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Storing summer’s successes

Canning helps preserve rewards of growing season

All of that hot September weather extended the growing season and as kitchens start to cool down, it will be the perfect time to tackle fall canning projects.

At Petunias Marketplace in Spokane, the kitchen has been bustling as owner Stacy Blowers and employee Beverly Bailey put up produce from area farmers markets. They were recently processing Italian plums in spiced light syrup.

Blowers says she loves the way canning can capture a bit of summer in the jar.

“They are so good,” she says. “They are wonderful to pop open during Christmas time.”

Blowers makes a very light syrup and spikes it with cloves, cinnamon and orange zest. The plums are delicious alone, or spooned over yogurt, ice cream, pound cake or waffles, she says.

Petunias Marketplace is located at 2010 N. Madison St., just off of Northwest Boulevard. Blowers and her canning also can be found at the South Perry Farmers Market on Thursdays and the Liberty Lake Farmers Market on Saturdays.

Heather Scholten, blogger at Farmgirl Gourmet, recently made a simple peach butter and Asian plum sauce from summer’s bounty.

Scholten shared the recipe she used to make the gorgeous, golden spread, and there are other canning recipes on her blog, www.farmgirlgourmet.com.

Here are the recipes and three others to help celebrate the season:

Spiced Italian Plums

Adapted from Stacy Blowers, Petunias Marketplace, Spokane

6 to 10 pounds plums (see note)

2 quarts water

2 cups organic cane sugar

8 whole cloves

2 cinnamon sticks

Zest from two oranges

Prepare canner, jars and lids.

To prepare the light syrup, bring water to a boil in a stainless steel saucepan. Tie spices and zest into a cheesecloth. Add sugar and spices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until needed, taking care not to boil the syrup down.

Halve plums and pit. Pack plums into hot jars within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Ladle hot syrup into jar to cover plums, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot syrup. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.

Place jars in canner ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process pint jars for 20 minutes and quart jars for 25 minutes. Add 5 minutes of processing time for elevations of 1,001-3,000 feet. Add 10 minutes processing time for elevations of 3,001-6,000 feet. Add 15 minutes for elevations above 6,001 feet.

Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Note: Plums may be blanched and peeled, but they are usually preserved unpeeled. They may be left whole or cut in half and the pit removed. Pricking whole plums does not prevent the peel from cracking, but it does help to prevent the fruit from bursting

Yield: About 8 pint jars or 4 quart jars

Peach Butter Recipe

From Heather Scholten, Farmgirl Gourmet, www.farmgirlgourmet.com

6 pounds peaches

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 ½ cups sugar, more or less

Blanch peaches and peel.  Halve and pit then cut in quarters

In a large nonreactive saucepan combine peaches and lemon juice and toss to coat. Add ½ cup water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until peaches are tender, about 20 minutes.  Uncover and cook 10 minutes more.

Pass peaches through a food mill or fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. (You’ll need to work in batches.) Measure the puree and transfer to a large saucepan.  Stir in enough sugar to equal half the amount of peach puree.  Stir well to combine.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook until the butter mounds on a spoon, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Ladle into hot jars and process for 10 minutes for elevations up to 1,000 feet. Add 5 minutes of processing time for elevations of 1,001-3,000 feet. Add 10 minutes processing time for elevations of 3,001-6,000 feet. Add 15 minutes for elevations above 6,001 feet. 

Sealed jars can be stored for up to a year or, unsealed, in the refrigerator for 2 months.

Yield: 6 half pints.

Salsa Verde

From “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.” Editors write: “This spicy green tomato salsa certainly isn’t a traditional salsa verde, which is usually made with tomatillos, but we think it’s every bit as delicious. Enjoy it with grilled meats and fish or straight from the jar as a dip for tortilla chips.”

7 cups chopped, cored and peeled green tomatoes

5 to 10 jalapeno, habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and finely chopped (see note)

2 cups finely chopped red onions

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare canner, jars and lids.

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and lime juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.

Stir in cilantro, cumin, oregano, salt and black pepper. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot salsa. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process both 8 ounce and pint jars for 20 minutes. Add 5 minutes processing time for elevations of 1,001 to 3,000 feet. Add 10 minutes processing time for elevations of 3,001-6,000 feet. Add 15 minutes for elevations above 6,001 feet. 

Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Note: Use a variety of hot peppers to regulate the heat. If you don’t mind heat, leave the seeds and veins in the peppers.

Yield: About six 8-ounce jars or three pint jars

Spiced Tomato Jam

From The National Center for Home Food Preservation, www.uga.edu/nchfp/. First-time canners can find directions on the website. Read “Using Boiling Water Canners” and Principles of Home Canning” before beginning.

3 cups prepared tomatoes (prepare about 2 ¼ pounds tomatoes)

1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon rind

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ cup lemon juice

4 ½ cups sugar

1 box powdered pectin

To prepare tomatoes: Wash firm ripe tomatoes. Scald, peel and chop tomatoes. Place chopped tomatoes in saucepan and heat slowly to simmering, stirring constantly to prevent sticking and burning. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Measure 3 cups of the cooked tomatoes into a large saucepan. Add lemon rind, allspice, cinnamon and cloves.

To make jam: Sterilize canning jars. Add lemon juice to the prepared tomatoes in the saucepan. Measure sugar and set aside. Stir powdered pectin into prepared tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. At once, stir in sugar. Stir and bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Then boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Pour hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids.

Process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes at elevations below 1,000 feet. Process for 10 minutes for elevations of 1,001 to 6,000 feet. For elevations above 6,000 feet, process jam for 15 minutes.

Yield: About 5 half-pint jars

Sweet-and-Sour Pickled Onions

From “Put ’em up! A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling,” by Sherri Brooks Vinton. She writes: “I came up with this recipe when I noticed that the onions were disappearing faster than the cucumber slices from my jars of Bread-and-Butter Pickles – my friends liked their sweet taste so much that they were picking them out. Well, they can stop fishing around; here’s an onions-only recipe.”

4 cups distilled white vinegar

2 cups water

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 tablespoon mustard seed

1 tablespoon turmeric

4 pounds big, sweet onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, sliced

Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, celery seed, mustard seed and turmeric to a boil in a large nonreactive pot. Add the onions and garlic and return to a boil, stirring to ensure that all ingredients are heated through. Remove from the heat.

To refrigerate: Ladle the mixture into bowls or jars. Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

To can: Use the boiling-water method. Ladle into clean, hot half-pint jars, covering the onions by 1/4 inch with liquid. Leave 1/4 inch of headspace between the top of the liquid and the top of the jar. Release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean, center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 10 minutes for elevations of 1,001 to 3,000 feet. Add 10 minutes processing time for elevations of 3,001-6,000 feet. Add 15 minutes for elevations above 6,001 feet. 

Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool dark place for up to 1 year.

Yield: About 6 pints.



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