Sunday, July 24, 2016

2016 International Can-It-Forward Day

July 22, 2016 was the 6th annual International Can It Forward Day! 

The Can It Forward tradition began as a way to share the joy of canning. You don't have to be a foodie, a gardener or a canner to participate or enjoy the "fruits" of labor.  

The last few years have seen a resurgence in the art of home canning and food preservation. Everyone has different reasons for wanting to learn. Whether it is to continue a family tradition, to have better control of your food chain or you simply want to learn to make sauce from a bounty of garden tomatoes, there are plenty of resources from which one can use.

In honor of Can It Forward, the following sites posted recipes or hosted videos.

My contribution to Can it Forward was one of my favorite recipes, 2 day Zesty Zucchini relish. This is one of the first 3 recipes I learned to can when I took my canning boot-camp. If you do a search on the "interweb" as the hubbs likes to call it, you will find quite a few variations of zucchini relish. Mine is a 4-2-1 ratio recipe and is somewhat similar to the Ball recipe. But of course I have to tweak it and put my own stamp on the recipe.

9-10 half pint jars
water bath canner
magnetic wand for lids
paper towels
heavy kitchen towels
heavy baking sheet
non-reactive stock pot
small saucepan or tea kettle of hot water to activate rings
measuring cups/ spoons
sharp knife
1 or 2 gallon Ziploc bags

8 cups cubed zucchini 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups diced onion
1 cup of diced red pepper
6 tablespoons of canning salt
2 & 2/3 cups apple cider vinegar, natural, No caramel coloring added
2 cups of firmly packed brown sugar
1 &1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
2 level teaspoons of dry powdered mustard
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 and 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice  (I pick out the cinnamon stick if using store bought)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon shredded horseradish

DAY 1:Clean, destem and remove bad spots from all vegetables.
Dice all vegetables into 1/2 inch cubes.
Place diced, rinsed vegetables into a large ziploc bag with canning salt.
Cover with enough cool water to cover.
Store in refrigerator overnight.

DAY2: Assemble canning supplies
Wash jars, rings, ladle and funnel.
place jars on a heavy duty tray in a preheated oven (mine is digital so I set it to 215°F)
Fill water bath canner with the correct volume of water, so it will cover the the jars by 1-2 inches. Bring to boil and hold temperature steady.
Drain and rinse vegetables. Press to remove as much water as possible.
In a separate, non-reactive stock pot-Combine Vinegar, brown sugar, spices. Bring to a slow boil.
Add the vegetables to the vinegar solution. Bring to a rapid boil, stir and cook for 7 minutes.
Remove jars from oven

Remove from heat and ladle into the hot jars.
Break up any air pockets and leave 1/2 inch headspace.
Use a paper towel dipped in hot water (remove excess water) to wipe the rim of the jar.
Remove lids from hot water bath, tap off excess water and apply rings finger tight.
Process in the water bath for 10 minutes. (Time begins when water has resumed rapid boil)
I did small batch canning, processing 4 jars at a time. I recently installed a glass cooktop, so I am nervous about the weight of the canner.
At the end of the 10 minutes, removes the jars carefully and place on folded towels in a draft free location.
You will hear the sound of success almost immediately--the metallic ping as the lids pop close.
Leave the jars undisturbed until completely cooled. Check the lid for flex--there shouldn't be any!
If the jars failed to seal, place in the refrigerator immediately and use within 2 weeks.
Otherwise remove the rings, wipe down the jars, label and then enjoy.
This recipe makes 8 full half pint jars and a 3/4  half pint jar which is my "taste jar".  I don't process the taste jar, it goes directly to the refrigerator.
Properly canned, this is shelf stable for a year. Not that it lasts that long!

My favorite use of this relish is in chicken, egg, potato or macaroni salads. Sometimes just a spoonful by itself, too.

**DISCLAIMER** I am not a professional or expert canner. Any recipe and instructions posted on this blog is for informational purposes only and does not serve as a legal liability. Please refer to to your local state extension office for help and always follow proper canning protocol.
When in doubt--Throw it out!

1 comment:

  1. I'm still one of the last holdouts on learning to can. I don't know what my HUGE fear is (well, I do--I don't want to poison anyone!). I'm just so afraid of the unknown. I guess it's because my own mom didn't can. I never learned, and so now as an adult, I'm afraid to try.


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