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How to ferment half-sour cucumber dill pickles in brine

If you love crunchy pickles, be sure to try this recipe for Half-Sour Pickles, which are extra crisp, refreshing, and not too salty. So why are they called “half sour”? To make pickles by the traditional method, a weak brine of about 6% is used and the cucumbers are allowed to fully ferment, a process that takes 1 to-4 weeks.… …click to read more…

How to pickle sweet or hot pepper rings (jalapeno, peperoncino, etc.)

Pickled peppers have a multitude of uses. Pickled pepper rings can go on sandwiches, burgers, and tacos. Sprinkle them over salads or chop them with onion and add to mayonnaise for a quick tartar sauce. Serve them with vegetarian meals (such as rice and beans) to add interest to grain dishes. Or serve them with smoked fish or cheese on… …click to read more…

How to make spicy red tomato or green pepper relish from one canning recipe

Canning relish recipes are a great way to preserve a variety of vegetables at the end of the season. From one basic relish recipe, you can create two different relishes, one red and spicy, the other green and zesty. Tip: Before you harvest or buy the fresh produce for any canning project, check that you have all of the required… …click to read more…

For the best preserved fruits and vegetables, understand maturity vs. ripeness

To preserve fruits and vegetables at their peak, it helps to understand the difference between maturity and ripeness. Maturity means the produce will ripen and become ready to eat after you pick it. Ripeness occurs when the color, flavor, and texture is fully developed. Once it is fully ripe, fresh produce begins the inevitable and declining spoilage process. Here’s a… …click to read more…

What do you know about botulism? How safe is home canning?

Clostridium botulinum is a common, everyday bacterium found in soil and on food. Only under certain conditions does it become harmful. In the absence of air, such as in canned foods, C. botulinum may produce botulin, the toxin that causes botulism poisoning. Historical perspective on botulism poisoning A century ago, botulism poisoning was a problem in improperly processed foods canned at… …click to read more…

Recipe for brandied peaches (rumtopf)

A rumtopf is a German tradition that layers fruit with rum and sugar. The traditional recipe uses a mixture of fruit, beginning with berries and cherries in spring or early summer and ending with stone fruits like peaches and apricots in early fall. Left to marinate until December, the rumtopf is consumed during the Christmas and New Year holidays. This… …click to read more…

Best food preservation methods for fresh vegetables

The best food preservation methods for fresh vegetables depends on their degree of ripeness. To preserve the best quality vegetables, it helps to understand the difference between maturity and ripeness. Maturity means the produce will ripen and become ready to eat after you pick it. Ripeness occurs when the color, flavor, and texture is fully developed. Once it is fully… …click to read more…

How to get started with the canning preservation method

The canning preservation method involves just a few essential concepts. Once you learn the basics, canning is a great way to turn fresh food into shelf-stable products that are safe for storage at room temperature. The fundamentals of canning have not changed since Frenchman Nicolas Appert invented the process over 200 years ago. People have the most trouble with canning when… …click to read more…

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