With dill pickles, why are cucumbers raw packed into jars and then filled with brine solution while sweet pickles (like B&B’s) are brought to a boil first with the brine and then packed into jars? My dills are always very crisp but my B&B’s aren’t the same way. Can B&B’s be raw packed?
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Because the experts tell us to. I’ve personally gone back to Mom and Grandma’s method of doing all cucumber pickles; I pack the raw cukes, then pour the boiling pickling solution over the pickles and, working quickly, seal the jars. No water bathing. They, too, now stay crisp. But experts want to keep us safe from ourselves and would shoot me on sight for even suggesting such a thing. — Jackie
Got the latest issue of BHM and saw someone asked about making homemade tomato juice. I have been making it for about 20 years putting up 75 quarts a summer. Husband drinks a glass of it every morning.
Wash tomatoes and take stems off (no need to core or peel). Place in a glass (microwave safe) casserole with a lid and microwave for 3 minutes. Put tomatoes in a cone-shaped colander with a wooden pestle over a bowl. Press the pestle on the tomatoes to mash the juice and some pulp run through the holes. When the tomatoes are down to mostly skin and some flesh, rotate the pestle around the colander to mash out the rest of the juice and pulp. Discard the seeds and skins. Pour juice into jars or a pitcher and repeat the process. Add 1 TBSP lemon juice per quart and 1/2 tsp of salt or whatever to taste.
I can in a 4 quart pressure canner. Process the jars at 5 pounds of pressure for 10 minutes.
Very easy and pretty fast. If a person didn’t have a microwave, the tomatoes could be steamed until they were hot through and then do the colander part.
Love your canning and other recipe ideas. Hope this might add to your advice to tomato juice makers.
For 20 years I used the Foley Mill, such as you use, until Mom bought me a Victorio Tomato Strainer more than 30 years ago. Now I get through a bushel of tomatoes with no boiling or heating; just pull the stems, quarter tomatoes and feed ’em into the hopper of the Victorio and turn the crank. Tomato puree comes out the side chute and the seeds and skins out the front, into a bowl. For tomato juice, I just use my juiciest tomatoes, not paste types.
I’ve got to mention that you’re under-processing your tomato juice. The recommended pressure for tomato juice in a canner with a gauge is 6 pounds and the time should be 20 minutes for altitudes below 2,000 feet and that’s for juice that has been heated before pouring into the jars.
Thanks for sharing your method as I’m sure many readers don’t have a tomato strainer…yet. — Jackie