It’s summer and it’s time for canning all the bountiful fruits and vegetables. The Richmond Food Security Society once again is hosting a number of Canning Drop-in.
The Canning Drop-in started on Aug 2nd and for the month of August, it will be held at Garratt Wellness Center. The Canning Drop-in is scheduled every Tuesday from 5PM to around 8PM. You can bring your own produce to can and use the equipment and jars there or you can help to preserve produce from the Sharing Farm for the food bank.
Some of the participants did take advantage of the facilities and brought their own fruits for canning.
The above are apricot jam and raspberry jam made by some of the participants.
For the first Canning Drop-in, chef Karen DW showed us how to can herb jelly and made some garlic herb pesto. Here is the link to the recipe of making easy herb pestos that Karen DW did last year.
We made two types herb jellies, i.e. basil jelly and mint jelly. The herbs are harvested from the Richmond Sharing Farm that morning.
Karen brought some of the jelly that she made earlier for us to taste. The green color is mint jelly (with food coloring) while the amber color is basil jelly. They were delicious. Anyone has any idea of how to use these herb jelly other than enjoying them with bread?
- 2 cups (500 ml) coarsely chopped fresh herbs, loosely packed
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) unsweetened apple juice or dry white wine
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 1 cup (250 ml) white wine vinegar
- 5 1/4 cups (1300 ml) granulated sugar
- 1 pkg (57 g) powdered Fruit Pectin
Source: Karen DW; Bernadin
Yield: 6 x 250ml jars
Chef Karen DW will demonstrate how to can Tomatillo Salsa in the next Canning Drop-In.
Any large pot can be a canner. Just ensure that the pot is tall enough to hold water at least 2.5cm/1 inch deeper than your tallest jar. Place a cooling rack on the bottom of the pot, to raise the jars off the surface (helps to avoid excessive agitation). You can make a canning rack by tying a few old jar rings together with twist ties or twine. Otherwise, line the bottom of the canner with towels.
Wash with hot, soapy water, rinsing well. Inspect jars, and discard any with nicks. chips, or scratches, as these flaws can cause breakage. Set the jars into your canner, fill with water, and bring to simmering. Do not boil. Keep warm until ready to fill.
Wash with hot, soapy water, rinsing well. Heat the seals in hot, not boiling water, for 5 minutes. Rings do not need to be heated. When using, remove, remove lids from hot water using a non-metallic device, rubber gloves, or a magnetic stick. Avoid using any tools which may scratch or nick the sealing compound or the inside liner of the lid.
|You may chopped the herbs by knife or use a food processor to do the work. If using the food processor, combine the herbs, juice and vinegar and pulse until the herbs are coarsely chopped.
|Combine the herbs, juice or wine, water and vinegar in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil.
|Remove from heat; cover and let stand 15 minutes.
|Pour herb mixture through a dampened jelly bag or cheesecloth lined sieve suspended over a deep container. Let juice drip, undisturbed, 2 hours or overnight (squeezing bag may cause cloudy jelly).Since we do not have enough time, we used a fine sieve to strain the mixture.
|We pressed mixture through the sieve and ended up with a cloudy mixture. You can see the difference where the one in the square container which Karen did yesterday following proper procedure is clear.
|Measure 3-1/4 cups (800 ml) juice into a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Whisk in pectin until dissolved and add ½ tsp (2 ml) butter or margarine to reduce foaming, if desired.Karen shared with us that she experimented using freezer jam pectin for this recipe and it did not work out. The mixture did not jell and is liquidy. She once again reminded us that we need to follow the recipe precisely when coming to canning and baking.
|Over high heat, bring mixture to a boil. Add all the sugar.
|Stirring constantly, return mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. It’s important to use a deep pot as it will boil over. Boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat.
|Skim foam if necessary.
|Quickly ladle jelly into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using non metallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jelly. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
|Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining jelly.When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 10 minutes.
When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
Karen also shared with us a refreshing drink made with club soda and basil infused syrup. The basil infused syrup is made by dissolving equal amount of sugar and hot water and steep with a couple handful of basil, roughly chopped, for at least 15 minutes (or overnight) and strained. Just combine a couple of tablespoons of the syrup with a glass of club soda.
Karen, thank you for sharing all the wonderful recipes.
4 people like this post. Click yellow thumbie on the left if you like this post too.