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Everyone's got their own personal favorite. Salsa is a great example - I have a recipe my family enjoys, and I don't like any of the recipes in the Ball Book. So how do you safely can a "homegrown" recipe? Test for pH maybe?

With pressure canning, I process to length of the longest ingredient, but for stuff that only needs a water bath I'm less certain.

TY!

Tags: canning

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Typically if what you are canning has little to no acidic value it's always safer to pressure can. I always "over cook" my jars just to be on the safe side. And when in doubt pressure can!
I too wish to learn more about canning. So far I've only tried it once and I made Elderberry Jam. Which was rather time consuming to clean the Elderberries I harvested.
The cooking part was easy and I was happy with the results. I used sugar, vinegar, & berries and that was all.

I'd like to learn how to can seafood, tomatoes, peaches, since they tend to be in abundance and once gone greatly missed.

Salsa would be fun to learn. Anyone know how to can guacamole?
Be sure to join the Food Preservation group here - there are very knowledgeable folks there!
I think your practice of canning everything to the time listed for the longest ingredient is a good one. In fact I like to pressure can anything if there is even the slightest doubt about an ingredient. The time it takes to pressure can isn't much longer than the water bath process and the peace of mind it give you is worth it.

Fresh seafood and meats can all be pressure canned at 10lbs for 90 minutes. Do not add anything except the meat for basic canned seafood, poultry and meats. Leave 1/2 inch headspace in the jar and always use new lids (rings can be reused as long as they aren't too rusty to twist onto the jar and hold the lid down)

The only Guacamole I've ever seen canned or in jars has lots of hard to pronounce ingredients to keep in bright green and to keep it from spoiling. Since Guacamole isn't a cooked food, canniing it will always be a disipointment. As a beginning canner you should always stick to canning recepes that are tried & true till you get the basics down and feel confident in exploring/experimenting.
Last year I made Taco Sauce for the first time. I used the Ball Book recipe as a guideline but tweeked it to suit our tastes. It turned out much like the name brand taco sauce, but according to my husband better. We use it to make tacos but also just as a suace to dip tortillia chips in. I make my own salsa recipe that tastes much like the fresh salsa. Like you, I don't care much for the recipes in the Ball Book. Mostly use the book for the basics and build from there. I've read in several different places to can according to the longest processing ingredient.
TAMALES - For those of you that are a little more adventurous try making tamales in a jar. Just make up tha MASA (finely ground corn meal) as directed on any reciepe or the Masa package. Press it into and against the sides of a wide-mouth pint jar. Practice a little cause it's not as easy as it seems for the first few times. Once you get a quarter inch thick  lining of Masa inside the jar, carefully fill the hollow center with typical tamale ingredients and put the lid/rings on and process for 90 minutes (if does not contain meat process for 60 minutes). Make sure to leave about an inch headspace at the top and do not cover the top with Masa. When you get done you have a meal in a jar. Since Tamales are steamed, the canned tamales are almost identicle without the Corn Husks of course.
oooh--we LOVE tamales around here--I will totally have to try this! If I could can it so they could eat one anytime they wanted? I would be forever adored! :) :) Thanks for sharing!

Pat Johnson said:
TAMALES - For those of you that are a little more adventurous try making tamales in a jar. Just make up tha MASA (finely ground corn meal) as directed on any reciepe or the Masa package. Press it into and against the sides of a wide-mouth pint jar. Practice a little cause it's not as easy as it seems for the first few times. Once you get a quarter inch thick  lining of Masa inside the jar, carefully fill the hollow center with typical tamale ingredients and put the lid/rings on and process for 90 minutes (if does not contain meat process for 60 minutes). Make sure to leave about an inch headspace at the top and do not cover the top with Masa. When you get done you have a meal in a jar. Since Tamales are steamed, the canned tamales are almost identicle without the Corn Husks of course.

You're welcome. I don't know about being adored forever but folks who know tamales sure like to eat mine up. I went to Hatch New Mexico in August and got a bunch of fresh Hatch Chillies and Chili Powder (Best in the world).  So I'm about ready to do some 2011 Tamales.


Heather M Estey said:

oooh--we LOVE tamales around here--I will totally have to try this! If I could can it so they could eat one anytime they wanted? I would be forever adored! :) :) Thanks for sharing!

Pat Johnson said:
TAMALES - For those of you that are a little more adventurous try making tamales in a jar. Just make up tha MASA (finely ground corn meal) as directed on any reciepe or the Masa package. Press it into and against the sides of a wide-mouth pint jar. Practice a little cause it's not as easy as it seems for the first few times. Once you get a quarter inch thick  lining of Masa inside the jar, carefully fill the hollow center with typical tamale ingredients and put the lid/rings on and process for 90 minutes (if does not contain meat process for 60 minutes). Make sure to leave about an inch headspace at the top and do not cover the top with Masa. When you get done you have a meal in a jar. Since Tamales are steamed, the canned tamales are almost identicle without the Corn Husks of course.

Whoa, canned tamales! Sounds awesome, I'm so happy I splurged on a pressure canner.

 

As far as the original question: I use the Ball Blue Book as my canning guide. If I'm making up my own recipe, I find a similar one in the Ball Book and then make sure I stick to the same ratios of acidic to non-acidic food. The main things I swap out are spices (old-school recipes are generally too strong on the cloves for me, and never have things like fresh ginger!).

canned tamales......brilliant!

Pat, the more I think about this the more I wonder if it can be done with something along the lines of a shepherd pie, with the jar lined with mashed potatoes and the center filled with a meat/veg gravy.  Mmm!



Pat Johnson said:

TAMALES - For those of you that are a little more adventurous try making tamales in a jar. Just make up tha MASA (finely ground corn meal) as directed on any reciepe or the Masa package. Press it into and against the sides of a wide-mouth pint jar. Practice a little cause it's not as easy as it seems for the first few times. Once you get a quarter inch thick  lining of Masa inside the jar, carefully fill the hollow center with typical tamale ingredients and put the lid/rings on and process for 90 minutes (if does not contain meat process for 60 minutes). Make sure to leave about an inch headspace at the top and do not cover the top with Masa. When you get done you have a meal in a jar. Since Tamales are steamed, the canned tamales are almost identicle without the Corn Husks of course.
WOW! This sounds awesome. I'm definitely giving this a try!

Pat Johnson said:

You're welcome. I don't know about being adored forever but folks who know tamales sure like to eat mine up. I went to Hatch New Mexico in August and got a bunch of fresh Hatch Chillies and Chili Powder (Best in the world).  So I'm about ready to do some 2011 Tamales.


Heather M Estey said:

oooh--we LOVE tamales around here--I will totally have to try this! If I could can it so they could eat one anytime they wanted? I would be forever adored! :) :) Thanks for sharing!

Pat Johnson said:
TAMALES - For those of you that are a little more adventurous try making tamales in a jar. Just make up tha MASA (finely ground corn meal) as directed on any reciepe or the Masa package. Press it into and against the sides of a wide-mouth pint jar. Practice a little cause it's not as easy as it seems for the first few times. Once you get a quarter inch thick  lining of Masa inside the jar, carefully fill the hollow center with typical tamale ingredients and put the lid/rings on and process for 90 minutes (if does not contain meat process for 60 minutes). Make sure to leave about an inch headspace at the top and do not cover the top with Masa. When you get done you have a meal in a jar. Since Tamales are steamed, the canned tamales are almost identicle without the Corn Husks of course.

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