My Adventures in Canning…..

I’ve got to admit, I have never been afraid of trying something new in the kitchen except for canning……everyone says it’s SO EASY but I could never get passed the fact that I was preserving food for my family to eat and what if I didn’t do it right or if it’s spoils or gets contaminated?

Since growing a garden though, I’ve had such great success and an over abundance with my harvests and would give them away to friends.  I needed to find a way to preserve some of it for later use.  CANNING was the only thing that came to mind.  After numerous readings, watching youtube, and asking people who canned, I said “I can do this”; and set out to buy my “equipment”.  I wanted to make sure I did this and did it RIGHT!

The very first on my list was canning cucumbers to make Dill Pickles.

Beautifully canned with fresh Dill from my garden.

Beautifully canned with fresh Dill from my garden.

SUCCESS!  We opened a few jars up a while ago and they were DEELISH! Still crunchy and not overpowering with its sourness.  After that success, I’ve since canned Pickled Squash, Sweet Pickles, Jalapeno Jelly and Peaches.

Sweet Pickles

Sweet Pickles

Pickled Squash

Pickled Squash

Last night, I wasn’t tired at all and knew I needed to do something with the jalapenos I picked from the garden that day; I decided to make some Jalapeno Pepper Jelly!  It was a process but I was able to make 6 (1/2 pints) with the recipe.  Here’s what I did:

JALAPENO PEPPER JELLY

jalapenos weighed3/4 – 1 lb. Jalapeno Peppers, washed with membranes removed

2 cups Apple cider vinegar

6 cups Sugar (YES 6!)

2 (6 fl. oz. pouches) Liquid Pectin (I used Sure Jell Certo)

Green food coloring (optional)

Wash your peppers and remove the membranes and seeds.  If you’d like the jelly with a little more “kick”, keep some of the membranes and seeds.  Add the peppers to a food processor along with 1 cup of the cider vinegar and process them until pureed finely.

Peppers and vinegar being processed.

Peppers and vinegar being processed.

jalapeno jelly boiling

Sugar, vinegar, and pepper puree boiling hard.

While that is going, make sure to be sterilizing your jars according to the manufacturers instructions.

Sterilizing my jars....

Sterilizing my jars….

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 cup cider vinegar and heat that on the stove top to dissolve the vinegar, add the pureed peppers to the sugar/vinegar mixture and bring this to a boil.  Boil for a good 10 minutes and continue to stir constantly! Stir in a few drops of green food coloring if using.  After the 10 minutes, add your liquid pectin to the mixture and continue to stir.  Allow this to boil hard for 1 minute.

Add your liquid pectin after 10 minutes of boiling.

Add your liquid pectin after 10 minutes of boiling.

Liquid Pectin, this is what's used to thicken your jam or jelly.....

Liquid Pectin, this is what’s used to thicken your jam or jelly…..

Remove from the stove top.  Remove your sterilized jars and place them onto a CLEAN towel.

Carefully ladle the jelly mixture into your clean sterilized jars, making sure to leave a headway of about 1/4 – 1/2-inch from the top.  Because I did not “puree” my peppers too finely, I had larger bits of pepper that I really didn’t want in my jelly.  I used a strainer to remove MOST but not ALL of the bits.

Straining some of the pepper pulp.....

Straining some of the pepper pulp…..

Using a clean dish cloth, dipped a part of it into the boiling water used to sterilize your jars, and wipe the mouth area of the jars clean, making sure that there is nothing on it to prevent the jars from sealing properly.

Wipe off any residue to get a good seal.....

Wipe off any residue to get a good seal…..

After doing this, add your sterilized lids and rings but do not tighten the rings too tight.

Cover with sterilized lids and rings.....

Cover with sterilized lids and rings…..

Bring your water bath back up to a boil; place your jars of jelly into the water bath and process or boiling for 10 minutes.  Do not start timing until it’s come to a hard boil.

Once the time is up; carefully remove your jars and set them onto a clean towel to cool off completely.

Bring the water up to a boil and then start your 10 minute timer.....

Bring the water up to a boil and then start your 10 minute timer…..

This will be about the time your start to hear those wonderful “PINGING & POPPING” sounds, which tells you that your jar has processed and sealed properly.  Leave them on the counter overnight, do not bother them.

In the morning, remove the rings and holding the jars by the lids, try to lift them off, if it doesn’t come off easily, it’s properly sealed.  You can store them without the rings this way.  Place them into a cool dark area, I used a cabinet in my kitchen.  Allow them to sit for about 1 week, and then you’re ready to use them.  If you’ve processed it correctly, they can keep for up to a year unopened.  If it did not process properly, place it in the refrigerator to use right away OR you can reprocess in the water bath again, but remember to add a NEW lid; lids are not reusable like the rings and jars.

I hope this helps you with your fear of canning, I know that it’s helped me……HAPPY CANNING!

I was able to make 6 (1/2 pints) with this recipe....

I was able to make 6 (1/2 pints) with this recipe….

3 thoughts on “My Adventures in Canning…..

  1. Rose, I pickle green mangoes the same way I can dill pickles — with the addition of whole garlic (lots) and some red hot peppers (some left whole and some crushed). I also add fresh dill and some pickling spice mix (I like the pickling spice mix from Willy-Som or Penzys). The garlic in the pickle mango, is an added bonus! My pickle mangoes are ready for consumption after 6 weeks in the fridge. It’s definitely worth the wait. The mangoes stay crisp and crunchy. I have tried the water bath method, but the refrigerated pickled mangoes are crispier.

  2. Isn’t it a great satisfying feeling when you can or jam? I do pickles, mangoes, garlic… I also jam strawberries picked from a nearby strawberrry patch as well as other fruits. But I especially like the mangoes when they’re in season here in Florida to jam or pickle. The last batch of green mangoes I pickled was in March — it stayed crisp and crunchy and oh so garlicky and spicy! Will have to give your pickled jalapenos a try and let you know. Thanks for sharing. Great blog, BTW!

    • It is a great feeling knowing, “YAH, I did that”. I would love to know how you canned the green mangoes. Being from an island, we love eating green mangoes and anything pickled. Thank you for your comment!
      ~Rose

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