Summer Is Here BBQ, Beach, and Canning Season

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Time to play outside get some fresh air. The Brentwood farms are ready for you to go pick fruit. There is a lot of wonderful produce at this time of year. It is canning season. Time to save those amazing fresh flavors for the year. All In A Jar wants to help you by having a sale. Buy two for one. Pay the price for one class and bring a friend with you. Sale ends July 1 2014. Happy Canning.

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Judging Preserves At The Alameda County Fair

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I was asked to be a judge at the fair. I’m very naive thinking I was going to taste some wonderful home made preserves. They had me tasting butters, marmalade, curds and hot sauces. They had other judges tasting jams, pickles, olive oils, honeys, relishes, chutneys, canned fruits and jellies. The butters had too much spice and sugar. I couldn’t taste the fruit. The marmalade had big pieces of peel, very bitter. The curd had the smell of eggs and you could see the egg whites. The hot sauce was in a new category for professionals. This is a category for people that sell their products and want to say they won in the Country Fair. We all know the first thing you do when opening a jar is look, smell and taste. The ” look”  you are looking for is bubbling and or mold. The “smell ” will be stinky if there is a problem. If a jar has bubbles, mold and smells bad please do not taste. After opening one of the hot sauces it started to look like a volcano, pouring out all over the table. This is a bad jar with a lot of bacteria built up inside. This could have happened because the room was warm. They had another category that was mixed fruit. This is where I found the best jar of the day. It was a Cherry Balsamic Chutney. It was a beautiful color with great texture. The balsamic was the perfect hint of vinegar and it had some nuts for a little crunch. After I was done I walked around to see what was out there. I asked where is the Pie Filling and Mustard. They wrote them down, so maybe they will be doing that next year.  There are a lot of bad canners out there and I hope they find All In A Jar Private School. Remember to keep jars in a cool dark place. Happy Canning.

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Bad Information On The Internet

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With the first day of summer in just a few day, I think of all the beautiful fruit that is coming in to season.There are so many recipes we can make with fruit, like jams, chutney, curd and one of my favorites, pie filling. With this in mind, I decided to look at what is on the internet for pie fillings. Wow, there are a lot of recipes, but most are not safe. Please be careful when looking for recipes. Please go to these websites: National Center For Home Food Preservation and Ball. The recipes you find on these website are tested and safe. Never use flour or cornstarch when canning. They will go bad in the jar in a few weeks. You need to use Regular Clear Jel; this is a modified cornstarch made for canning. You can also use it to make sauces, gravy and anything you want to thicken. You can order this at http://www.barryfarm.com. Remember to look for small berries, they contain less water and will have more flavor. Happy Canning.
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