The leaves are turning, the air is getting cold, time to start canning some of your veggies! My friend Laura,
who is no longer in St. Louis with me, but in Chicago, who I miss VERY MUCH told me she was doing some caning. She is a new blogger as well: burgersnberries
. Laura and her mom took on a canning adventure and here’s their story!
Hey all! I’m Laura and Katie has asked me to write a guest post on canning. Katie is one of my very best friends and I am so glad she has asked me to write this for all of you on Coffee Lover’s Dilemma. This year my mom planted an awesome vegetable garden in our backyard. We had four tomato plants, a banana pepper plant, kohlrabi, radishes and green beans. One plant that has been producing more rapidly than we can eat is the banana pepper plant. We have about 15 peppers right now that there is no way we can eat before they go bad.
So my mom and I got it into our heads to try and pickle them for sandwiches and can them. Please note this is our first time canning, so there is sure to be a learning curve here. We searched online and found a recipe by Emeril and went out and bought all the supplies we needed at Menard’s.
We then washed and sterilized all of our jars and lids in a simmering water bath per instructions in our Ball Instructional Cookbook (great buy for anyone who wants to start canning!)
We kept the jars warm while we started prepping and cooking our peppers. We cut up garlic, onions, our peppers and then added then to vinegar with pickling spice and canning salt per the recipe. Please not that the recipe wasn’t all that great in the end and we would definitely find a different one next time we did this because the peppers got too soft and it was entirely too salty. Still taste good on a panini or roast beef sandwich.
Once the banana peppers were done cooking in the pickling liquids, we took the jars out one at a time and filled them using out funnel. We removed air bubbles and left a ¼ inch headspace on the jars. This was specified in our Ball Canning Cookbook. Once the jars were filled evenly, we used a magnetic lid lifter to sanitarily place the tops on our jars before putting on the lids and tightening until they were what the book called “hand tight.” You don’t want the lid too loose otherwise your liquids with move out and water will move in but it can’t be too tight otherwise it could interfere with seal development.
We then placed the jars in our water bath and processed for 20 minutes per our recipe.
Once the 20 minutes were up, we removed the jars using our jar lifter and let them cool for 24 hours by placing them on a kitchen towel spaced 2 inches apart. This is necessary to let the seal develop. I should note that all of our seals came out the first time. Beginner’s luck, perhaps? If any of the seals do not develop you should reprocess the jars in the water bath and let sit again.
With our 15ish peppers we got 5 jars of pickled banana peppers. We brought one up to our lakehouse to share with the families with whom we share the place and have one at home. Our other 3 are currently in our cool basement where we can keep them from 6 months-1 year according to our book as long as the seals are not broken. These need to be refrigerated once opened. If I find a better recipe, I will have Katie post it on her blog. All in all, canning ended up being a really fun process and my mom and I are planning on canning with our tomatoes once we get a larger yield.