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Preserving food

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
First day and still trying to find my way around.icon_smile.gif

Was pleased to see there is a forum for canning and preserving food.

We've grown a large garden since the early 70's and have always preserved a good portion of what we grow. Can maters and pickles but mostly freeze all the rest.

This yr we froze a full yrs supply of grean bean in the first picking. Now we are on to pickles. One batch so far & 16 qts. Corn is a couple weeks away and tomatoe plants, close to 30 plants, are loaded but still green.

Will need to put up another batch of pickles. We make Kosher Dills and put them up as weges, slices and small cubes (for tater salid). Wife gets very good comment on her pickles. We use a modified recipe from an OLD Better Homes & Garden cook book the wife bought in early 60's. We use fresh spices and maybe that helps with the qlty. Always top the jar off with a grape leaf (helps with making/keeping pickles firm).

Now this is an area where I can start contributing to the forum.
post #2 of 21
been cannin for years and never heard of the grape leaf thing... how does that help keep em crisp?
post #3 of 21
yea, I'd be interested in knowing the grape leaf secret also.....never heard of it before..... icon_mrgreen.gif
post #4 of 21
Ya got me on the grape leaf thing - never heard of it. I'm all ears!
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, it's part of the receipe we use. Believe it's the tanic acid in the leaves that does the work on keeping the pickles firm. The receipe also calls for a little alum as well that helps provide some of that pucker power.

We put the grape leaf on top so when we first open the jar it comes out and we tose it.

Have used this receipe for YRS and have always included the grape leaf. We grow grapes so it no problem for us to include.

While the wife gets good comments on the pickles, I'm a firm beliver that locale, soil, & water play a big part in the final outcome. Wifes aunt in Ok Cty has used this receipe but she tells us her pickles don't taste as good. Weather here is a lot like the finer wine growing regons of France.

Receipe is available if anyone is interested.
post #6 of 21
Well then my next batch of pickles will get a grape leaf! I've got Reds, Whites and Blues does it matter? Will this also work for breadand butter pickles?
post #7 of 21
seems to me my great grandmother did something like that. gotte get the recipes from mom but her bread & butter pickles & pickled okra were always fresh & crunchy. yeah most people think weird things about any okra other than breaded & fried... but she pickled them then fried them(unbreaded)in hawg fat or threw them in stew.we always added them to our gumbo.
post #8 of 21
I love the idea of cubed/diced up pickles... never seen that before.

I just got into canning about 5 yrs ago when we bought our first house. Pickles were my first because it was the only thing that really grew in our garden that yr.

Cant wait to see the recipe.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Did a search on the net last night and got a lot of hits but very few answers to WHY.

Here is a condensation of what I found for the WHY.

Some old time receipes called for using a grape leaf. The tannin in the leaf prevents some enzymes in the cuke from turning the pickle soft. The enzyme in the cuke is at the blossem end and if removed before pickling, the grape leaf is not needed. Wasn't clear if by remove they ment just the blossem or the end of the cuke.

I've had one request for the receipe via PM but I'll include it in this post.

As for the type of grape leaf, from what I read it doesn't matter. We have several varieties and we don't pick'n choose which.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
For the cubed pickles, make sure the cuke has a small seed cavity or scrape the seeds out before cubing. That soft portion of the cuke just turn mushy.

With the cubed pickles it sure helps making things like patato salad a lot easier at the time.
post #11 of 21
Horseradish will also help keep the pickles firm and crisp.Ive used the grape leaves also,works good.Gypsy do you have a recipe for the okra pickles?Ive ate them store bought and liked them.When I used a recipe I found you could not eat them,they were really bad.I have to use gloves to pick okra,the last time I picked I started itching very bad,bout drove me crazy for two hours.
post #12 of 21
David -

I have a few pickled Okra recipes - one is hot (sort of) and one is not. Just added the pickling and canning and dehydrating pages this weekend. Not done but getting there

post #13 of 21
Nice looking pickling download page!!

My husband and I are planning on moving in a little less than a yr closer to my parents to help with the ranch and we have gradually hauling home items that we wont "need" until then.

Well, I dont have a clue what I was thinking hauling all my canning equipment.... I want to make some pickles now!! icon_lol.gif
post #14 of 21
We just did 38 Quarts five weeks ago, Wish I had you recipe sooner, Ours came out a little softer than I like, But are good enough to eat...Always next year...Thanks for the grape leaf recipe...DB BBQ
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
You're welcome DB. Like I said earlier, I'm a firm believer that locale and growing conditions pays a big part in the outcome of the crop. We've always use Wisconsin SMR varieties, either SMR 18 or SMR 58. We and others that have tasted our pickles have always enjoyed them. Don't know how much diff the pickles would taste with another variety.
post #16 of 21
Would the grape leaf help with tomatoes and hot peppers? We're doing pickled green tomatoes with habanero pepps...
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Don't think so. Never heard of using a grape leaf in these crops. As I said in a previous post, it's the tannin in the leaf the prevent an enzyme in the cukes from turning them soft.
post #18 of 21
Hey what's another case or two of mason jars amoung pickles? They shold all be on sale now anyway! Maybe they'll fit in the spaghetti pot?

Shell -

Glad you mentioned green tomatoes I forgot to find that recipes and post it on the site! DUH! I love green tomatoes - pickled, frined, relish! OS many recipes so little time!
post #19 of 21
Going to try pickling some beets for the first time this weekend.
This should be fun !!!!
Just have to remember to pick up the bottle of windsor firstPDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #20 of 21
Do mean for putting up or for doing pickled eggs and beets?
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