Thursday, October 14, 2010

Canning Basics

A life-long canner my mother, Peggy Hemeyer, ventured off our family farm in Frankfort MO to lead a canning crash course out of my apartment in St Louis a few weeks back. Mom towed her favorite canning ware and I invited friends. We made peach preserves, hot pepper jelly, Italian peppers and sweet pickled peppers. Not a single person walked away without a jar of something delicious.

Canning is a surprisingly simple process and so much more fun with friends. There just so happens to be a plethora of fantastic recipes online. This is one of my favorites.


4 large green bell peppers
1/2 cup fresh hot red peppers, about 12, OR 4 tablespoons crushed dried red pepper
6 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 bottles liquid pectin, (6 oz each)


In a large pot, place peppers that have been ground fine, (use juice and pulp), sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Add pectin. Stir well. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour mixture into hot dry, sterilized half-pint jars, leaving a scant 1/4-inch head space. Seal immediately. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes; remove jars and let cool upright.

Makes 8 pints.

1. For best results preheat glass canning jars in microwave. For non-breakage insurance, place them on a damp cloth.

2.Always check your lids when you're finished making sure they're sealed. Simply press on the lid. It will pop if they're not sealed.

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