Preserve summer goods for winter

I received a Harrison County Dairy Association basket of goodies from Addy Caldwell at the junior fair sales auction, and in it was a blue-hue Ball canning jar with a tag noting that this was the 100-year anniversary of the Ball mason jar. There also was a site to go online to learn about the jars that started as a vessel for soldiers during World War I.

Between 1913 and 1915, the Ball brothers introduced the “perfect mason,” the “perfection” and the “improved” canning jars that were actually vessels. What went inside the jars was a product from a season of hard work, and what came out was a freshness that fed families or nourished soldiers far away.

Eventually these jars were discontinued in the years after World War I. But they never went out of use. That is why Ball is bringing them back as a celebration to a part of American history.

The collector’s series is meant to honor the spirit of building, craftsmanship and innovation of past generations, which built a foundation of values for the future.

The jars are tangible proof that while hard times may fall, a stronger America will always rise again. The American spirit remains preserved with the American Heritage Collection of jars. What was once made in America is still made in America.

For information, visit jars-p-932.html#sthash.aWNTX8eV.dpuf.)

The sun-ripened vegetables and fruits of summer can be savored for the days of winter by canning the brilliantly colored produce when at its peak.

The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook has some recipes for some different kinds of jellies, chunteys and salsa that you might want to try.

Something unique, tasty and homemade is always a nice gift when accompanied by a box of crackers, a loaf of crusty bread, some taco chips or cheese.

In canning, make sure to allow for headspace in the jar, between the top of the food and the rim of its container. Leaving the correct amount is essential for optimum results.

The headspace allows a vacuum to form and the jar to seal. To become acquainted with the amount of space to be allowed for the food in each jar, use a ruler to measure for a few times until you get used to it.

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This recipe is for a spicy-sweet jelly. It is suggested to pour the pepper jelly over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers for a simple appetizer or snack.

Pepper Jelly

1 1/2 cups cranberry juice, not the low calorie kind

1 cup vinegar

2 to 4 fresh jalapeno chili peppers, halved

5 cups sugar

1 foil pouch liquid fruit pectin, half of a 6-ounce package

In a medium stainless steel enamel, or nonstick saucepan, combine cranberry juice, vinegar and peppers. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon to remove all liquid; measure 2 cups. Discard pulp. In a 6-quart heavy kettle, combine the 2 cups liquid and sugar. Bring to a full rolling and cook over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in pectin. Return to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon. Ladle into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Start timing when water returns to a boil. Remove jars; cool on racks until set, two to three days. Makes 5 half pints. This is 57 calories per tablespoon, with no fat.

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Chutney is a combination of chopped fruit, with lemon juice and spices to add a zesty spark. It can be served with beef, pork or lamb or served on top of Brie or cream cheese.

Pear-Cherry Chutney

1 cup dried, tart, red cherries, snipped

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

5 cups coarsely, chopped, peeled ripe pears

In a heavy kettle, combine dried cherries, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, cinnamon and allspice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in pears; return to boiling. Simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes more or until cooking liquid barely covers fruit. Remove from heat. Let cool 1 hour. Ladle into half-pint freezer containers, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and label. Store the chutney up to two weeks in the refrigerator or for up to six months in the freezer. Makes four half-pints.

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Here is another chutney recipe that could be used as a side with any kind of meat, just as cranberry sauce. It has a tiny zing of hotness with cayenne pepper used.

Blueberry Chutney

1 cup sugar

1 cup raspberry-flavored vinegar

1 large onion, finely chopped, 1 cup

2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

In a medium-heavy saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, onion, lemon peel, ginger, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in 2 cups of the blueberries and the cranberries. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 4 cups blueberries. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes more or until thickened and of desired consistency, stirring o occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool 1 hour. Ladle into half-pint freezer containers, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and label.

Store up to two weeks in the refrigerator or for up to six months in the freezer. Serve as a condiment with turkey, chicken or pork. Makes three half pints.

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My mother-in-law made the best corn relish. Just like this recipe it was colorful with red and green sweet peppers. It is said to be good on grilled or fried fish or grilled ribeye steaks.

Corn Relish Salsa

16 to 18 fresh ears of corn

2 cups water

3 cups chopped celery, 6 stalks

1 1/2 cups chopped red sweet pepper, 2 medium

1 1/2 cups chopped green sweet pepper, 2 medium

1 cup chopped onion, 2 medium

3 cups vinegar

2 cups sugar

4 teaspoons dry mustard

2 teaspoons pickling salt

2 teaspoons celery seed

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold water

Cut corn from cobs. Do not scrape cobs. Measure 8 cups corn. In an 8- to 10- quart stainless steel or nonstick heavy kettle, combine corn and the 2 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 4 to 5 minutes or until corn is nearly tender; drain.

In the same kettle, combine corn, celery, sweet peppers and onion. Stir in vinegar, sugar, mustard, pickling salt, celery seed and turmeric. Bring to a boil. Boil gently, uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine cornstarch and the 2 tablespoons cold water; add to corn mixture. Cook and stir until bubbly; cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Ladle hot relish into hot, clean pint canning jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes, starting to time when water returns to a boil. Remove jars and cool on racks. Makes seven pints.

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This is a tasty way to make a small amount of cucumbers, and it doesn’t take any cooking. Just make sure the jar is sterilized.

Faster Than Lightning Pickles

1 pound cucumbers, sliced

2 tablespoons coarse salt

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup water

1 tablespoon pickling spice

1 clove garlic

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons sugar

Sprig of dill, if desired

Toss cucumbers with coarse salt and chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Rinse well and drain. Combine the vinegar; water, pickling spice; 2 teaspoons salt; garlic; sprig of dill, if desired; and sugar. Stir well to dissolve.

Add the cucumbers and chill overnight. Put in a quart jar and use within a month.

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Pineapple can be used as a side dish. Jean Baker had a prize winning recipe in a past Holiday Cookbook, but I did not explain what to do with the eggs called for in the ingredients.

Pineapple Casserole

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup sugar

15-ounce can pineapple tidbits, with juice

3 slices white bread

3 eggs, slightly beaten

6 tablespoons butter, melted

In a 2 1/2 quart baking dish, mix flour and sugar. Add pineapple and juice. Tear two slices of bread into little pieces and add to the mixture. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Top with another slice of broken bread but do not stir. Pour melted butter overall and bake at 350 degrees about 30 to 45 minutes, until bread is toasted and mixture is bubbling all over. This is good with ham or pork.

(McCoy can be contacted at