Category Archives: home canning

Moms Pickled Beets Recipe

My Mom was an industrious homemaker, she grew a large organic garden every year and then lovingly preserved the fresh picked produce. Here’s Mom’s pickled beet recipe, I found it written on a tattered, yellowed scrap of paper, tucked away safely in my recipe box. I’ve expanded on the details as the recipe only had the pickling solution.

Red BeetsYou’ll need:
10 1bs beets, cooked
7 quart or 14 pint canning jars with lids and rings
Canner with rack, or large pressure canner
Pickling solution, recipe below.

First, cook and peel beets. If you don’t know how read: How to cook beets. While the beets are cooking, wash and sterilize your canning jars and lids. Fill jars up to one half inch from the top with prepared beets, small ones can be left whole, large beets should be sliced. Prepare pickling solution.  Continue reading Moms Pickled Beets Recipe

Sweet and Sour Refrigerator Pickles

These sweet and sour refrigerator pickles are nice and crisp because the vegetables aren’t cooked. This recipe is very easy and great for anyone who is new to home canning. Making a batch or two is a good way to use up some of your extra garden produce, if you don’t have your own garden pick up some fresh produce at your local farm market. Your delicious homemade pickles would also make a welcome gift for someone special.

Ingredients for pickles:
4-6 cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 medium green or red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pickling or kosher salt
4-5 glass pint jars and lids

Directions: Wash vegetables with Watkins Fresh Wash and slice. Place prepared vegetables in a large nonmetal bowl, add pickling salt, mix well and let stand for 2 hours. Prepare syrup while cucumbers, onions and pepper are sitting in the brine. Drain vegetables well and pack loosely into sterilized glass jars. Read how to sterilize canning jars, if you are new to home canning or need a refresher. Pour the following syrup over top making sure to cover vegetables.

Ingredients for syrup:
2 cups sugar
2 cups white vinegar
1 Tbsp. Watkins Pickling Spices
1-1/2 tsp. Watkins Celery Seed
1-1/2 tsp. Watkins Garlic Flakes, optional

Directions: Combine syrup ingredients, let stand for 2 hours or until sugar dissolves. Keep refrigerated. Turn the jars occasionally to mix spices. Your pickles will be ready to eat in 3 days, flavor improves after a week. Makes 4 pints. Keeps well for 6 – 9 months but I’m sure they won’t last that long!

Watkins Pickling Spices is a traditional mixture of whole and broken spices, herbs and seeds, it’s a pantry basic used for pickles, corned beef brisket, seafood, marinades and other dishes. This seasonal spice is generally available from March to October. You can order it and your other spices in the Watkins US catalog or the Canadian catalog.

How To Sterilize Canning Jars

If you are making homemade jams, jellies or pickles you’ll need to sterilize your jars before you fill them with your preserves. To sterilize jars, place them in a large pot or canner, cover them with hot water, bring water to a boil and leave jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Then, place jars upside down on a clean towel or rack to drain.

If you are sealing your preserves you’ll need to sterilize the lids as well. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for sterilizing these, they are usually placed in boiling water as well.

I also sterilize my utensils as well; this includes the ladle, spoon and funnel for filling jars and the tongs or magnetic wand used for picking up hot lids and jars out of the water.

Although this is no longer recommended, jars may also be sterilized in the oven. I prefer this method for jams and jellies as it ensures the jars are dry, so there is no added moisture. However please note, I sterilize everything in boiling water first so I’m basically just keeping the jars hot and sterile. I highly recommend that you do the same.

So, after you remove your jars from the boiling water… Place the jars in the oven, I put them on a clean cookie sheet, turn the heat to 200 deg. F, once the oven has reached temperature, heat jars for 10 minutes. Then, turn off the oven leaving the jars inside until ready to fill.