Safe Preserving: Time to Make Pickles

The garden is ready, time to make pickles! Many vegetables can be pickled, with flavorful results. And pickling low-acid vegetables like green beans and cucumbers allow these products to be canned quickly and easily in a boiling water or  steam canner. Pickling may seem to be a rather mysterious process, with complex steps and unusual […]

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Safe Preserving: Safe Changes when Making Pickles and Relishes

The safety of the food that you preserve is important to you. The University of Wisconsin-Extension supports using up-to-date, research-tested recipes so that you know that the food that you preserve is both safe and high in quality. Here are a few quick tips on changes and substitutions that will keep your home preserved pickles […]

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Safe Preserving: Pickled Eggs

With vegetable pickling season here, I receive many questions about another family favorite – pickled eggs. Pickled eggs are peeled, hard-cooked eggs in a solution consisting basically of vinegar, salt, spices, and perhaps other seasonings. Some people prefer to use red beet juice (from canned beets) as part of the liquid for a rosy pickled […]

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Safe Preserving: Fermented Foods

There has been an explosion of different kinds of fermented products in the marketplace. Foods such as sauerkraut, kimchee, kombucha and yogurts of all kinds are increasingly found at farmers’ markets and retail stores. Some of these products may be safely made at home, while others can not. Fermentation. Fermented products are preserved by the […]

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Safe Preserving: What to do with green tomatoes?

The growing season is winding down and that has many of us wondering what to do with all those green tomatoes still in the garden. Many tomato fruits may be ripened indoors for eating or canning, or use the green fruit to make green tomato pickles, relish, or salsa. Here are some tips and ideas.  […]

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Safe Preserving: Grape Leaves, Alum and Old Wive’s Tales

My grandmother always added a grape leaf to each jar of pickles? Is this a safe practice? A pickle with perfect bite has long been the goal for home canners, but it isn’t easy to do.  Some traditional recipes call for soaking cucumbers in lime,  the addition of alum, or adding a grape leaf to […]

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Safe Preserving: ‘Sun’ Pickles

A recipe is circulating on the internet for sun pickles. Is it safe? The internet abounds with untested, and potentially unsafe, recipes. In the sun-pickle recipe, you fill a quart jar with cucumbers, add salt, and then fill with cold water. The lid is placed on the jar, and tightened, and the jar is allowed […]

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Safe Preserving: Using Splenda

Can I substitute Splenda* for sugar in food preservation? Sugar is used in food preservation for several reasons: Sugar adds flavor. The sweetness of sugar can balance the acidity in pickled beets, and bread and butter pickles. Sugar helps products retain color and texture. Fruits frozen with sugar, in a dry pack or a sugar […]

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Safe Preserving: Watermelon Jelly

A consumer called asking for a recipe for Watermelon Jelly. Where do I find a tested recipe? I am glad that consumers look to their Extension office for accurate information, especially in a case like this. Just about 18 months ago, in March of 2011, there was an outbreak of botulism poisoning linked to watermelon […]

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Safe Preserving: Dilly Beans

I canned dilly beans using the same recipe that I always use. Why are they all shriveled?  Dilly beans are a Wisconsin favorite. There are several reasons that dilled beans, or other pickled products, can take on a ‘wrinkly’ appearance after canning. Placing vegetables in too strong a vinegar, sugar, or salt brine can cause […]

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