canning chutneys & pickles

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Canning Chutneys and Pickles

Here are some general guidelines for simple, high-acid canning. For more detailed information, see the "Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration" ($4.95 plus $1 shipping and handling from 1-800-859-2255, or at some stores where canning supplies are sold).

** Use Wide Mouth canning jars and bottles. You can reuse the jars if they are not chipped, but the two-part metal lids must be new.

** Wash the jars on the hottest cycle in the dishwasher and keep them there (hot, on the Dry cycle) until you fill them. Bring them out one at a time to fill.

** Wash the two-part metal lids in hot, soapy water. They must be heated before canning. Heat lids for at least 10 minutes in a small saucepan of simmering, not boiling, water. Remove the lids as needed.

** Fill the hot jars with the chutney or pickles. (If you do not have a wide-mouth funnel, use a small measuring cup with a lip.) Leave ¼-inch of space at the top for expansion. Wipe the jars clean. Place the metal lid on the jar then screw on the metal ring.

Screw just until you get some resistance.

** Use a tall, large saucepan (or a stockpot) to process the jars after they are filled. Place a small rack in the bottom. (If you have a fold-up steamer rack, it does the job.) Fill the pot ⅔ full with water and bring to a boil. Using tongs or a jar lifter, carefully place the fruit-filled jars -- which should still be hot -- in the boiling water. If necessary add boiling water from a kettle to ensure that the water covers the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Cover with a lid and boil for 10 minutes.

** Turn off the heat and remove the lid. Then, carefully lift out the jars and place them on a wooden board or towel to cool. You will hear popping sounds as the lids seal. The cooling process will take 12 to 24 hours. Once cool, press each lid to ensure it has seated well. If a lid pops after the contents have cooled, place in the refrigerator and use within a couple of weeks.

** Chutneys and pickles are cooked. But unlike traditional jams and preserves, they require no thermometers or exact measurements. The sugar and vinegar also act as preservatives, so no special canning equipment is needed.

** Dallas Morning News -- Food section -- 19 July 1995 ** Posted by The WEE Scot -- Paul MacGregor Submitted By PAUL MACGREGOR On 08-17-95

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