Canning And Pickles

A Passion for Preserving

If you love the gentle pop-pop-popping of a jar lid, you might just be a home canner. For Michelle Christensen-Toews, it’s one of the many satisfying things about preserving food. “You only hear it as you’re clearing up. You’re washing the dishes and you start to hear the popping and you know that things are …

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Fireweed Jelly

Fireweed Jelly Yield: approximately 15 x 125 ml jars Ingredients: 8 cups fireweed blossoms (no stems or leaves) ¼ cup lemon juice 4 ½ cups water 2 packages powdered pectin 5 cups sugar Method: Collect the fireweed blossoms. Avoid the green stems and leaves. I harvest the blooming stalks while my patient wife picks and …

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Deep Fried Pickles

Bar snacks are the best. Any sort of deep fried appy always gets my attention. And deep fried pickles catch my gaze more so than the rest. Being a pickle lover I generally have all the ingredients on hand to be able to make up a batch without much notice. There are a couple drawbacks …

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Growing in the Dark

I was reminded of the importance of seedling density as I wandered away from my usual mung beans and lentils into tiny seed territory recently. While I do enjoy the little sprouts – alfalfas and mustards and the like – I normally can’t be bothered when I am quite satisfied with what I see as …

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For the Love of Tomatoes

Allow me take you back to some 65 years to a recipe dated in my mother’s hand written book as 1951. That was a memorable year for me as I had waited patiently for years to reach 18, so I could join the Air Force without my parent’s consent. Over the years I had six …

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Tools of the Trade

You know that thing you’ve had for years and haven’t been quite willing to part with, though you haven’t yet discovered its particular niche? Mine is a small hand-crank cast iron meat grinder, and the niche has been found. Two in fact, in the disparate realms of ferments and ice-cream. I’ve been on a pretty …

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Pickling Salt and Rubber Gloves

I recently came into contact with a terrifying Yukon beast: Mus musculus, the house mouse. After the encounter, I contacted everyone I knew, in complete panic.  Kosher and authentic sea salt will also work in place of pickling salt. Rubber gloves are handy things to have around, for cleaning up after mice or cutting up …

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Basking in the virtue of boiling-water baths

The smugness attack hit a few weeks back, while my wife was visiting an out-of-town friend. Perhaps it was boredom or the way the pre-autumn sun slanted down on a Saturday morning. Perhaps it had spotted a binful of perfect pickling cukes, cheek-by-jowl with lacy fronds of fresh dill the previous evening. Whatever factors were …

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Pickled Rosemary Carrots

Bring on the cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice – it’s fall! My Facebook has been blowing up with harvest pictures: oversized squash, pounds of potatoes, and buckets of berries. I’ve also been seeing pictures of other people’s canning projects, which always inspires and motivates me to come up with new and exciting recipes. If you …

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Curry Cauliflower Pickles

When I was a kid, we had yellow curry powder in the house for exactly three dishes: curried rice with raisins, curried chicken steamed buns and these deliciously addictive curried crab puffs my parents would make for special occasions. Although very mild as far as heat level goes, the power of that spice has always …

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That Wasn’t the Plan

I always forget the way this works, how fast things change here. In the hot, hot days of summer, I think it will last forever and then suddenly, one rainy July day, there it is. The chill, maybe a wool sweater, the thought of lighting a fire crosses your mind, and you notice the first …

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Chunky Chipotle Salsa

What do robots dip in salsa? Microchips!  Salsa is the Spanish and Italian word for ‘sauce’, and besides being incredibly easy to prepare (chop stuff up and mix together), it’s also flexible in its variation. Salsa can be made out of nearly any fruit or vegetable, to suit any sweet or savoury purpose. Chopped strawberries, …

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Cumin Mango Chutney

Having trouble finding uses for your abundant mango crops? Look no further than this exotic chutney, combining the bright, tropical flavour of mango with the warm, spicy-sweet tones of cumin. If you’ve never had it before, chutney is sweet and savoury, with a chunky, salsa-like texture. It’s a perfect addition to a cheese plate, a …

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Hawaii in a Mason Jar

One thing I often notice about winter is the way it makes you really appreciate warmth. It feels great to get out of the cold, cuddle up under a blanket and enjoy a hot beverage while you jealously flick through pictures online of other people’s beachside holidays. I’ve lived in Yukon for almost a year …

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Ferments

If our external environment is a reflection of what is happening within, I must be going through a deep transformation. My little cabin is filled with aromas emanating from myriad sources — jars and jugs of various ferments, baskets and bundles of herbs hanging from every available hook and corner, and an ever-present pot of …

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Get Pickled!

This is my favorite time of year. The harvests are in, and whether you garden or purchase from local farms, this is when you can preserve a nourishing, tasty abundance of food for the winter.There are many ways to do this — drying, freezing, and fermenting retains the most nutrients. Canning preserves minerals, but most …

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Food Security

Winter; a season many people dread. The extra work of shovelling snow, the layers of clothing, the cold temperatures, and even the shorter daylight hours are something to be endured. But I like winter, and always have. To me, it’s a time of working together — even if it is just to get a vehicle …

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Canning Wild Meat

Before electricity, drying and canning were the only ways to preserve meat, but I’ll bet it didn’t take long to get tired of eating dried meat.? With freezers in every home, canning meat has become very uncommon – which is a shame because it is easy, tasty, and it really tenderizes tough meat. It’s also …

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Here Comes the Sun

When winter is in its grip and snow is all around, take heart: the sun is not far away. Make it arrive sooner by enjoying some marmalade, aka “sunshine in a jar”. By this time of winter, the Klondikers of old treasured the batches of canning, especially when it was something as toothsome as the …

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Oh What a Pear!

By this time of the year in old Klondike days, food supplies were running a bit low. However, in most cabins there was flour for bread baking and a few tins of fruit. In my perusal of food references (“grub”) in the Yukon Archives, I find many references to canned pears. Canned pears together with …

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Best ways to use heat

Gardening maintenance is probably on a lot of minds lately. When should I get the carrots out? Will my greens last another frost? What on earth can I do with all this spinach? After asking myself these questions, I began my search for the best ways of preserving my valuable produce. Canning and other heating …

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Canning Fish and Wild Game

A very traditional—often thought of as old-fashioned—way of preserving fish and wild game is canning using the pressure of steam. Unless you have a friend to lend you a pressure canner, the start-up cost can be between $100 and $200 to purchase the necessary equipment and accessories. In olden times, cans were used even at …

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