Monday, September 9, 2013

Preserving Corn: canning corn and red peppers with basil or pickle Relish with peppers and corn

It's corn's harvest season!

That used to mean it's moonshine season! Neighbors would help a corn farmer shuck corn all day. lots of times a farmer would set a gallon jug of good ol'corn liquor right in the middle; then see who could shuck the fastest - and that person got to enjoy the jug first.

They say, you'd maybe go to maybe a dozen corn shuckin's in one fall. Older people will tell you, it was liquor back in those days. If you had a gallon like they did back then, you could make any kind of medicine you wanted to now.

There is a critical importance of Agriculture to human health, ongoing life, and cultural ritual. The farms and gardens of Appalachia’s people were vital to family survival, and people spent hours and hours around and about their crops and animals. Like in the photo below of my grandparents and their family and friends in the 1970s, the relationships humans have with their animals and food dictate the meaning of community and the quality of life itself.

How about the bad quality of our products today - but we still carry tried and true practical items like the best Black Walnut Cracker available

the recipes

15 pounds of corn on the cob
1 pound of red peppers (about three medium)

Cut corn on the cob. We think this corncutter made of wood makes the process easy. Cut red peppers into strips. Pack corn loosely into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 3 to 4 strips of red pepper and 1/2 tablespoon basil to each jar. Ladle boiling water over corn, leaving 1-inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 55 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.

Makes about 5 pints.

This is a picture of pickle corn relish - here is the basic recipe -

Soak the chopped vegetables in a large bowl, combine -
3 quarts chopped cucumbers
3 cups each of chopped sweet green and red peppers
1 cup chopped onions)
3/4 cup canning or pickling salt
2 cups ice
4 cups water
and let stand for 4 hours. Use more of each water and ice , if needed to cover the veggies
Drain - Just drain and discard the salt water.
Cover the vegetables with fresh ice water for another hour.
Cover the chopped veggies with the same amount of water and ice (use more of each , if needed to cover) and let it stand for 1 hour more. Drain again and discard the water again.

Mix spices and vinegar
Combine 4 teaspoons each of mustard seed, turmeric, whole allspice, and whole cloves in a spice or cheesecloth bag. Add spices to 2 cups sugar and 6 cups white vinegar. Heat to the vinegar and spice mix to a boil. Pour the spice/vinegar over the chopped vegetables and then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, (up to 36 hours).

Heat the relish and jars - process the same as above. Remember to leave about 1/4" - 1/2" of head space in your jar.

Keeps for 12 - 18 months!

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