Bread and Butter Pickles

A couple of firsts this week:

1.Using the sanitize mode on my dishwasher. I’m so glad we have that on our dishwasher. It’s so handy to have when you like to can a lot of food that grows in your garden.

2. Canning pickles. It’s not so hard. It’s pretty dang easy actually. Boil sugar, vinegar, and spices together until all the sugar has dissolve. Seal, boil the jar of pickles in the hot tub for 10 minutes.

I don’t know why I ever found the task daunting before. I’m always kind of leary about trying my own canned foods but if you hear a pop or a suction noise then they’re ok to eat.

Recipe Diaries is going to be announcing some news in the next coming weeks here, so stay tuned. It’s very exciting!


Recipe from Preserving the Harvest


Bread and Butter Pickles


  • 6lb medium-sized cucumbers (scrubbed and sliced 1/8 inch thick)
  • 1 1/2 cup peeled and sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 3 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar


Step 1
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cucumbers, onions, and garlic. Add the salt and mix thoroughly. Cover with ice cubes. Let stand for 3 hours.
Step 2
Rinse well, thoroughly drain the mixture, and remove the garlic cloves.
Step 3
Combine sugar, mustard seeds, and turmeric; stir in the vinegar and heat to boiling in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the drained cucumber mixture and heat for 5 minutes.
Step 4
Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Cap and seal.
Step 5
Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water-bath canner. Adjust for altitude, if necessary.

Apple Pie Filling

Today was a busy day. I spent most of the morning up until about 1:30 in the kitchen. I peeled apples from our tree. We have a lot of them this year. Actually, I was kind of bummed because, a friend and I had gone to an orchard and picked a few and they weren’t as good as the ones on our tree. That orchard gets flooded a lot every year, since it’s near the river. The apples were so tiny, and all the good ones that were left, were at the very top of the tree. We didn’t bring an apple picker.

After, all the apples were peeled that I needed, I made a pie filling for them. Ended up with 10 quart size jars full of them. The stuff is so good, you could  eat the apple pie filling out of the jars. I even had two store bought pie crusts, so I made an apple pie a long with the pie filling. It was delicious. We still have plenty of apples on our tree, and I really want to can some applesauce and maybe make some apple butter.  All the rest of the apples my grandma and mom will deal with. Or, whoever else wants some too. They’re really good this year. My friend Ashley, gave me this recipe from a book she used.


4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grount nutmeg
3 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 drops yellow food coloring (we didnt ‘ add this)
5 1/2 – 6 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

In large saucepan blend first 4 ingredients and 1 tsp salt. Stir in 10 cups water; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add lemon juice and food coloring. Pack apples into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Fill with hot syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. (Use spatula to help distrube syrup.) Adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath (pints) 15 minutes; (quarts) 20 minutes. Makes 6 quarts.

Before serving: Prepare pastry for a 2-crust 8-or9 inch pie. Line pie plate with pastry; add 1 quart apple pie filling. Adjust top crust, cutting slits for escape of steam; seal. Bake at 400 for 50 minutes.

Anna’s Orange Marmalade

I successfully made my own jam for the first time today. Naval  oranges were on sale and I’ve been wanting to make and can my own jam for awhile now. There were some learning experiences to go a long with making this recipe. Some, I’m not very proud of.

1. It takes almost an hour to get the jam to it’s proper temperature. The recipe called for 30 minutes but mine took twice as long.

2. Even though I started processing the jars a little bit to early, the temperature was around 210 degrees when I started to sterilize the jars.  Maybe next time, start sterilizing the jars at 215 degrees??? I think I ended up boiling those jars for almost 45 minutes. They’re pretty darn safe to eat it from by then. Better safe than sorry.

3. Once you fill the jam into jars, there’s still a little bit of the jam mixture at the bottom of the pan. I couldn’t get it all scooped out on time and a little amount of jam left at the bottom of the pan ended up burning. Ooops.  I put some water in the pan quickly so that it would come out. It’s working, cause the water is helping to loosen up the burnt sugar at the bottom.

4. Always, put a pan that hot on a hot plate. I was so frantically running around the kitchen trying to find something to put it on but I couldn’t find anything. If you don’t, something bad will happen to your counter top. Usually, I have dishes in that spot, so it’s not very noticeable, but still sucks.

5. This recipe calls for 8 cups of sugar. Yes, 8. Even by just reading that, you know it’s going to be a good recipe.

Ingredients from Ina Garten

4 large seedless oranges
2 lemons
8 cups sugar


Cut the oranges and lemons in half crosswise, then into very thin half-moon slices. (If you have a mandoline, this will be quite fast.) Discard any seeds. Place the sliced fruit and their juices into a stainless-steel pot. Add 8 cups water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Cover and allow to stand overnight at room temperature.

The next day, bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. Turn the heat up to medium and boil gently, stirring often, for another 30 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on the top. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer. If you want to be doubly sure it’s ready, place a small amount on a plate and refrigerate it until it’s cool but not cold. If it’s firm — neither runny nor too hard — it’s done. It will be a golden orange color. (If the marmalade is runny, continue cooking it and if it’s too hard, add more water.)

Pour the marmalade into clean, hot Mason jars; wipe the rims thoroughly with a clean damp paper towel, and seal with the lids. Store in the pantry for up to a year.

Raspberry freezer jam

I admit, I was slightly confused when I heard the words freezer and jam. What’s that supposed be like compared to regular jam? Freezer jam isn’t as thick as regular jam. I’ve seen recipes where you just combine the ingredients together and whisk until fruit mixture is thick. No cooking required. That’s how easy it is.

This recipe required cooking but not for long. You bring the sugar and fruit mixture up to a boil and add in the pectin. Continue to cook for another minute and you’re done. They have small storage containers for freezer jam, but I got some larger ones at home. You can also use jars and freezer bags. Just make sure there’s 1/2 in space between the lid and jam or else, it might expand and crack. That would suck trying to clean up all that mess in the freezer. It’s good on top of English muffins and ice cream. A nice way to preserve fresh fruit, and it sure beats making regular jam. I can never get that stuff to get thick.

Ingredients from martha stewart

5 cups of crushed plms, peaches, or necatarines (any fruit will work)
1/2 cup of lemon juice
2 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 package of no sugar added pectin

Bring fruit to a boil and add in lemon juice.
In a bowl whisk together granulated sugar and 1/2 cup powdered sugar, no sugar pectin. Add to fruit, stirring until sugar mixture disolves and fruit returns to a full rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Transfer to jars or bags, leaving a 1/2 in space on top. seal and let sit at room temperature until jam is set, 2 to 3 hours.

2 tablespoons (using peaches) 40 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 grams protein, 10 g carbs, 0 grams of fiber