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Refrigerator Pickles

My brother-in-law Greg doesn’t like dill, so he typically passes over the pickles. I make three kinds of pickles, and one of them sans-dill, or so I thought. I brought some to our family camping trip, and bragged I brought dill-less pickles just for him, and they passed his test. But after reviewing my recipe, I realized that while my pickles don’t have dill weed, they do have dill seed. Since he doesn’t have an allergy, not sure if I should come clean, or let him enjoy dill-kissed pickles without him knowing. It’s a pickle of a decision, that’s for sure.

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Peach Peel Syrup

One reason I love cooking, is it’s creative, which is particularly important when you buy produce in bulk. In my blog post, “What Should I Do With All This Produce?” I lay out some creative options for using bulk produce, and I need to update to add the option of fruit syrups. What brings me great joy is making something delicious out of scraps, which would typically be thrown out.

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I recently canned meatballs in homemade sauce as an experiment, but wasn’t sure what to expect. I canned in quarts, which means 90 minutes in the canner, so I was afraid they would be very soft and fall apart. I waited a week before opening – I almost held my breath as I waited for the moment of truth. I poured the jar into the bowl – it looked great. But what about texture?

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Canning is great fun, especially when experimenting with different recipes and flavor combinations. We just canned up some chicken, and I did some test jars of smokey, taco, bbq, Southwestern, and curry chicken. Here are the jars I prepared before filling with chicken.

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Canning Ground Beef

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Some of my favorite home canned convenience foods are ground beef, turkey and chicken. People tell me they are too afraid of killing someone to can meat. I inform these cautious canners death is just as certain from an improperly canned slice of carrot. More people get sick on packaged foods and grocery store produce than home canned goods. You almost never hear of home canned goods causing illness. You just have to follow instructions, like you would cooking with any method.

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