Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Turnips - a canning tutorial
We've grown turnips several different years in our garden, but I must admit they usually didn't get eaten. We'd harvest them, wash them, trim them, and put them in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Then we'd forget about them. About a month later I'd clean out the crisper and put the turnips in the compost pile.
This year I resolved it would be different. So I canned them! My hope is that this way they'll make their way into a soup or stew this winter.
Canning root vegetables is amazingly simple, really.
Like all pressure canning the first step for me was to get out the pressure canner and fill it with about an inch and a half of warm water. Then I put clean jars inside and filled them with warm water.
I turned the burner on high and put the lid on the pressure canner.
Next I peeled and chopped the turnips.
I put those peeled and chopped turnips in a pot of water and turned the heat on high.
Once they reached a boil I boiled them for five minutes.
While the turnips were boiling I put the canning jar lids in a saucepan with warm water and I turned the heat on low to just warm them a bit. Warmed lids form better seals.
I also got out my canning tools - magnetic lid lifter, canning jar tongs, canning funnel, ladle, slotted spoon, canning jar rings, and a clean damp cloth.
When the turnips had boiled their allotted five minutes I turned the heat down to low.
I used the canning jar tongs to lift a warmed jar out of the pressure canner. I dumped the water out in the sink and put a canning funnel in the jar. I used the slotted spoon to lift out cooked turnips and put them in the jar. I filled the jar to about an inch of the top.
Then I used the ladle to fill the jar with water from the turnip pot. I removed the funnel from the jar. I wiped the rim down with the clean damp cloth. I used the magnetic lid lifter to place a lid on the jar and I tightened a ring down around the lid.
Then I used the canning jar tongs to place the filled jar back in the pressure canner.
I repeated the steps until all the turnips were in jars.
(I also processed a quart of beets with the turnips since they share the same processing time)
Then I tightened the lid down on the pressure canner and made sure the heat was turned up to high.
This is the time when I clean up any dishes used in the process. I also kept an eye on the pressure canner and when I saw a steady stream of steam coming out of the vent pipe I set the timer for seven minutes. This is called venting the pressure canner. After those seven minutes were up I put the weight on the vent pipe at the 10 pound mark. Turnips need to process for 35 minutes (in quarts) at 10 pounds of pressure at my altitude.
I watched the pressure gauge and when it reached 10 pounds of pressure I set a timer for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes of processing I turned off the heat. When the pressure gauge returned to zero I unlocked the lid of the pressure canner and carefully removed it. Then I used the canning jar tongs to remove the jars and placed them on a towel on the countertop to cool.
After they were completely cooled I removed the rings and checked the seals on the lids. Then I wiped down the jars and labeled them with the date and contents. I stored them on a shelf in our basement. Canned goods like a cool dark storage place and our basement is ideal.
- A 40 something mama meandering through life with an eclectic 21 year old boy-man (the boy), an 8 year old girl (big girl) who is a ball of lightening, and a 4 year old girl (baby girl) who brightens our lives with her smiles. I'm grounded by my 40 something husband and partner (the hubster) whose quirky mannerisms brighten my days.
I've been a single mama, married mama, divorced mama, career mama, SAHM, and WAHM. There was a short time of my life when I wasn't a mama, but that was a LONG time ago!
I hold an AA, BS, and MA and most say I'm wasting them by devoting my intellectual capabilities and energy in the nurture of the wee ones that I've been entrusted to raise, but there is nothing else I'd rather be doing these days. :)
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