Old-Fashioned Spicy Chow-Chow Relish

Summer is here! The gardens are growing fast and just waiting to burst with all kinds of treasures! Now is the busy time of year, as we prepare to work like busy ants and prepare for the long winter months ahead.

I enjoy making relish type preserves. Be it pickle style relish or hot pepper style relishes. A common relish made by the Amish is called Chow Chow. The recipe below is for a spicy Chow Chow. Canning steps are included.

Spicy Chow-Chow

Recipe makes 12 pints

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts of green beans
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (separated into floweretes)
  • 3 cups of shelled baby lima beans
  • 3 cups of fresh whole kernel corn
  • 1 quart of chopped onions
  • 4 sweet green peppers chopped
  • 1 – 4 of your favorite hot pepper chopped and deveined and seeded (Note: You choose your level of pain, jalapeno pepper on up. If you want no heat, add in a sweet bell pepper of a different color other than green to the peppers above.)
  • 2 quarts of chopped green tomatoes
  • 3 quarts of apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of pickling salt
  • 2 tablespoons of celery seed
  • 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons of dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered turmeric

Directions:

  1. Cut the green beans into 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Cook the green beans, cauliflower floweretes, lima beans and corn separately in boiling water until barely tender.
  3. Drain, mix with the onions, peppers and tomatoes in a very large kettle.
  4. In a separate pot, bring the vinegar to boil.
  5. Add in the sugar, salt, celery seed, mustard seed, dry mustard and turmeric into the boiling vinegar and stir until the sugar is dissolved completely.
  6. Pour the vinegar mixture over the vegetables.
  7. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir throughout the boiling process.
  8. Ladle into sterilized canning jars leaving 1/2 inches headspace (approximately 12 pint jars will be needed).
  9. Process your lids according to the water bath or steam bath method you are using for your canner.
  10. Place lids and bands on a clean top canning jar and screw on tight (not like Sampson tight, but tight enough to hold well.)
  11. Water bath/Steam bath can for 25 minutes.
  12. Take out of the canner and let rest for 24 hours (don’t move from their resting place for 24 hours).
  13. Listen for the glorious pop sound of the jar sealing.
  14. If any of the jars do not seal, you can exchange lids and re-can the jar or put that jar in the refrigerator to be the first to enjoy.
  15. Always refrigerate after opening a jar or an unsealed jar.
  16. The sealed jars will last about 2-3 years in a cool pantry.

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice

Dehydrating Potatoes for The Pantry

While potatoes can remain stored in a cool place for a fairly long time, its always a good idea for back up.

Potatoes are perfect for dehydration & long term storage and only take about 15 to 20 minutes to rehydrate for use.

This method can be used for both sliced & hashbrown shredded potatoes. However, do NOT skip over any of the steps.

  • Wash your potatoes well.
  • Cut out any blemishes, soft spots & the eyes.
  • I do not peel my potatoes, but if you wish to do so, go for it. The peel is where the vitamins are.
  • Slice in thin slices OR shred your potatoes. Dont do both in the same drying session.
  • Immediately place in cold ice water to prevent browning & discoloration.
  • THIS IS IMPORTANT DO NOT SKIP! When all of your potatoes are done. Rinse from the cold water. And place potatoes in a large pot of boiling water with about 1/2tsp of canning salt. This will prevent the potatoes from turning a funky black during the dehydrator process.
  • Blanche your potatoes for about 5 min. You want them still very firm but easy to stick a fork in. To soft and the fall apart.
  • Drain potatoes well away from hot water.
  • Layer slices on your dehydrator shelves. Slices should not overlap. Hashbrowns can touch bgg but dont pile.
  • Dehydrate at 160 degrees F for at least 6 hours.
  • Check often as you want absolutely no moisture at all in them. Many times I do this step overnight.
  • To store, I put in Mason jars and vacuum seal my jar lid then store!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly, or as a friend of mine calls it “Yard Lion Honey” is not your typical seasonal treat. While it is referred to as a jelly, its really much more the consistency of honey or agave syrup. This is the way it really is supposed to be.  Dandelion Jelly is a seasonal treat among Amish and Mennonite and truly lives up to the “Use what you have” standard.

My favorite way to use Dandelion Jelly is in tea to replace honey.  I also use it on breads and baked goods and with buttered biscuits or in grits.  Pretty much anything you think of using honey for, you can use Dandelion Jelly.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups of (packed) dandelion blooms separated from all greens.  This is the labor intensive part.
    • 1. Your blooms need to be fully opened and full of “fragrance”. The bigger the bloom the better.
    • 2.  NO SPRAYING OF ANYTHING.  Blooms must be from an all natural not bug spray, fertilizer spray, weed spray, etc.
    • 3. Blooms must be fresh and separate best within minutes after picking them.
    • 4. NO GREENS are to be left with the bloom “fluff” the greens will be bitter.

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  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1 box of low sugar natural fruit pectin
  • Yellow food coloring

SUPPLIES:

  • A large pot for Jelly Making
  • 5 half-pint canning jars with rings and lids
  • Water bath canner
  • Candy thermometer
  • Fine strainer tiny, tiny, tiny holes!

DIRECTIONS:

  1. After perfectly shredding your dandelion blooms to a bowl of dandelion petals. Measure out 4 cups of petals.
  2. Boil all 4 cups of water  in your jelly pot.
    1. We are beginning the process of making your “tea”
  3. Once up to a boil measure ot 2 cups of petals and put directly into the boiling water, stir in.
  4. Let boil for about 5 minutes.  Take off the heat, then let steep for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. With your strainer over a large bowl, pour the water and dandelion petals through the strainer.  Press the dandelion mush to get all the water out.  The water will look “dirty” it’s supposed.  The Dandelion mush can go to your chickens, compost bin or garden.
  6. Put the water back into your Jelly pot and bring back to a boil.
  7. Repeat the process with the next 2 cups of petals.
    1. put petals directly into the boiling water, stir in.
    2. Let boil for about 5 minutes, Take off the heat, then let steep for 20 to 25 minutes.
    3. With your strainer over a large bowl, pour the water and dandelion petals through the strainer.  Press the dandelion mush to get all the water out.  The water will look “dirty” it’s supposed.
  8. Put 3 cups of water BACK into your Jelly Pot and bring to a boil.
    1. I personally use any extra tea to add to kombucha brewing or save for the next batch of dandelion jelly.
  9. Add in your 4 cups of sugar and the pectin and bring to a boil. (I actually use 2/3 of a cup of natural pectin which I get in bulk from an Amish store instead of using mass produced boxed pectin).
  10. Have your candy thermometer in your liquid.
  11. When your thermometer gets to 250 degrees F, start your timer for 7 minutes.
    1. If you start foaming (and you will) add a pat of real whole butter as with any jam to deaden the foam.
  12. Once your time is up, remove the liquid from the heat.
  13. Add in 2 to 3 drops of yellow food color to intensify the golden color (the more pollen in the blooms the brighter the color will be).

CANNING & PRESERVING

As with anything made in season, its nice to stock up during God’s bountiful season, so you will want to preserve for the months when dandelions no longer bloom in mass amounts.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare your water bath or steam canner as directed.
  2. This recipe makes 5 half-pints of jelly so sterilize and prepare 5 half-pints, I usually have 1 or 2 4 ounce jars “just in case” ready to go as well.
  3. Prepare your lids and make sure you have good fitting rings.
  4. While your canner is getting ready fill your jars with the jelly leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  5. Wipe down the rims of the jars with a wet warm towel.
  6. Place your rings on your jars.
  7. Tightly screw on the rings (not like Samson tight, but nice and tight).
  8. Once your canner is ready, place your jars in the canner.
  9. Water Bath or Steam Can for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from the canner and let rest for 24 hours.
  11. Hearing that wonderful “POP!” letting you know that the jar is sealed, should happen fairly soon after the jars leave their hot canner.
  12. Let your jars rest for 24 hours before storing in a cool place like your basement pantry.

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I hope you enjoy this new seasonal treat and it finds a regular spot in your home pantry.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

 

 

Spiced Ham (Spam)

spamSandwich spread, spiced ham, ham loaf, Spam.  It has many names.  I’m sure as soon as you read “spam” you either thought “Yes!” or you may have thrown up a little.  I will tell you that homemade “spam” is nothing like today’s cheap meat in a can Spam.   Depending on the spices you use in making it, it can be different every time you make it as well.

You can also “can” this wonderful concoction and make it into a sandwich “spread”, but it will cook in the jar, as does any meat.

So, here we go:

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds fatty pork shoulder, cubed
  • ¼ pound skinless pork belly, cubed
  • ¼ pound ham, cubed
  • 1½ teaspoons pickling salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried jalapeno powder (we like spice)
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon  garlic diced
  • ½ teaspoon dehydrated onion flake (or dehydrated ramp flakes)
  • ½ cup ice water

Directions:

  1. To make the grinding easier, place the pork, spread out in the freezer on a tray until well chilled.  Not frozen, just well chilled.  You are working with RAW PORK, PLEASE USE PROPER FOOD PRECAUTIONS, KEEP YOUR MEAT SEPARATED AND AWAY FROM OTHER FOOD.
  2. Once everything is chilled, process the pork in sections in a food processor, once  each one achieves the texture you desire add to a large bowl. I like my ham a little bigger pieces then the pork and pork belly.
  3. Now add all your meat together and mix with a mixer with the spices.
  4. Slowly add in the ice water to the meat and spices.  You want to mix this until it is emulsified well.  Meat paste.  (I do realize that sounds gross….)

NON CANNING METHOD:

  • Transfer into a greased small loaf pans; smooth top with a greased rubber spatula. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in a larger pan with 2-inch tall sides. Fill the larger pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 300°F oven for 1½ hours. Let cool completely before removing from pan. Cut into thick slices and serve cold or shallow fried until crusty.

CANNING METHOD:

  • Requires a pressure caner.  Make sure you understand completely how to pressure can meat before doing this method!
  • Prepare your WIDE MOUTH Pint Jars as you would for normal meat preserving.
  • Make sure your meat mixture has NOTHING FROZEN LEFT IN IT!!!! NEVER can anything that is frozen or overly cold!
  • Pack your meat mixture into your jars leaving 1 1/2 inch head space.
  • Do not add any additional moisture.
  • Clean the edges of your jars, place your lids and rings (tightly but not like Samson tightly)
  • Place in your pressure caner and FOLLOW YOUR CANER’S DIRECTIONS!
  • Meat MUST pressure can for 75 minutes for pints once it reaches the canning stage.
  • Let your caner de-pressurize, and once you remove your jars, you will need to leave sitting for at least 24 hours.  Make sure they seal.
  • Place on your pantry shelf and you have processed spam as a quick grab.

NOTE:  The canning method COOKS the meat in the jar, so it is the shape of the jar.  Using the Wide Mouth jars allows you to “slide” it out of the jar and slice the spam and then fry or use as a spread, its already cooked!

It may seem like a lot of work, but the flavor is so much better than anything that is mass produced!  You will never eat store bought again!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice

 

 

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Strawberry Rhubarb JamOne of my favorite jam is Strawberry Rhubarb.  It just screams summer.  A little on a hot buttered sour dough biscuit is heaven!

Here is my recipe for a very simple, basic Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of fresh rhubarb, diced.  Make sure it is blushed (it has some red/pink color)
  • 4 cups of fresh strawberries diced (remove the caps)
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1.75 ounces of low sugar pectin
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Make sure your rhubarb is diced small, add to a large pot.
  2. Cap and dice your strawberries, add to the same large pot.
  3. Add in your lemon juice and heat the mixture until the fruit becomes soft.
  4. Mix your sugar and pectin to in a bowl, then add the mixture to your fruit 1 cup at a time.  Constantly mixing until all the sugar and pectin is in the fruit.
  5. Move your heat to high, constantly stirring.
  6. You can use a candy thermometer if you like, your key temperature is 200.  But you can also just use your eyes
  7. When it reaches a rolling boil and starts to foam, add in a quick pat of real butter (DO NOT USE FAKE BUTTER, YUCKY!!!!)  The butter tones down the foam.
  8. Keep on a high rolling boil and stir constantly for approximately 3 minutes.
  9. Take off the heat.
  10. Now I do a freezer test.  I have a small glass cup and a metal spoon and I put a wee bit of jam on the spoon and stick it in the freezer to fast cool.   Once the cup is cool, your jam should be the consistency it will be when it is “set”.  I’m picky with Strawberry Rhubarb, I don’t like a hard set or even a medium set I like it to spread like warm butter.  But if you want a firmer set than what you have, put back on the heat and bring to a full boil again for another 2 min.  repeat test until you have received the firmness you like.

Preserving:

This recipe makes about 8 half-pints of jam.

  1. Have your jars sterilized and ready to go with their lids and rings ready.  (I’m assuming you’ve water bath canned before here….)
  2. Fill your jars up to about 1/2 inch from the top with hot jam.
  3. Wipe the lips of your jars with a wet cloth to make sure you don’t have anything on the tops where the lids need to seal.
  4. Place your prepared lids on the jars, and sorta tightly screw on your rings.
  5. Place in your water bath or steam canner.
  6. Once your canner comes to a full boil, start timing at 15 minutes.
  7. After 15 min, remove canner from heat.
  8. CAREFULLY!!!!!!! Remove your lid and once by one remove your jars.
  9. Place your jars on a protective covering (I use a double towel) in an area that you do not need to bother the jars for 24 hours.
  10. When you hear the “pops” they are sealed.  If you have a jar that did not seal, put it in the fridge, it will be gone quickly.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Now all there is to do is enjoy the sweet gift of summer!!!!!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice

 

Tomato Powder

One of the most basic garden vegetables are tomatoes, cherry or normal size.  Its how many people get hooked on growing their own food.  One reason is because they are so prolific and easy to grow.  Note, Prolific!  Cherry, grape, salad tomatoes especially will create a ton of tomatoes during a season.  While in February as you long for the taste of a fresh, real, non-store bought tomato, by September you never want to eat one again.  Yet, they still continue to cover your plants!  What to do with all of them.

Unless you pickle the cherry tomatoes, you will have to find many friends to pawn them off on, they are too much trouble to can, in my opinion.  If you have larger tomatoes and don’t can, you will be in this same boat.  I don’t like to freeze tomatoes, they take up too much room and it is a messy processes.  What I like to do is dehydrate them and turn them into powder.  Yes, you read that right.

Powdered tomatoes are perfect for a vegetable thickener in sauce and pasta dishes as well as a base vegetable bullion for soups and stews.  The best thing is that 5 pounds of tomatoes can fit into a half-pint jar!  Space!  I really like this for my cherry tomatoes because the prep goes so fast, they add up fast and nothing is left to waste.

Here are the directions.

Tomato Powder

  1. Wash your tomatoes.
  2. Cut out any blemishes and stem area.
  3. Slice thin and place on your dehydrator rack (or on a cookie sheet with parchment paper if you are going to use your oven).
  4. Make sure they are not overlapping.  Tomatoes contain a lot of water.
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  6. I place my dehydrator on medium heat and this takes about 7 hours.  If you are using your oven, use the lowest heat and crack the door open to dry your slices.
  7. Dry until they are completely crispy with NO MOISTURE.
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  9. You can leave in this state if you want to vacuum seal at this stage and use like sun dried tomatoes as well.  I have one friend that will use vinegar and oil and put the in the refrigerator to use in salads.  I prefer not to utilize refrigerator space in that way.  This state also makes a wonderful sun dried tomato salad dressing.
  10. Place your ‘chips’ in a grinder and grind until a powder.
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  12. You can also add dehydrated garlic, onion, peppers, pretty much anything you want at this stage and grind all together to make sure its well mixed.  This would make a lovely stock base.
  13. Next transfer into an airtight container that is resistant to air and to moisture.  I prefer to vac-seal my jars with the exception of one that I will use often and that one will be put in my spice cabinet.
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This powder has so many uses.  My favorite way is to add a little tomato flavor and a thickener to dishes without all the water  content.  It works great as an alternative to a small amount of tomato paste as well.

Let me know how this turned out for you!

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

Okra

It has been a hot, rainy, humid summer here in Ohio.  The garden has loved it, but the one plant that has truly loved this year’s weather is our OKRA!  I grew up loving this vegetable which is widely used in the southern states, my family is very southern.  Waves at my Great Aunt Meg, who REALLY taught me to enjoy southern cooking back in Mentor, Tennessee!

I planted two varieties this year, one the shorter ruby and the other is the heirloom green, which by the way, grows taller than me.  Its a good thing my husband and I both LOVE, and that is an understatement, okra.  Because this year, I have harvested baskets of it and every day it seems that I have a new big basket to harvest every afternoon.  Yes, I am still harvesting well into September!  Okay so I may have planted 100 plants, but well, we love okra.

Now, what do you do with this odd, spiny, plant that when cooked creates what I call “Okra Boogers” or “Okra Snot” depending on who you want to shock and gross out at the time.  My husband refers to the okra peas as “rat eyes” especially in soups and stews.  Can you tell that we just love to have fun!  Oh, here is a warning.  Some people are very allergic to the fuzz that grows on okra, it causes almost a poison ivy affect to their skin.  I’ve never had this problem, but I do know some who do.

Okra is highly nutritious and it is filling as well as easy to grow in warm temperatures, which explains why you find it a lot in the southern states.  It’s very high in fiber as well as containing potassium, vitamin B, vitamin C, folic acid, and calcium. It’s low in calories and has a high dietary fiber content. Recently, a new benefit of including okra in your diet is being considered. Okra has been suggested to help manage blood sugar in cases of type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.  So in short, what’s not to like.

My husband’s absolute favorite for okra, is pickled okra.

Pickled Okra

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb of okra
  • 1/4 clove of garlic for each jar (6)
  • 1 dill flower head for each jar (6)
  • jalapeno pepper diced fine or red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups of apple cider vinager
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard seed
  • 6 half pint canning glass jars with lids and rings

Directions

  1. Clean your okra removing the tips and caps only (I keep some of the cap on).  Leave whole.
  2. Add 1/4 clove garlic in each jar.
  3. Add 1 dill flower in each jar.
  4. Pack your okra tightly in each jar leaving 1/2 inches head space.
  5. In a large pot on your stove.  Combine your Vinegar, water, salt, peppers, mustard seeds.
  6. Stir and bring to a full boil.  Do not stop stirring, your salt will burn.
  7. Ladle liquid into jars, leaving 1/2 inch head-space.
  8. Water bath process for 15 minutes half pints 20 minutes for pints.

 

Another way we like them is pan fried as a side dish.

Pan Fried Okra

  1.  Melt about a tablespoon of lard in a frying pan.
  2. In a bowl I whip up 1 egg and set to the side.
  3. I prepare the okra by taking off the tips and caps and slicing into thick rounds.
  4. I put all the okra into the egg batter and stir in some red pepper flakes, or some diced jalapeno.
  5. Next I add enough cornmeal to the egg and okra and stir it in the bowl to cover it all, you don’t want it corn patty thick, but just enough to give a nice coating.
  6. Once the lard is melted, add your mixture into the pan and “separate” the pieces and move around often in the hot lard to cook.
  7. You will want to watch it because it will cook fast and is easily burned.
  8. Serve hot or cold.

All this is fine and well until you realize you are becoming over run with okra, so how do you store it to enjoy later and in the winter when it is no longer in season?  In addition to the pickling, we also store two other ways.  Freezing and dehydrating.

Dehydrating your Okra

I like to dehydrate our okra because it takes up very little space, it gets rid of the “Okra Boogers” and it works fantastic for gumbos, soups and stews.

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  1. Wash your okra and remove the caps and tips.
  2. I flash steam my okra whole.
  3. Slice into rounds or wedges.  I like the wedges because they don’t shrink to itty-bitty pieces.
  4. Place in your dehydrator on low heat/vegetable heat and run until they are crispy and no sign of moisture.  You can also do this in the oven on the lowest temperature, door cracked upon, placing the okra on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Vac-Seal or store in an air-tight/moisture resistance container.

The final way is to freeze the okra.  I try not to do this because I don’t like to fill up the freezer with vegetables that can be stored other ways, but I will freeze some.  You can use this as fried okra, or in soups, stews and gumbos when you need it in the off season.

Freeze Store Okra

Warning you will be dealing with lots of “Okra Boogers” in this process.

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  1. Clean your okra, remove the tips and caps.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a full boil and turn off the water.
  3. Dunk your okra (whole) in the hot water for about 3 minutes.  This is a quick blanch.
  4. Dump the hot water out from around the hot okra and now fill the pot with ice cubes.  This prevents the okra from continuing to cook from the blanching process.
  5. Now take out each okra spear and cut into rounds.
  6. For large and woody spears of okra, discard the green pod and keep the okra peas (the white seeds), these are great in soups.  These are what my loving husband refers to as “Rat Eyes”.
  7. Once your spears are cut into rounds, put them in your vacuum seal bags and seal.  Make sure all air is out of the bag, then freeze.  I usually store in 2 cup quantities which is about a serving.

I hope you have enjoyed this post about all things Okra!  Feel free to share your recipes and questions.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

 

Sweet Heat Pickle Relish

I love a good pickle relish, especially on grilled bratwurst, but my favorite is to use in ham salad, egg salad, macaroni salad, you get the picture.  Of course, it wouldn’t be from the Rice Household without a little spark of heat.

Here is my recipe for my Sweet Heat Pickle Relish.

Ingredients:  (Makes about 8 half-pints of relish)

  • 4 cups of finely chopped cucumbers (skin on)
  • 2 cups of finely chopped onions
  • 1 green pepper finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper finely chopped (or 2 green if you don’t want a red one)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers finely chopped (remove the seeds and membranes for less heat)  *Use Latex gloves when working with any hot pepper.
  • 1/4 cup of pickling salt
  • 2 cups of cider vinegar (canning grade)
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard seed

Directions:

  1. I use my Ninja processor to finely chop my items.
  2. Combine the cucumbers, onion and peppers in a very large bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with the pickling salt and toss well (please put on latex gloves to avoid burning your face and eyes).
  4. Cover with ice and cold water and set to the side.
  5. Let the mixture stand for 2 hours minimum but no longer than 6 hours.
  6. Drain well, pressing out the excess water.
  7. Combine your cider vinegar, sugar, celery seed and mustard seed in a kettle.
  8. Bring liquid to a boil to dissolve the sugar.  It is important you stir while heating so the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom of your kettle.
  9. Add your chopped items to the liquid and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
  10. Pack into prepared and sterilized half pint (or quarter pint) jars, leaving a half inch head space.
  11. Water bath process for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove from your water bath canner to a place where they can seal.
  13. The pop will confirm your jars have sealed.
  14. Leave alone to settle for 12-24 hours before putting them in your pantry.

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Sweet Heat Pickle Relish

I hope you enjoy this wonderful condiment!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice

 

 

Dill Pickles

It’s now the end of July and the garden is in full force!  Especially the cucumbers, okra, eggplant and squash.

Every pantry should have some pickles tucked away as special treat.  Here is my favorite dill pickle brine recipe.  This is a very versatile recipe that can be used with beans (dilly beans), okra, squash, eggplant and especially cucumbers, just replace the cucumber spears with beans, okra or squash.

Ingredients (Makes 8 pints):

  • 4 pounds of pickling cucmbers
  • 8 heads of fresh dill
  • 8 cleaned cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of pickling salt
  • 4 cups of apple cider vinegar (canning grade)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Prepare your pint jars for canning (wash/sterilize).
  2. Prepare your water bath canner.
  3. Slice your cucumbers into spears that fit into pint jars leaving 1/2 inch head-space.
    1. For Okra, slice off the stems, leave the caps, and slice off the tip of the bottom.
    2. For dilly beans, remove the top stem area and the tip at the bottom.
    3. For squash slice like you would cucumbers.
    4. For eggplant, slice into rounds or into strips, skin on.
  4. Pack each jar tightly.
  5. Add one clove of garlic and one head of dill in each jar.
  6. Add in your red pepper flakes if you choose to have spicy.
  7. In a large pot combine your vinegar, water, mustard seeds and salt and bring to a boil.
  8. Pour hot liquid into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch head-space.
  9. Clean the mouth of each jar, placing on the lids and rings.  Make sure your rings are tight, but not like Hercules tight.
  10. Place in your water bath canner and process for 10 minutes AFTER your water bath canner reaches a full boil.  (Please refer to your canner’s directions for best results).
  11. Remove and cool, they will POP when sealed.
  12. It’s best to leave sitting for 12-24 hours before moving into storage.

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Dill pickles

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice

 

 

 

Sweet Summer Squash Pickles

The one thing about yellow crook neck (summer squash) is it’s either feast or famine! I intentionally planted 8 plants in our garden this year. We love this beautiful golden squash all sizes and prepares many ways. My favorite, and our grandson’s favorite, is sweet summer squash pickles. This is a recipe that uses water bath canning for storage.

Sweet Summer Squash Pickles

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups of summer squash sliced thin, not paper thin. Smaller sizes are best, larger circles can be quartered or halved.
  • 2 cups sweet onion, sliced thin,rings or half rings.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 green peppers, small. Diced into small cubes, no seeds please.
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups canning grade Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp mustard seed
  • 2 tsp celery seed.

Directions:

  1. Place sliced squash and sliced onion in a large bowl.
  2. Mix well with salt (to pull out moisture)
  3. Set squash aside for 30 min to an hour.
  4. Prepare in a large boil pot add your remaining ingredients: vinegar, sugar, peppers, celery seed, mustard seed.
  5. Bring to a rolling boil while stiring. Remove from heat.
  6. Transfer your squash mix into a large draining bowel to drain off pulled out moisture. Do not rinse.
  7. Add squash onion mix into the hot brine mix and stir in for about 5 min.
  8. Transfer into sterilized prepared jars for canning.
  9. Water bath can for 10 min at high boil. (Follow water bath instructions).
  10. Remove and cool.

After the joyous pops of sealed jars I do my best to not open for at least 2 weeks. I TRY anyway.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice