Summer’s bounty|Enjoy all of your fruits and vegetables

Published 12:55 am Wednesday, August 26, 2009

By Staff
Are you wondering what to do with the bumper crop of peppers or the overgrown vegetables you now have as a result of all of the rain we received lately?
By all means don’t waste them. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances that may help protect you from chronic diseases. To get a healthy variety think color. Eating fruits and veggies of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin A and C.
The perfect solution is to eat them fresh as snacks, add them to casseroles, salads, stir fry or try one of the delicious pickles or jelly recipes below. Enjoy!
Crunchy Cucumber Sticks (11 pints)
7 pounds large cucumbers 2 quart distilled vinegar
21⁄2 c. slaked lime 1 quart water
2 gal. water 1 Tablespoon salt
4 oz. alum 2 Tablespoon mixed, whole pickling spices
2 gal. water 5 pounds sugar
First Day. Begin the process at 7 p.m. Use 7 pounds of very large cucumbers that have been peeled, seeded,and cut into sticks. Soak cucumbers in lime water for 24 hours. Use 21⁄2 cups slaked lime in 2 gallons of water.
Second Day at 7 p.m. Take cucumbers out of lime water. Wash in clear water. Soak in alum water for 12 hours. Use 4 ounces of alum in 2 gallons of water.
Third Day at 7 a.m. Remove cucumbers from the alum water. Soak in clear water for 6 hours.
Make a syrup of the last five ingredients. Bring syrup to a boil and pour over well-drained cucumbers. Let stand four hours. Bring to a boil, and cook slowly until pickles are transparent or clear, about 30 minutes. Remove spices. Pack into standard canning jars. Wipe jar mouth. Adjust lid. Process in boiling waterbath canner (212 degrees F) for 10 minutes.
Pepper Jelly With Liquid Pectin (5 half-pint jars)
4 or 5 hot peppers, cored and cut in pieces 5 cups sugar
4 sweet green peppers, cored and cut in pieces 1 pouch liquid pectin
1 cup white vinegar green food coloring
Preparation: Wear rubber gloves when cutting hot peppers.
To make jelly–Sterilize canning jars. Put half the peppers and half the vinegar into blender container; cover and process at liquefy until pepper is liquefied. Repeat with remaining peppers and vinegar. Combine liquefied peppers/vinegar and sugar in a large saucepan and boil slowly for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add liquid pectin and boil hard 1 minute. Skim and add a few drops of green food coloring. Pour jelly immediately into hot canning jars, leaving 1 /4-inch head space. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
Piccalilli (3 pint jars)
6 cups chopped green tomatoes 2 1 /4 chopped onions
1 1/ 2 cups chopped sweet red peppers 1/ 2 cup canning salt
1 1/ 2 cups chopped green peppers 4 1/ 2 cups vinegar
7 1 /2 cups chopped cabbage 3 cups brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spice
Combine vegetables. Mix with salt, let stand overnight. Drain and press in a clean, thin, white cloth to remove all liquid possible. Combine vinegar and sugar.
Place spices loosely in a clean cloth; tie with a string. Add to vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil. Add vegetables, return to a boil, and boil gently about 30 minutes, or until mixture is reduced one-half in volume. Remove spice bag. Sterilize canning jars.
Pack hot relish into hot pint jars. Fill jars to 1/2-inch from top. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process five minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
Green Tomato Mincemeat (3 pints)
Tie allspice and cloves in a thin cloth bag. Mix all ingredients; bring to rapid boil, and simmer until thick. Pour into clean, standard canning jars to within 1 inch of top. Wipe jar mouth, and adjust lid. Process in boiling waterbath canner (212 degrees F) for 25 minutes.

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