Canning

Chow Chow relish – water bath canning

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Chow Chow Relish

 

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Washing the days harvest

While it may be the end of summer for some, I am not going down without a fight. My garden is still giving me lots of veggies; it even has finally snapped out of it and we have fresh garden tomatoes. I have made a ridiculous amount of kosher dill pickles. My zucchini plants did not do well this year, maybe a dozen in total and only two of the were the HUGE ones.  I gave my Dad one so he could make his lasagna he loves. My daughter used up the other one and made something new to us but a keeper.

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sterilizing the jars in my dishwasher

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cut off the ends and toss, then slice as you want them, I do way more chunks then spears

 

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Heating up the water while I prepare the cucumbers and the pickling spices

Last week I mentioned that I was going to share a recipe that my daughter made a couple of weeks ago with the super large zucchini and some other garden goodies. While I don’t have any pictures of her ingredients and process but I did teach her how to can some of her chow chow relish.
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I did take pictures of the last canning I did with the cucumbers so I will share those photos with you. Canning using the water bath method is actually pretty easy and you can use this method with quite a few ingredients though not everything you grow or make with the veggies.

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about to go into the boiling water

Here is how the recipe described what chow chow is. It is finely minced pickled-vegetable relish that walks the line between tangy and sweet in each zippy bite. For gardeners faced with the daunting task of tackling a late-summer squash surplus, chow chow can quickly become a lifesaver. Looks like I will be buying more mason jars for next years harvest.

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covered with boiling water for 15 minutes

 

Chow Chow Relish
great on hot dogs and burgers
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Ingredients
  1. 2/3 pound tomatillos, minced (about 2 cups)
  2. 11/2 pounds squash, minced (about 4 cups)
  3. 1 pound red onions, minced (about 3 cups)
  4. 1/2 head cauliflower, minced (about 1 cup)
  5. 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  6. 1/4 cup kosher salt
  7. 1/4 cup spice blend (recipe to follow)
  8. 11/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  9. 11/2 cups raw sugar
Instructions
  1. Placed minced vegetables in a colander over the sink or a large bowl and toss with the salt. Mixing until well combined. Let the vegetables rest overnight, allowing excess water to drain off. Rinse the vegetables thoroughly and gently removing the excess salt. Pat dry.
  2. Place the spice blend in a square of cheesecloth and secure with a piece of string to make a small pouch. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the vegetables and spice bag.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables become tender and start to form a slurry, about 40 minutes.
  4. Remove the spicebag and ladle the chow chow into airtight glass jars. Filling each jar about three-quarters full. Chow chow will keep refrigerated for up to a week. To keep longer using the water bath method and store up to 18 months or longer if kept in a cool, dry place.
Notes
  1. Spice Blend
  2. 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  3. 3 bay leaves, torn
  4. 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  5. 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon whole juniper berries
  7. 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  8. 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  9. 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  10. Place all the ingredients in a lidded jar and shake to combine
Adapted from Summer Squash by Sarah Baird short stack vol 15
Adapted from Summer Squash by Sarah Baird short stack vol 15
Cooking at Clark Towers https://cookingatclarktowers.com/

Strawberry Jam

My husband and I were going to clean and freeze some of the strawberries we; actually he picked from our garden. But once they are frozen, they are really only good for smoothies or so we thought. He asked if I knew how to make strawberry jam. I have canned pickles, beets, tomatoes etc. but never tried making jelly or jam. I found an easy recipe and thought why not try it, I didn’t have to run out for anything and he was helping me so why not.

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He cleaned and hulled the berries; I cleaned the canning jars and covers. Using my food processor I smashed all that he cleaned and added them to one of my large heavy bottom pots. Added some sugar and lemon juice and started boiling it down to release the natural pectin in the berries. It is important to get the temperature to 220’ degrees F so the mixture will not be too runny.

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I will admit while the jam tasted great, I boiled it too long and it came too thick. Another live and learn lesson in the kitchen. I will share with you what I am going to do the next time and I am sure it will come out perfect.

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I did take one of the jars and tested adding a very small amount of water and mixing it up; it made it much more the consistency it should be.

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While canning in a water bath isn’t really difficult; you do want to make sure you start with cleaned and processed jars and covers. And you want to make sure you boil your filled jars for as long as is required. I boiled my jars for 10 minutes; I think you could go up to 15 minutes and still be fine.

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4 cups of smashed cleaned and hulled strawberries
3-4 cups of sugar – to taste
¼ cup lemon juice

Cook on low temperature till sugar dissolves. Slowly bring the berries up to a boil stirring occasionally. Here is where it can get a little tricky so pay attention to what you are doing. No emptying the dishwasher or folding laundry etc. using a candy thermometer and being careful not to burn yourself; which is why I mentioned using a large pot; it will help keep the liquid from splattering on you while you stir. When it reaches 220 degrees I suggest boiling it for 2-4 minutes. Here is where I went wrong and boiled it for 10 minutes; yeah that was way too long though adding a little bit of water helped it come back to a spreadable consistency.

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Proof is in the eating, while I writing this; my husband just made himself a PB&J sandwich and he isn’t a PB fan so I may try some other berries in the near future.
Recipe adapted from allrecipes – katherin