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Sunday, July 24, 2011

First of the summer canning is done!

This summer seems crazier than previous summers.  Time is flying by and there is so much left to do.  The summer has taken it's own sweet time getting here in Oregon, so today we put up some peas.  Normally peas would have stopped long before the end of July, but ours are still going strong.  We have been referring to them as the Jurassic peas.  Given the amount of time they have been growing, the vines are HUGE.  The amount of both regular sugar snap and snow peas got out of hand this week, so I thought I would pickle some.  Here is what I did:

I cut one of my jalapeno peppers and sliced it into seven pieces
I cut as much dill as I could with out harming my plant, it was not much, maybe 4 tablespoons
Sterilize your jars and add 3 peppercorns and a jalapeno slice to the bottom of 4 1/2 pint jars and divide the rest of the jalapenos and 4 peppercorns to 2 pint and a half jars.

I added 2 1/4 cups of white vinegar to a pan with 1/4 cup of salt
I added the chopped dill
bring it to a simmer to dissolve the salt
Then I added 2 1/4 cups of cold water to it as soon as the salt was dissolved and removed it from the heat.
Next I chopped all the ends off the peas, taking out the string when needed.
I then laid my jars on their sides and packed them full of peas.  Make sure that there is 1/2 inch head space at the top of the jar.
Meanwhile, my cannier is on the stove getting hot.  We just put 2 inches of water in it.  My lids and rings are in a pan of hot water to sterilize my jars earlier.

Mark helps me now.  We fill the jars with the warm brine leaving 1/2 of head space at the top, put on the lids and rings and place them in the canner making sure the lid is locked.  Now we cranked the heat and let it come to 10 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes.  It may be different where you are.  Elevation makes a difference.  The National Center for Food Preservation can help you with the amount of pressure and times.

All pickled and lids are snapping closed.  I LOVE that popping sound.  When winter hits we will have some great snacks!

A good friend of mine asked us to go pick blackberries at a friend of hers farm in Dayton Oregon.  Devin and I went to swimming practice and then met Suzanne and her son Chad and rode to Dayton.  We were pleasantly surprised to find acres and acres of Marion berries.  Marion berries only grow here in Oregon and are huge and sweet.  Karen and Bob told us to pick all we wanted so we did.  That is Suzanne and I did while the boys chased chickens, found baby birds and petted the neighbors dog all while eating a few sandwiches and tons of peanut butter cookies!  I can home with about 5 gallons of berries, just me, that does not count Suzanne's haul.  I washed them right away and broke out the canning equipment.  Mark, bless his heart, helped me can them all, even after a long day at work.  Here is how we did it:

We cleaned and put all the berries in a large pot, adding more as they cooked down.  To this I added 3 cups of sugar and planned on adding 1 package of no sugar added pectin later, after the food mill step.  Yes, I know I added sugar, but you do want to add a little and it was one cup for every gallon, I cooked down three gallons.
 These babies are huge!  Over an inch long, every darn berry was!  I it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We used a food mill to remove all the seeds.  I find if I crank (or Mark does) 4 times counter clockwise and twice clockwise it goes the fastest.  Then simply fill your sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch of head space at the top.  Put on your sterilized jar lids and rings.  We filled 8 pints jars at this stage and put them in the cannier for ten minutes with no pressure.  This is our syrup for the year.  What was left in the pan we added 1 package of no sugar added pectin to and then canned in 14 half pint jars for 10 minutes.  Again, if you have any question of pressure and times The National Center for Food Preservation can help you.

 Yummy and super yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Next we took the whole washed berries, packed them full into four 1/2 gallon jars, leaving and inch of head space.  We added 1 tablespoon of sugar and filled with water to the 1 inch below the rim mark.  We canned them for 40 minutes in a hot water bath, no pressure.  These we will use for cobbler and pies.

Well that was our week, not including the practices and swim meets, visits with family and other crazy unexpected stuff.  What did you do?  Hope you enjoy the instructions and pictures.  Talk to you next post!
This is where we get a lot of our canning information on what and how in case you need a great book on stocking up: 


  1. Awwww, all my peas died. I have not had a chance to do a second planting yet. usually we have them early and late and all summer long, darn it. They are my fave garden planting. Well the tomatoes squash and cuces *knock wood* are coming along well :) Oh Blackcaps- I picked those for $ and it was miserable :D Hot long hours and turns out- I don;t like them so no munching! Blueberries and raspberries- why couldn't it have been those? :B Looks like you will have a yummy winter!

  2. qzanny, ours have just not left. Our oldest took home a big bag to snack on again last night and we eat them off the vines everyday. Our neighbor gave us a bunch of blueberries, our bushes are just not old enough to produce much...maybe next year. Can't wait for all the rest to ripen! I am hoping for the yummy winter. Good luck and keep your toes crossed for us too!


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