that delicious flavor.

Post# 1031052 , Reply# 37   4/28/2019 at 03:05 by LaundrymanRob (Cincinnati)        

I grew up learning about and taking part in canning, mostly jellies and jams, with my Great Grandma, and Mom. When I first moved out of my childhood home, I continued the tradition for a few years, but life got in the way and I forgot about canning.
Last year, I started going to a farmers market about 20 miles from my home on a weekly basis and started canning again. This past summer/ autumn, I put up about 48 jars of strawberry jam and roughly 18 jars of Applesauce.
About a month ago the farmers market re-opened for the season, I went and bought 9 flats of strawberries for jam. The strawberries are all cleaned and frozen and I should be starting to make my batches of jam again very soon.

Just a side note, I was giving the jams and applesauce to friends and family. Everyone raved about it and within weeks it was all gone! They have even brought me the jars back so that I can re-use them! I canít wait to get started!

Post# 1031196 , Reply# 38   4/29/2019 at 10:45 by DE409 (Maryland)        

I'm a 40-y/o male and I can, both hot-water bath and pressure (finally saved up enough Cabela's points to get an All-American Pressure Canner cheap). Applesauce from our trees and my own garden stuff but have been known to bulk can purchased things as well. Have done this for years. Pickles, jelly, peaches, etc.

No garden this year as no one ever seems to want to help with it and I don't need any more work for myself.

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