Pickled Beets

This is another recipe from Harold’s aunt. 

Cook beets about 15 minutes.  Skin the beets and then slice, or chunk.  Pack the beets into pint jars.

In a pot, bring the following to a boil:

1 cup vinegar

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Once this comes to a boil, pour over the beets in the pint jars.  Wipe the rims down, put lids on them, and water bath for 30 minutes.  This brine will do a little over three pints.


Apple Butter

I got the idea of this method from my aunt.  I peel, core, and cut my apples with my peeler, corer, slicer.  I throw them into the crock pot.  I put the lid on it and then turn it on low for 18 – 24 hours.  I will occasionally stir the apples as it cooks down.  The apples do turn brown as they cook.

Once the time is up, I run the apples through my strainer and then season it with sugar, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.  I just add these spices to taste.  We don’t like our apple butter too sweet, so we do less sugar than most recipes call for.  Once that is just right to our taste, I put into pint jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.


Roasted Peppers

One year we had a lot of bell peppers.  I had heard about roasted peppers and wondered what to do.  My parents had been up here before going on to Colorado.  They happened to stop by a stand or something and the family was roasting peppers.  My mom called me and told me what they did.  We use a weed burner torch, but you can also use a small propane torch.  I use to freeze them, but I wanted to can them so I did some research and this is what I came up with.  If you can peppers, you really should roast them.  When you roast them the tough skin is burnt off. I canned them one year without roasting them and we had a lot of tough skin in the jar.

Wash your peppers and set up your work area.  I took an oven grate and set it up on some cinder blocks. 

This is the fun part.  Roast your peppers until they are black.  You will need to turn them and do the other sides.  You will start to hear some crackles and the peppers will start to blister and then turn black.  Once they are black on all sides, put them in a pot with a lid on them.  Let them set for 20 minutes or so.

There were a few spots that did not get black all they way, or they black had come off already.  The reason for letting them set is the black will come off easier. I have a strainer in my sink to catch all this black skin.  I wash them off under running cold water.  The black for the most part just comes right off.

Put them in a bowl until you have them all done. 

Then you want to cut the tops off and take the seeds out.  Please wear gloves when handling these peppers after they are roasted if you are using hot peppers. 

After I cut the top off I slit it in half.  I cut or pulled the membrane off and then dipped the pepper in a bowl of water to get most of the seeds off.  I then cut them into strips and then diced them up.  At this point you could freeze them as well.  Just put as much as you would use at one time in a container or bag.

I diced my peppers up and put them into some 1/2 pints.  I added 1/2 teaspoon salt and then some water.  I left 1/2 inch head space and then we pressure canned them for 35 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure (we are above 2,000 feet, so I pressure can everything at 15 pounds). 


Apple Cider

We pressed some apple cider this weekend.  Harold has been researching how to do it at home and this is what he came up with after watching other videos, etc.

Holcomb Cider Press

We bought a brand new garbage disposal.  We bought a 3/4 horsepower disposal and he mounted it to this plywood board.  This board is on a metal frame that he had made but never used.  The Sausage/Lard/Cider press is mounted on the end.


We started with a wheelbarrow load of apples.  Here we have two different kinds from our orchard.  We had to cut the wormy spots out.  We do not like to spray our fruit, so we end up with worms.

Cut up apples

We cut up the apples and put them into two buckets.  We did a mixture of the two apples.

Grinding up the apples

The next step was to grind up the apples using the garbage disposal.  Harold did both buckets of apples and that gave us one bucket of ground up apples.

Ground up apples

Once we were done grinding the apples up for that first load, We put the apples into a pillowcase sack that I had made.

Getting ready to press the apples

We put the sack into the press and then slowly pressed the apples.  We had a bucket hanging from the table to catch the cider.

Apple Cider

We then put the cider into jugs until we were able to can it.

Holcomb's Apple Cider

I went ahead and canned it after this.  We have learned that we should have let it set and then slowly pour it into jars so the sediment will stay out of the cider.  It still tastes good.  We will strain the next batch.  I water bathed the cider for 15 minutes, just like apple juice.


Raspberry Rhubarb Jam

I got this recipe online.  I decided to try it yesterday as we had some rhubarb.  I did not add the pineapple that the recipe called for.  {print recipe}

Raspberry Rhubarb jam

6 cups chopped rhubarb

5 cups sugar

2 cups raspberries

2 small packages jello to match your berries

Bring the rhubarb, sugar, and berries to a boil while stirring.  Turn it down and let it simmer for 25 minutes.  I did stir it quite often.  Remove from heat and add the two boxes of jello.  Pour into hot sterilized jars and process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

This is a softer set jam.  It is a little sweeter than what we are used to as I have been using Pomona Pectin (which uses less sugar).  Overall it is a good jam.


Sweet Pickle Spears

I got this recipe from a friend.  Harold likes sweet pickles, but I don’t like the time that other recipes involve.  This method is pretty simple. {print recipe}

Sweet Pickles

4 pounds pickling cucumbers

4 cups sugar

3 1/4 cups white vinegar

2 1/2 Tablespoons salt

5 teaspoons celery salt

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed

Slice ends and cut into spears.  Pour boiling water over cucumbers, cover, and let stand for 2 hours.  Drain, pack into hot quart jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.  Heat the remaining ingredients together in a pot.  Bring to a boil and then pour over the cucumbers in the jars.  Remove air bubbles.  Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath.


Pickled Asparagus

I had plenty of asparagus in the freezer one year, so I thought I would try pickling some asparagus to serve with salads.  I used the same pickling recipe that I do for dilly beans. {print recipe}

Pickled Asparagus

About 2 pounds or so of fresh asparagus

1/4 cup canning salt (I use regular salt)

2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

2 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided

4 cloves garlic

4 Head of dill, or 2 tablespoons of dill seed

Measure the vinegar, water, and salt  into a pot and bring it to a boil.  Wash and cut up your asparagus into 1 1/2 inch pieces or so.  Put in your clean, sterilized jars.    Add a garlic clove to each jar along with 1 head of dill (or 1 1/2 teaspoons of dill seed), and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.  Cover with the hot brine leaving a 1/4 inch head space.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.