August 10, 2011

The Maine Ingredient: Bag it and boil it to preserve best of the harvest

By ANNE MAHLE

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Tomatoes fresh from the garden can be frozen, skins and all, in gallon-sized plastic bags for use during the depths of winter.

Elizabeth Poisson photo

CAN DO

FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION on how to process canned goods in a water bath, go to:

National Center for Home Food Preservation, uga.deu/nchfp

University of Maine Cooperative Extension, extension.umaine.edu

Canning Pantry for canning supplies, canningpantry.com

DILLED GREEN BEANS

These are by far my most favorite, and I grow beans just so I can make these. They end up pairing with both our hamburgers and my homemade charcuterie with equal aplomb.

4 pounds whole green beans (about 4 quarts)

5 cups vinegar

5 cups water

1/2 cup salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper per pint jar

1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed per pint jar

1/2 teaspoon dill seed per pint jar

1 clove garlic per pint jar

Wash beans thoroughly; drain and cut into lengths to fill pint jars. Pack beans into clean, hot jars; add pepper, mustard seed, dill seed and garlic.

Combine vinegar, water and salt; heat to boiling. Pour boiling liquid over the beans.

Makes about 8 pints.

GRANDMA'S BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES

These are both sweet and sour, so if that isn't a taste that appeals to you, the pickles won't either. But I just love them, and so do my girls.

3 1/2 pounds cucumbers, sliced

4 onions, sliced

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup salt

1 1/2 tablespoon celery seed

1 1/2 tablespoon mustard seed

3/4 teaspoon turmeric

3 cups vinegar

1 tablespoon ginger

Sprinkle cucumbers and onions with salt. Cover with cold water. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, drain well. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Transfer to hot, sterilized jars, filling jars but leaving a half-inch head space, and seal with lids. Process 10 minutes in a water bath. Remove jars from canner and complete seals. Set jars upright, several inches apart, on wire racks to cool.

 

Anne Mahle of Rockland is the author of "At Home, At Sea," a recipe book about her experiences cooking aboard the family's windjammer. She can be reached at: chefannie@mainewindjammer.com

 

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