Food for Thought: Canning 101

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

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 canning?

Canning tips

- Use the freshest produce you can find. The fresher the ingredients, the better the taste of the final product.

- Fill jars quickly so they won't cool on the table or counter. 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 more canning tip, visit www.mrswages.com.

Equipment you need

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

Medium Salsa

  • 6 pounds fresh tomatoes (about 18 medium)
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar (5 percent acidity)
  • 1 pouch (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, stirring occasionally.

Pour hot salsa into clean, sterilized, pint-size 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.

-- Family Features

Tip of the Week: Saving money on meat

The USDA says consumers will see the biggest price increase this year for meat, poultry and fish, with beef and pork climbing almost 8 percent. To save money, try buying the least expensive cuts of meat, such as beef brisket, chuck steak or round steak. While these cuts are tougher, they handle well to slow-cooking techniques, such as braising or stewing. Bone-in meats are generally less expensive than boneless, so buying a whole chicken is often cheaper than buying its parts separately.

-- University of Illinois Extension

Easy recipe: Pan Roasted Pork Chops

  • 2 thick, center-cut pork chops
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and cook garlic for five minutes, do not allow to brown. Remove garlic and sear the seasoned chops on both sides, about 4 minutes each. Smear both sides with rosemary and vinegar. Continue baking uncovered in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Pork is done at 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. Serves 2.

-- Canton (Ohio) Repository

Did You Know?

If a recipe calls for uncooked eggs, use pasteurized eggs or egg products to avoid salmonella.

-- FoodSafety.gov

Critic’s Cupboard: Mio Liquid Water Enhancer

Jennifer Mastroianni: Drink more water! Well, guess what? I hate drinking water. Maybe because lots of times our tap water tastes like algae, rust or creek sludge.

Even when water is fresh and pure, I find it bland and boring, which is why I’m a big fan of sugar-free water enhancers, such as packets of Crystal Light and Wyler’s.

But rather than a purse full of flavor packets, how cool to carry one teeny container? That’s what calorie-free Mio Liquid Water Enhancer is, with 24-servings per each sleek and stylish 1.62-ounce bottle.

The bummer is this stuff is terrible. It’s synthetically super sweet with strange flavorings. For instance, Mango Peach tastes like chlorinated pool water. This stuff is so bad it makes my tap water taste good.

Dan Kane: Mango Peach and Berry Pomegranate taste a little bit like a Jell-O shot, minus the gelatin and minus the vodka. In short, worthless. They taste like too-sweet artificial sweetener, and now I have a lingering chemical taste in my mouth. Why would I pay 5 cents, let alone $3.48 per bottle, to relive this experience?

-- Canton (Ohio) Repository

Food Quiz

Which word associated with the smell of spicy cooking comes originally from the Greek word for spice?

A. Aroma

B. Exude

C. Scent

D. Fragrant

-- funtrivia.com

Answer is at bottom of column

Wise to the Word:Gastronomy?

[gas-TRON-uh-mee]?The art of fine dining; the science of gourmet food and drink.

-- epicurious.com

Number to Know

5: One sweet, raw cherry is 5 calories.

 – calorieking.com

The Dish On …

“Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It” by Guy Fieri

If you've checked out my books or visited my restaurants, you know I'm down with all types of good food -- and that I'll do what's required to track it down. In this book, I'm cookin' it my way, from the perfect recipe for Pepper Jack Pretzels (from Mr. Awesome Pretzel himself — that's me) to a full-on vegetable Guy'd (bet you didn't see that one comin'!). Before I'm finished, I'll have you throwing parties for everyone. Fact is, I've been cookin' it, livin' it and lovin' it since I was just a kid, and it's a privilege to help you bring home some of my own classic, big and bold flavors.

-- HarperCollins Publishers

From the Beer Nut’s Blog: Full Sail releases Elevation IPA

Full Sail has announced the release of its latest beer in the Brewmaster Reserve Series, Elevation Double IPA. Their whole lineup of beers is really solid, so I’m looking forward to trying this beer. Here’s the release and all the info:

Full Sail’s new Brewmaster Reserve release, Elevation Imperial IPA, is brewed to celebrate Oregon's snow-capped mountains and their bounty of pristine, crystal clear water. This Imperial IPA’s full malt body is elevated by the richness of hop flavor and bitterness. Generous amounts of hops give this beer a wonderful aroma of orange zest and lemon. The citrus from the hops is complemented by a caramel biscuity malt flavor that comes from the pale and crystal malts blend. It is available in 22-ounce bottles from June to September. Alcohol by volume is 7.5 percent.

To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/.

Food Quiz Answer

A. Aroma

GateHouse News Service