SOURCE: Mrs. Wages

June 27, 2011 05:00 ET

Can-a-Palooza! From Mrs. Wages

Preserving Produce, Making Memories

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Jun 27, 2011) - (Family Features) Gardens, farmers markets and grocery store aisles are brimming with fresh seasonal produce. What better way to enjoy those fantastic flavors all year long than by gathering friends and family to share nature's bounty by canning together?

"Canning together is easy, and it's fun to make memories and great food," says Mrs. Wages spokeswoman Laura Strickland. Strickland recommends your group plan ahead to divvy up the canning supplies and that everyone bring different fruits or vegetables to share so you all can take home a variety of canned goodies.

Equipment You Need
--Glass canning jars
--Rings and lids
--A non-reactive pot
--Hot water bath canner with a rack
--Jar lifter
--Canning funnel

Kosher Dill Pickles
Yields 7 quarts

9 to 11 pounds pickling cucumbers (about 50, 3 to 4 inches)
1pouch (6.5 ounces) Mrs. Wages Kosher Dill Pickles Mix
3 1/3cups Mrs. Wages Distilled White Vinegar (5% acidity)
7 1/3cups water

Wash cucumbers and remove blossoms; drain. Leave whole, cut into spears or slice.

Combine Kosher Dill Mix, vinegar and water into a large non-reactive pot. Do not use aluminum. Bring mixture just to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture dissolves.

Pack cucumbers into clean, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Evenly divide hot pickling liquid among the packed jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and cap each jar as it is filled. If more liquid is needed for proper headspace, add a mix of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.

Process pints 5 minutes*, quarts 10 minutes*, in a boiling water bath canner. Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer's directions. If jars do not completely seal, refrigerate and consume within two weeks.

Product is ready to eat after 24 hours. Before serving, chill to enhance flavor and crispness.

Medium Salsa
Yields 5 pints

6pounds fresh tomatoes (about 18 medium)
1/2cup Mrs. Wages Distilled White Vinegar (5% acidity)
1pouch (5 ounces) Mrs. Wages Medium Salsa Mix

Wash fresh tomatoes. Scald 3 minutes in boiling water. Dip into cold water. Cut out cores, remove skins and chop coarsely.

Combine tomatoes, vinegar and salsa mix in a large pot and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Salsa is ready.

Freeze it: Pour into freezer containers and let cool. Store in freezer up to one year.

Can it: Pour hot salsa into clean, sterilized pint canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cap each jar when filled.

Process 40 minutes* in boiling water bath. Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer's directions. Store up to one year. If jars do not completely seal, refrigerate and consume within one week.

Pasta Sauce
Yields 5 pints

6pounds fresh tomatoes (about 18 medium)
1/4cup granulated sugar
1pouch (5 ounces) Mrs. Wages Pasta Sauce Mix

Wash fresh tomatoes. Scald 3 minutes in boiling water. Dip into cold water. Cut out cores, remove skins and puree to smooth consistency in blender or food processor.

Combine puree, sugar and pasta sauce mix in a large pot and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Pasta sauce is ready.

Serve it: Ready to use, or pour into containers and refrigerate up to one week.

Freeze it: Pour into freezer containers and let cool. Store in freezer up to one year.

Can it: Pour hot sauce into clean, sterilized pint canning jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cap each jar when filled.

Process 40 minutes* in boiling water bath. Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer's directions. Store up to one year. If jars do not completely seal, refrigerate and consume within one week.

Raspberry-Jalapeño Jam
Yields 7 half pints

2to 3 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and deveined
5cups or 5 half-pint containers raspberries
6cups granulated sugar
2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1box (1.75 ounces) Mrs. Wages Home Jell Fruit Pectin

Clean and sterilize jars, lids and rings. Keep warm.

Mince peppers. For hotter jam, do not devein.

Combine peppers, raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a large stainless steel saucepan. Mash with a potato mashers over medium high heat. Stir often; bring to a boil. Boil hard for 1 minute.

Reduce heat to a simmer, and stir in pectin. Continue to simmer about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Quickly skim off any foam.

Quickly pour jam into prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and cap jars.

Process immediately in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.*

*Note: Processing time for all recipes is listed for altitudes less than 1000 feet. At altitudes of 1000 feet or more, increase processing time 1 minute for each 1000 feet of altitude.

Canning 101 Tips
--Use the freshest produce you can find. The fresher the ingredients, the better the taste of the final product.
--Pickling salt is a finely milled salt, with no anti-caking additives, that dissolves cleanly and quickly. Pectin is a very fine, water-soluble fiber that helps create a stable gelled preserve. With Mrs. Wages products, you don't need specialty spices or ingredients. Mrs. Wages uses high-quality, 100 percent natural ingredients in their spice mixes.
--Fill jars quickly, so they won't cool on the table or counter. Use a wide-mouth funnel and avoid spilling liquid on the rim of the jar, where it may interfere with a good seal.
--Wash and rinse jars thoroughly. Set jars in clean, hot water until used. If using dishwasher, keep jars in dishwasher until ready to use.
--For reasons of food safety, do not alter recipes.
For more canning tips, a canning guide, recipes and templates to make your own print-at-home labels, visit www.mrswages.com.

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