Sunday, June 26, 2011

Since you asked...

I never get any letters in the mail anymore, but I do get blog comments and they are just as good!  This summer I've got a bumper crop of canning questions questions that need we go!

I stumbled across your blog by accident, and this cranberry mustard was so delicious! I tend to like spicy mustard though. Do you have a suggestion for how to make this spicier? Prepared horseradish? Do you have a quantity suggestion? Thanks! And I can't wait to try some of your other recipes!

Thank you for the kind words about my blog.   To make this recipe spicier, try experimenting with what kind of mustard you use in it. (don't increase the amount, because you don't want to alter the pH of the final products) I buy all my spices at Penzeys, and they sell an Oriental mustard powder that is hot.   They also sell a horseradish powder you might add in place of some of the mustard.  I had also considered that wasabi powder might be a substitution that would work, but after reading the clever write up about it on Penzey's website, it's best to just try the horseradish powder instead.   I don't have a Penzey's store nearby, so I order my spices from them by mail.  Each order is handpacked and signed by the employee that boxes it up.   Plus, they always tuck in a few extra bottles of things just for a treat.   Their homespun catalog is fun to read, too....kind of like the way "Taste of Home" used to be before it sold out and became what it is today. 

If I don't process Major Grey's chutney and just put it in the fridge, how long will it keep?

The chutney lasts indefinitely in the fridge....however, I'd make a smaller quantity since this recipe makes a lot of chutney.  It made enough for my family for years when I made it last! 

I have a question, do you HAVE to use pectin? I want to make blackberry jam, i am using stevia, and i don't want to buy the Pomona brand, although Akins carry's it, i am frugal to the bone!! **big smile** But my question is, may i use unflavored gelatin to make it set? and will that work or does it alter the taste? This will be my first time making a jam... LOL

You could use gelatin to make a jam kept in the refrigerator.   Here's a great publication from the University of Nebraska extension that has a recipe, plus lots of other information about jam and jelly making.

Hi Mother's Kitchen Can I ask why you are concerned with zucchini in jam? Even taking away my family's history with making zucchini jam, the Classic Zucchini Cookbook among other canning recipe books have a version of this jam in it pg 290, so I wonder why what it is about it that you would consider unsafe to can? Please don't get me wrong, I totally understand you putting a warning on something if you don't consider it safe, hope you don't mind me asking?

That's a great question....while I don't have the cookbook you mentioned available for me to review, many cookbooks include recipes that aren't canning safe.  To be boiling water bath canning safe, a recipe must have a pH of 4.5 or less. The one you posted on your blog had me concerned because of it's potential pH.   The pH of the 8 cups of zucchini is very high - it can be as high as 6.1.   The acidic ingredients in your recipe are the 2 cups apple juice, which could be as high as 4.0.  and the rhubarb, which can be as high as 3.4.  In order to develop a new canning recipe, I always start from a known safe recipe and tweak from there.

A good resource for a canning safe zucchini jam recipe is Linda Ziedrich's Joy of Jams, Jellies and Other Sweet Preserves which has a recipe for marrow jam  (marrow is the British word for zucchini) that I trust to be canning safe, because I know that Linda only publishes proven canning safe recipes.   You will note that Linda's recipe uses 2 1/2 lbs of zucchini and 1/4 cup lemon juice, which has a pH of only 2.6. So reading though it all, it could be that the apple juice and rhubarb might provide enough acidification for your jam, but I wasn't comfortable saying it was because the National Center for Home Food Preservation (USDA) does not recommend canning zucchini at all except pickled.   So, that's why I suggested refrigerating it.   Hope that helps explain my logic. 


farmgal said...

thanks for answering my question, I thought that it might be that marrow is a veggie and all that goes with it, Thanks for taking the time to do some research on it.

I will start saving and including the lemon seeds to use in helping make homemade pectin.

Tracy Wood said...

Cranberry Mustard sounds heavenly. We are big condiment people - it's kinda a joke how many condiments we like on our sandwiches, meats, salads, and even eggs! I will bookmark your fine recipe. Thanks!

Tightwad Mom said...

Great advice. Love that you are a canning junkie, too.