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Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post. Please note that Jackie does not respond to questions posted as Comments. Click Below to ask Jackie a question.

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Jackie Clay

Q and A: Sun chokes, canning pumpkin, and canning with lemon juice

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Sun Chokes

Jackie you mentioned Sun Chokes. Do you have any recipes to share? I have not been able to find many on the internet.

Rhona & Brad Barrie
Strong, Maine

I usually use sun chokes raw, sliced, or grated in salads or tossed in a stir fry near the end so they stay crisp, as they are like water chestnuts. You can also drizzle olive oil over them and sprinkle seasonings over them and roast them with other vegetables. Or use about any way you would potatoes. They are very versatile! — Jackie

Canning pumpkin

The other day I canned up some crook neck pumpkin. The canner wasn’t full, so I decided to put some jars of winter squash (sweet dumpling) as well. Unfortunately, I forgot to put water in with the squash. (I did put it in with the pumpkin.) Is my squash ruined because it has been dry canned? I’d love to know what you think!

Lisa Seibel
Coburn, Pennsylvania

As squash is quite moist, it probably is okay. But don’t carve that in stone. (After all, you can raw pack meat and chicken with no water added…) As usual, I’d follow normal procedures on opening those jars; observe, smell then hold at boiling temperature for 10-15 minutes. — Jackie

Canning with lemon juice

Since we use so much lemon juice in canning and lemons are getting so expensive way out west here, is there anyway to can fresh lemon juice? If not can you suggest something suitably acidic like a diluted form of vinegar that will work just as well without pickling what we are canning? Would powdered ascorbic acid or dissolved vitamin C tablets work as well?

Margaret Baker
Valleyford, Washington

I buy my lemon juice in bottles at the Dollar Store for $1 each and they’re 16 oz bottles. They go a long way! Yes, you can home can fresh lemon juice. All you have to do is strain the fresh-squeezed juice then bring to 165 degrees. Fill hot jars with hot juice, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Then process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

You can use plain vinegar when lemon juice is called for in recipes such as tomato sauce, etc. I wouldn’t use vitamin C as it would be more expensive. — Jackie

3 Responses to “Q and A: Sun chokes, canning pumpkin, and canning with lemon juice”

  1. Ginger Says:

    Hi Jackie, Glad you are feelin better. I had a question about storing Sunchokes. Any insight on that? I tried putting them in baggies in the frig and they don’t keep more than a couple days before losing their Crispness. We can use all the Help we can get since we have at least 10 more plants to go.

  2. jackie clay atkinson Says:

    Ginger,

    Sorry but sun chokes just don’t store very well. About the best is in the vegetable crisper in your fridge but they’re like lettuce; you need to use ‘em up soon after you pick them. I pickle my extras as then I can rinse them off and use in salads, stir frys etc. and the vinegar taste doesn’t seem to be bad.

  3. zelda Says:

    Lemon juice – check out using food grade (must be labeled food grade) ascorbic acid powder. It can be added directly to jars just like lemon juice, doesn’t need mixing or making into a solution. It costs about $1.70 a pound. It will not leave any aftertaste.

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