Gram Irene’s Pickled Beets

Gram Irene's Pickled Beets - Pickled beet recipe that's pretty enough for a crystal bowl on a holiday table but easy enough to enjoy anytime.

When I was growing up, I remember many afternoons of sitting on the porch steps with a canning kettle full of steaming beets, peeling off their slippery skins to get them ready for pickling.  Although they been cooked, drained and covered in cold water, they could still hold a lot of heat, so tender fingers needed to toughen up in a hurry.  (My boys still squawk about how hot I keep the dishwater.  I think they need to peel more beets.)  Soon the canning shelves would be filled with jewel-like red jars.  There was always a jar of pickled beets in the fridge on hand for meals, and for the holidays they’d be served up in a fancy crystal dish.  Mom always canned up a big mess of beets each year, but I rarely made pickled beets since no one in the house would eat them except me.  Fast forward, and my eldest son has decided that he now enjoys pickled beets.  Given that he’s built like a linebacker, he can go through quite a few of them, so I figured it was time to dig out the pickling spice.  Here’s momma’s recipe.  It’s similar to the Ball Blue Book “Beet Pickles”, but just a little simpler on the spices. [Read more...]

Preserving the Bounty

Preserving the Bounty giveaway - amazing food preservation prize package, food storage and preservation articles,  vacuum sealing shelf life reference chart

The boys and I have been busy preserving the bounty on our homestead, so I thought it was a great time to team up with some of my favorite self-reliance blogging friends for another food preservation equipment giveaway.   I’ve also included a shortlist of my food storage and preservation articles on the website, and a chart showing how much longer vacuum sealing can extend shelf life for stored foods. [Read more...]

Canning Questions Answered – A Great Canning Resource

Canning Questions Answered - How Do I Get Started?  Do I Need a Pressure Canner? What Changes Can I Make to a Recipe?  Is There Anything You Cannot Can?

As a beginning canner, there are often canning questions that come up that might seem obvious to experienced food preservers, but aren’t so obvious when you’re starting out.  I’ve teamed up with some of my blogging friends (Chaya Foedus from Pantry Paratus, Janet Garman from Timber Creek Farm, and Diane Hamilton Coe from Peaceful Acres Farm) to answer over 15 of your home food preservation questions and recommend some great resources.  If you don’t find an answer to your question here, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help you out.

How do I get started canning?  What do I go to the store and buy?

The post “Getting Started With Home Canning” gives a detailed list of equipment commonly used for canning.  The most important piece is the canner.  A water bath canner, which is basically a large pot with a rack in the bottom, is the easiest to use and less expensive than a pressure canner. [Read more...]

Spring Into Canning Giveaway – Win Great Canning Supplies

Spring Into Canning Giveaway - All American Canner Model 921, Canning tool kit, Stainless steel ladle, Shrink wrap labels, Pomona Pectin and Canning DVD.

Welcome to our huge canning supply giveaway! 14 bloggers, 2 sponsors, and a complete canning set up.  Those of you who have been around a while know I do a fair amount of canning, and we have over 25 Canning and Preserving posts on the website, so I thought this would be a great fit for our community.

All the Canning Supplies You Need to Start Preserving! [Read more...]

2 Homemade Ketchup Recipes – Home Canned and Lacto-Fermented

2 Homemade Ketchup Recipes – Home Canned and Lacto-Fermented @ Common Sense Homeasteading

My youngest loves ketchup.  I think he could almost live on salsa and ketchup, if I’d let him.  This year we’ve turned roughly 130 pounds of tomatoes into salsa, and around 60 pounds into ketchup.  When I make homemade ketchup, I generally use it as a means to use up all the odds and ends of tomatoes rolling around, such as excess cherry tomatoes or slicing tomatoes that have split.  I’ll put a pot on the back of the stove and keep measuring tomatoes into it over a day or two, slowly cooking them down while I’m working on other projects in the kitchen.  (You could also use a slow cooker.)  The taste of this recipe is similar to a popular national brand – no big range of added spices – but like most home processed products, the flavor is richer and deeper.  You can really taste the fresh tomatoes, onions and garlic. [Read more...]