Many of our hot peppers got into our homemade salsa (which has gotten hotter as the boys have gotten older), but I like to make up a batch of pickled peppers to use in tacos and enchiladas, or even to toss over the top of a roast when we want a little extra heat. Because hot peppers are not acidic, using a vinegar pickle allows them to be processed in boiling water bath canner. For this recipe you can use jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, or whatever other hot peppers you have available. [Read more…]
I’m lucky enough to be able to purchase raw honey in bulk from a local apiary, so we always have it stocked. The many uses of honey make it one of my first “go to” home remedies, and a delicious addition to many recipes. Below I list some of our favorite honey uses that are too good not to share. [Read more…]
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…]
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…]
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…]