Saturday, July 30, 2022

July Canning List (With Links to Recipes When Available)

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I was going to do a life update for July and then I realized that I had so much canning I did this month, that it kind of required its own post.  To those who have e-mailed and asked me to share what I'm canning and to share recipes...I'll give it a shot.   I don't mess with recipes too much, in all honesty, and for the most part I go for recipes from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  If I use a recipe I find online I make sure that I feel, personally, that the recipe is 100% safe to make.  I usually stick to jams, jellies and pickles for anything I find online and even then I'm careful to make sure it follows safe canning methods and things.

Anyway, now onto the huge list of things I've canned this month.  I still have more on my canning list for next month, on top of whatever I might get in my CSA box that I can preserve to have this winter (I've got a few pickling recipes bookmarked in various books to use if I should get certain vegetables again this year :) and I am going to put on my next round of sauerkraut to ferment to can up next month as well this weekend.  So, yeah, I'm busy right now :).

So, here is some of my "projects" that I did this month. I'll post links, when available within the title for each canning session. 

1.  Zucchini Relish (Source:  The 1870's Homestead on YouTube)

My first week on our CSA vetted me two nice big zucchini to do something with.  My aim this summer is to preserve EVERYTHING I can out of the CSA for later use (as well as the garden and everywhere else) for use later on, so this was the perfect opportunity for me to try a recipe that I saw online.  It is nearly 100% the Ball Recipe for Zesty Zucchini relish, she just uses different spices that sounded better to me, so I used her recipe instead :).  It turned out really yummy and that's before it'll sit and mellow in the pantry, so I'd say it was a success.  I only had 6 cups of packed shredded zucchini to work with, so I halved her recipe and it came out perfectly (basically very little left).

2.  Blueberry Syrup and Raspberry Jam

Both of these recipes I got from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  However, with the raspberry jam, I went ahead and doubled the recipe and then I did can it in pints or 12 oz jars versus half pints  the recipe called for (processed 15 minutes in water bath versus 10 for 1/2 pints).  It is not recommended to double jam or jelly recipes as the pectin can get messed up in the recipe and it won't set, but I've never had a problem with raspberry jam.  I used frozen raspberries for this and it came out just fine.  I used bulk pectin and used 6 tablespoons per box of pectin.  But, if you are worried about the jam setting up, just make one recipe amount at a time and follow the directions.  Jam is seriously one of the easiest things to learn to can, so if you are a beginner, I'd go for that first :).

I ordered some Weck Jars with some credit card rewards points and decided to use those on some of the blueberry syrup as it tends to go everywhere when my husband is putting it on his pancakes with regular jars.  Weck jars are definitely turning into a learning curve for me.  They sealed great (lifting jars by glass lids with a rubber gasket standing between you and a huge mess to check the seal, is scary I had to admit), but trying to figure out headspace for a completely glass jar and lid with lids that recess down into the jar and things was confusing.  I know I'll improve as time goes on, but it was a bit more of a guessing game than I wanted it to be.  I also had to use a small funnel instead of a canning funnel with them as the opening at the top of the jar was too small to fit the canning funnel.  They are pretty, but are kind of a pain to work your head around.

Funny enough, I messed with the blueberry syrup recipe as well by putting the syrup into 1/2 pint jars, as I've done for years (or in the case of the Weck jars the measurement is a bit different yet) instead of full pints.  But, I still processed at the pint processing time for safety (that's a food processing guideline by the way...always go with the longest processing time if you are canning more than one thing or if you are downsizing your jars, etc).

3.  Easy Grape Jelly

I had bought a nice bottle of concord grape juice to make into grape jelly, put it aside and told the family it was for JELLY and not to touch it, looking forward to making jelly the next day.  Sure enough the teenage daughter heard nothing I said and cracked it open and proceeded to drink it down like the expensive treat it was.  After I got over my sputtering, infuriated ranting about how could anyone assume that a bottle of juice, set on the back corner of the counter with canning stuff all around it was for drinking, I went and found an alternative.  So, I ended up making grape jelly out of the white grape juice I had bought for the family to drink, instead (I prefer for the family to drink white grape juice for the sake of staining safety, so that is what we normally have for drinking in the house).  Not as pretty, but at least I got it done.  Seriously.  Teenagers.  Sigh.

4.  Sauerkraut  (Source:  Bella Online)

I've made this recipe for sauerkraut for years.  Yes, it is kind of a cheat, but I still use it and it does ferment nicely in the mason jars :).  I use the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving instructions when I go to can the sauerkraut.  I don't let the mixture seal in the jars during fermenting and call it me paranoid, but I like the whole processing process just to be sure it'll last on the shelf without picking up some funky flavors.

I LOVE this recipe for sauerkraut because you ferment in quart mason jars, which helps to keep the kraut clean and makes it easy to check up on how the fermenting is going.   I do a couple of things different from time to time.  I half the water during the fermentation stage and then add the additional 8 cups of water back into the recipe before I can it.  It gives you a slight ferment to the cabbage instead of a major one when the ferment period is up.  And since you essentially double the salt during the ferment, the cabbage ends up coming out with a crunchy consistency instead of being mushy when it is all said and done.  It came from me making a mistake on the water measurements one year as a new mom and it ended up being a happy accident when we tasted the final product.

This year I'm going to rotate batches between regular fermented kraut and then the slight fermented kraut and use them for different purposes throughout the year.

But, yeah, after all of that, the first batch of sauerkraut for the year is put up and the next batch is going to be put up this weekend to ferment.  Every year I put up more and more sauerkraut and every year we continue to go through it by the time of year is up.

5.  Apple Cider

I canned up fresh apple cider I had bought last year and froze for later use to keep it fresh.  I mulled one gallon of it with whole spices and just simmered it for a bit before removing the spices and canning it and the other gallon I canned without mulling it.  This will be drank, happily, through the winter months, by me if no one else (I LOVE apple cider :) and this way it will be in small enough portions that it won't turn into apple cider vinegar before I can finish it.  This will also help me come Thanksgiving when I make my green beans as that way I won't have to mull apple cider up from the store to make it.

I followed the Ball recipe (linked above) for processing times and head space.

6.  Tart Cherry Jelly

I had bought some tart cherry juice to try to drink it at night to help with sleep quality and also to help with inflammation in my back.  I was really hoping it would all work great and I wouldn't have to take pills anymore when my back was really bugging me.  I tried to drink it, I really did.  I even love cherries, so I assumed it would work out great. was just too much for me.  I had to add a bunch of sugar to make it palatable and it just seemed like I wasn't winning doing it that way.  So, I just looked up the Ball recipe for tart cherry jelly and made a recipe of it.  It came out great.  The daughter really likes it and can't wait to eat it later as it, "tastes like fresh cherries".  Works for me!!!

7.  Miso Pickled Relish

This was a recipe I came up with.  I got three huge kholarbi with my CSA box last week (the lady in front of me gave me hers) and I tried to think of what to do with them before they went bad on me.  I looked online and found that kholarbi isn't recommended for pressure canning (which I wasn't planning on doing anyway), but other than that I couldn't find a lot on pickling them other than they made good pickles (internet fail there).  I know that pretty much everything can be pickled safely, so I decided the biggest threat was making sure the brine would get through the kholarbi and pickle it safely since it is pretty dense.  So, I figured, what better way to get around density in a vegetable than to grate it and turn it into relish.  I used a Miso Pickled Vegetable recipe I found in the The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving and used that brine as the base.  I then shredded the kholarbi, some peeled and well cleaned carrots, a big onion (also from my CSA box) and some different colored bell peppers I had.  I put the shredded veggies into a big non-reactive bowl and then mixed them in with 1/4 cup canning salt.  I let them sit in the fridge in the salt for 18 hours and then drained the veggies well the next day, rinsed the veggies four times (to try and remove all of the surface salt), pressed out as much moisture as possible and then added the veggies to the now boiling brine.  I brought the mixture back to a boil and was ready to can it up.  I processed the 1/2 pint jars for 15 minutes (the amount of time on the original pickles recipe in the book for pints).

The only thing I wish I had done differently was one, I didn't catch a dent in one of my ball lids and ended up with a seal failure because of it (I have found a bunch of the flats of new jars are coming with sub-par lids on the jars, so be sure to check that before you use new jars!) and I wish I had been less distracted by the son so I could have removed all of the whole sesasonings that the original recipe called for before I added the veggies to the brine.  So now I have relish with whole peppercorns and whole mustard seed floating in them.  They'll be tasty still, but nothing quite like running into a peppercorn when you are trying to eat some relish.  Doh!

One advantage to having a failed jar, I guess, is that I was able to try the relish.  It is very tasty.  A bit tangy yet, but I'm going to try it again in a few weeks after it gets a chance to mellow out and I'll try it again :).

And there you go folks.  My canning adventures this month.  I still have a list to complete yet, but I am happy with what I've gotten done so far (especially when I include the other stuff I made back in February and such to add to the pantry).  I hope your summer is being productive so far as well!


  1. Wowzers, you’re on fire! It all sounds divine, too! Our garden is teeny, tiny and struggling. But, i’ll shop the farmers market. Everything’s just starting to come in. I love this time of year!

  2. My goodness, all your canning looks fantastic. There is some yummy summer goodness for later in the year.

  3. Good job on preserving all that! Today I canned potatoes, green beans from my garden. Tomorrow I will start canning the peaches I got from the local Mennonite Store. They are so good! I also have cucumbers to make into relish and the tomatoes are starting to come on. I'm so thankful for all these foods. I just need more hours in my day!