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Short note about equipment

I fear that I failed to mention one very important thing so far: you should have a rack of some sort in the bottom of the pot you’re using to process your quarts/pints when canning. This rack can be a round cake cooling rack found in the baking section of most stores or an actual rack that came with your canner/pressure cooker. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you have a rack in your canner; without it, the boiling water cannot circulate completely around the jars, and you may have a high failure rate (jars that do not seal) and/or you may have your jars bust in the canner during processing (not a good thing to have happen --- trust me!). Also, some people have expressed concern about the actual pot used for canning. Yes, there are canners out there, and yes, they are great to have. Me? I actually just use a very large granite pot with a cake rack in the bottom and also my gramma’s pressure cooker with the rack that came with it (the pressure cooker top is looonnnngggggg gone). My freezer's finally here!!!! Now if I could just get my husband to get it out of the box and actually hooked up in the kitchen....LOL Also, we went today to pick up our livestock for this season. However, the only animals we got were pets! Two rabbits and three little ducklings have joined our pack!



Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, and Huckleberries

1 1/2 - 3 lbs. berries per quart you want to can Sugar Water

Raw pack

1. Wash berries in cold water to help firm fruit and drain. 2. Make a light or medium syrup (see further down for this technique). 3. Keep syrup hot. 4. Ladle 1/2 c. hot syrup into HOT jars. 5. Fill with berries. 6. Gently shake jar to pack berries closely without crushing, leaving 1/2” space to rim. 7. Add hot syrup to cover berries if needed, leaving 1/2” space to rim. 8. Remove air bubbles. 9. Adjust caps. 10. Process in hot water bath: pints for 15 minutes, quarts for 20 minutes. Hot pack 1. Wash, drain, and measure berries. 2. Put berries in a large saucepot. 3. Add 1/4 c. to 1/2 c. sugar for each quart of berries and stir. 4. Let stand 2 hours in a cool place. 5. Cook mixture slowly until sugar dissolves and berries are hot throughout. 6. Ladle hot berries and syrup into hot jars, leaving 1/2” space to rim. 7. If there is not enough syrup to cover berries, add boiling water (1/2” space). 8. Remove air bubbles. 9. Adjust caps. 10. Process pints and quarts both for 15 minutes in a hot water bath. NOTE: Use raw pack for red raspberries and other berries that do NOT hold their shape well when heated. Use hot pack for blackberries and other berries that DO hold their shape when heated.


Red and black raspberries, blackberries Follow the same instructions as for hot pack berries(above) BUT LEAVE OUT THE SUGAR. Blueberries and Huckleberries for baking 2 - 3 lbs. berries for each quart you want to can 1. Wash berries and drain. 2. Put 2 - 3 QUARTS of berries in a jelly bag or cheesecloth (available at most any fabric stores). 3. Dip into boiling water until juice spots appear on cloth. 4. Pack berries into hot jars, leaving 1/2” space to rim. 5. Do not add sugar or liquid. 6. Adjust caps. 7. Process pints 15 minutes and quarts 20 minutes in a hot water bath. NOTE: During processing, berries will make their own juices, but these juices may NOT cover the tops of the berries. THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM. DO NOT OPEN THE JARS AFTER PROCESSING TO ADD LIQUID. Store the sealed jars as they are.


RASPBERRIES, BLACKBERRIES 1. Select fully ripe, firm berries. 2. Wash carefully in cold water, discarding soft, underripe or defective fruits. 3. Remove caps and stems. 4. Place berries in colander to drain. 5. Pack using one of the following methods: SUGAR PACK 1. Gently mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts berries until fruit is coated with the sugar. 2. Pack into plastic freezer bags. 3. Seal, label, and freeze. SYRUP PACK 1. Prepare a heavy syrup (use berry juice instead of water if desired) - see below for making syrups. 2. Pack drained berries into can or freeze jars or plastic freezer boxes. 3. Shake the container gently to pack the berries. 4. Cover berries with syrup, leaving 1/2” space to rim. 5. Seal, label, and freeze. PUREE 1. Select fully ripe berries and press through a food mill. 2. Ladle berry puree into can or freeze jars or plastic freezer boxes, leaving 1/2” space to rim. 3. Seal, label, and freeze. BLUEBERRIES, HUCKLEBERRIES, ELDERBERRIES, AND GOOSEBERRIES 1. Remove stems and immature or defective berries. 2. Wash thoroughly but QUICKLY in ice water. 3. Drain berries. 4. Pack using one of the following methods: DRY PACK This is by far the easiest, IMHO. 1. Pack the drained berries into plastic freezer bags. 2. Seal, label, and freeze. SUGAR PACK 1. Mix one quart of fresh berries and 2/3 c. sugar. 2. Pack into can or freeze jars or plastic freezer boxes. 3. Seal, label, and freeze. SYRUP PACK 1. Pack same as Berries, syrup pack (above). NOTE: You may heat syrup to boiling and immerse berries for one minute. Then remove berries and cool. Cool syrup also. Proceed as for Syrup Pack.


Honey and corn syrup can be used to substitute part of the sugar in the below recipes for syrups. Unsweetened fruit juice or water can be used in place of a sugar syrup. WHEN FRUITS ARE CANNED WITHOUT THE ADDITION OF SUGAR, THE HOT PACK METHOD MUST BE USED. FOR CANNING extra light/20% sugar - 1 1/4 c. sugar & 5 1/2 c. water light/30% sugar - 2 1/4 c. sugar & 5 1/4 c. water medium/40% sugar - 3 1/4 c. sugar & 5 c. water heavy/50% sugar - 4 1/4 c. sugar & 4 1/4 c. water Simply mix in large pot and heat thoroughly. FOR FREEZING Follow the above chart when creating syrups for freezing. FOLLOW INDIVIDUAL RECIPES FOR USING SUGAR SYRUP (in other words, it's isn't like canning where you must use either the hot pack or the sugar syrup in your recipes - each recipe for freezing will be a little different).


BLUEBERRIES 1. Chose large, firm blueberries with deep blue color. 2. Wash and remove stems. 3. Dip in boiling water 30 seconds to “check” (remove waxy buildup) skins. 4. Blueberries dried without boiling first have a puffy appearance!!! So boil them!!! 5. Dry at 130 - 135 degrees F until leathery. NOTE: Use like raisins in baked goods. Water content is 83%. FRUIT LEATHERS Simply follow the recipes listed last week for Strawberry Leather. Remember to boil all blueberries for leathers as well as for plain drying.


TIP FOR DRYING FRUITS WITHOUT A DEHYDRATOR!!! (this is great!) I wanted to also give you a frugal hint for those who want to make dried fruit leathers but don't have a dehydrator. I use the racks in my oven covered with new window screen (I use the fiberglass variety) cut to approximately 2 inches larger all the way around so you have room to tuck it under. I remove the racks and tuck the sides down and replace the racks, so they are held in place. You can then place the items on them to be dried. I have successfully dried jerky and home made banana and apple chips this way. To make fruit leather, I don't put the screen in, I just use cookie sheets covered with plastic wrap and placed in a slow oven, 170 degrees or less, until they're done. Make sure that the cookie sheets are small enough leave an inch or two gap all the way around to allow adequate ventilation. sent in by Denice AND THE FUNNY STORY OF GRAMMA, AUNT DONNA LOU, AND THE BEAR!!! Gramma was picking berries and chatting happily at Donna Lou. Finally Donna Lou didn't answer something, so she looked up --- at a huge bear happily sitting and munching berries while Gramma talked to him! sent in by Shannon As always, any comments, tips, stories, hints, and of course, recipes are welcome and will be added at some time or another to this page! So please, send them on in!!!! I can’t believe the response I’ve gotten to this page!!! And I’ve only “advertised” on three lists, so if any of you are on other lists besides the UCBirth, home ed, and deboxers lists, then please cut and paste this URL into a message and post it. The more we get here, the merrier!!! I’m working on archiving each week’s recipes so everyone can go back through them. I also have archived a section called “Getting Started” which lists all the canning materials you could (possibly) use, the definitions of a hot water bath and how to create one, how to process jars for canning, sterilization of jars, lids, caps, etc., and a list of terms and their definitions which we will be getting familiar with throughout this canning season. As always, the message board and chat room are open at all times. NEXT WEEK: I need all your great recipes for using fresh/frozen/canned berries! Thanks! Jeannettea =)

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