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 are a green thumb with an abundant garden (or just the lucky recipient of a generous gardener), you may be looking for ways to use all this good stuff up. What a great time to take up canning.
And even though it’s canning season right now, you don’t have to restrict your creation of jarred goods to the fall time. Keep an eye out for seasonal produce all year long, and browse recipes to suit those things. Right now is definitely a good time to get started, though; you’ll have lots of lovely jams and pickles to give away as gifts during the holidays.
Vinegar pickles (the kind that aren’t fermented) are quick and easy to make, as well as delicious. Carrots make crisp, crunchy, and pretty pickles! If this is your first time canning, you just need these basic supplies:
Two pots, one large enough to hold all your jars and keep them covered with boiling water, and one saucepan to boil your vinegar solution in.
A canning rack for the large pot to keep the jars off the bottom. Alternatively, you can set some extra screw bands on the bottom of the pot. This just keeps water circulating around the jars & keeps them from breaking.
Tongs that are sturdy enough for lifting jars in and out of the water bath, preferably with rubber grips on them for extra support.
A ladle and funnel for pouring your brine into the jars.
And of course, you will need clean, glass Mason jars with two-piece, self-sealing lids (the flat lids with the screw-on bands).
Pickled Rosemary Carrots
Adapted from Well Preserved by Mary Anne Dragan
Makes five 500 ml jars
3 cups water
3 cups vinegar
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup pickling salt
2 Tbsp black or mixed peppercorns
5 cloves of garlic
4 lbs of carrots, cut into sticks about 4 inches long and ½ inch wide
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary, about 3 inches long
Sterilize the empty jars in boiling water. Remove from water and place in each jar a garlic clove, then pack the carrots in upright, sliding in a sprig of rosemary as well.
In a saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then ladle into the jars over the carrots, leaving a ¼ inch space from the top of the jar. Wipe the rims clean before placing the lids on securely. Place in boiling water bath for 15 minutes, then remove with tongs and let cool to room temperature before storing in a cool place.
Do not open for at least 5 weeks to allow the flavours to develop.