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Zucchini jam and plum reserves

Putting up excess garden produce can be accomplished in several ways

July 1, 2020
By Jean Teller - Grit Magazine , Farm News

By JEAN TELLER

GRIT Magazine

Reports on food safety can be alarming, and many people have started their own gardens to counteract such concerns, in addition to yearning for more flavorful produce. Folks also are learning that great taste doesn't need to end when the harvest is finished.

Article Photos

-Submitted photo

Utilize zucchini from your garden to make relish or even jam. The National Center for Home Food Preservation does not recommend canning summer squash or zucchini. They do however, recommend freezing, drying or pickling those produce.

As the season continues, the garden is green, growing with produce galore. The dinner table is filled with fresh vegetables every day, and even the neighbors are benefiting from your generosity. Yet, ripening on the vines are still more tomatoes, beans, carrots, squash and other goods.

What to do? Do as our ancestors did, and put by food for the winter. Canning fresh produce-whether from your own garden or from the local farmers' market-isn't as difficult as you might think. It can be a time-consuming endeavor, however, to preserve food-either by canning, freezing, or drying.

The first step is to learn more about canning. Some of us were lucky enough to learn the art following our mothers and grandmothers around the kitchen. Some of us were not so blessed. We have the solution, though. We have published a number of articles about canning, including "U Can Can," a guide for beginners from the July/August 2011 issue; "Save Money With Home-Canned Foods," the Comfort Foods article found in the September/October 2012 issue; and "Canning Made Easy," an all-around informational article from our September/October 2007 issue.

The articles have in common a straightforward, no-nonsense approach, a clear sense of encouragement for those just starting on the canning journey, and a few recipes to help you begin your new endeavor. And that's just the tip of the iceberg: Check out our website for more canning articles.

Other great sources on canning can be found at the public library, the county extension office, or on the website for the National Center for Home Food Preservation, NCHFP.uga.edu, which is based at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Read all you can, follow the recipes and directions closely (canning doesn't lend itself to experimentation), and then head for the kitchen and put your knowledge to work.

When you see those colorful jars lined up on the pantry shelves, pat yourself on the back and give a sigh of relief. Your work in the garden has been preserved for the world to see and for your family to enjoy all year long.

Zucchini relish

10 cups ground zucchini

4 cups ground onions

5 tablespoons canning or pickling salt

21/4 cups white vinegar

41/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons celery salt

1 sweet green pepper, chopped fine

1 sweet red pepper, chopped fine

Wash and sterilize jars, and prepare two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions.

In large bowl, combine zucchini, onions and salt; mix well. Let stand overnight.

Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again. Put into large kettle. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until mixture reaches desired consistency.

Remove from heat. Skim off foam and continue to stir then skim after each stirring for 5 minutes, allowing mixture to cool slightly.

Ladle mixture immediately into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with dampened paper towel; adjust two-piece canning lids. Process for 10 minutes in boiling-water bath canner; adjust for altitude. Yields approximately 5 pints.

Most of the jam, jelly and marmalade recipes were quite similar. From Marian Evans, Emmetsburg, comes a jam recipe that freezes well.

Zucchini jam

6 cups peeled and grated zucchini

4 tablespoons water

6 cups sugar

1 medium can (15 to 16 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 large package (6 ounces) apricot or orange gelatin

In large saucepan, combine zucchini and water. Cook for 10 minutes; drain liquid.

Add sugar, pineapple and lemon juice. Boil for 6 minutes. Add gelatin and stir well.

Immediately pour mixture into hot, sterilized jelly jars. Seal and refrigerate or freeze.

Note: The National Center for Home Food Preservation does not recommend canning summer squash or zucchini. Processing times are undetermined for the low-acid vegetable, which require pressure canning. They recommend freezing, drying or pickling for summer squash and zucchini.

Pass the plums, please

Karen also requested recipes using sandhill plums. "Thanks to the birds, we now have a mature stand of sandhill plums on the north side of our limestone barn," she writes.

Cathy Dabbs, Henagar, Alabama, sends a jam recipe that sounds good-and easy to make.

Fresh plum jam

4 pounds fresh plums

1/2 cup water

1 box (1.75 ounces) pectin

8 cups sugar

Wash and sterilize jars, and prepare two-piece canning lids per manufacturer's directions.

Wash plums, remove pits and chop pulp. Place in deep 6-quart kettle; add water and bring to a simmer. Cover and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add pectin and bring to rapid boil, stirring rapidly and constantly. Add sugar and bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Skim off foam and continue to stir then skim after each stirring for 5 minutes, allowing mixture to cool slightly.

Ladle mixture immediately into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with dampened paper towel; adjust two-piece canning lids. Process for 20 minutes in boiling-water bath canner; adjust for altitude. For a pressure canner, process for 10 minutes at 5 to 6 pounds, depending on dial-gauge or weighted-gauge pressure canner; adjust for altitude. Yields 12 half-pints.

Excerpted from GRIT. To read more articles from GRIT, please visit www.grit.com or call 866-803-7096 to subscribe. Copyright 2020 by Ogden Publications Inc.

 
 

 

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