tea pile

Large container sources?

I've just had a container of rice go bad on me - moths found their way into the pantry. Everything else is fine, but this is the last container of food that I'm going to have this problem with. I've been doing some poking around, but I'm having trouble finding containers for grains/flour/sugar that are appropriate and not exorbitantly expensive. Where did you buy your containers?

Good FULL SOUR recipe for canned or refrigerator pickles

I have a LOT of pickling cucumbers in my CSA box this week. I prefer the full sour pickles or full-sour garlic dill pickles I've eaten all my life from Jewish brands. Most importantly, I like my pickles REALLY SOUR. Do you have a good recipe for making full-sour pickles, whether with a canner or refrigerator-style?

I also like spicy sour pickles, so if you have any ideas of how to make my pickles spicy, I'd love to hear it.

I'd love to hear how to make truly sour refrigerator pickles, since I may not get time to haul out my canning equipment before the pickles start to go bad.

Also, does it affect the recipe whether I quarter the cukes or not? They are on the big side for pickling cukes so I think I might need to quarter some of them.

hibiscus me

Canning by weight, not volume?

Can anyone recommend a good canning book which uses weight measurements rather than volume? Weight is much more accurate, and I have to admit, I feel a little insulted by the "beginner's books" which harp on how important it is to use exact proportions for safety and then have you measure something large and round like strawberries in cups. :)
Isoceles Kitteh

(no subject)

Thanks everyone, for your advice on the runny jam. In the back of my Ball Blue book I found remake instructions for cooked soft spread, which mentions using pectin, a little sugar, and lemon juice.

I think it was fine until I processed it under pressure, the cup or so extra I had that I put into a bowl gelled up fine. I had read that processing jam under pressure could break down the pectin, I guess that's what happened. Next time I will just find room in the freezer for all the berries instead of trying to do them all at once.
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ATTN: people with a .edu email address

Amazon is offering a free 1 year subscription to Amazon Prime (Which usually costs $79 a year. Perks include free 2 day shipping, and $3.99 overnight shipping): http://amzn.to/bSH8jP (url shortened with bit.ly)

This is being marketed towards college students but all you need is a valid .edu email address, so teachers and alumni might be able to benefit from this too (though the Terms of Service does say they have the right to ask for proof that you are a current student).

I apologize if you have already heard about this amazing deal. I just want to help spread the word on this before they stop offering it. I am not an employee of Amazon, nor do I gain anything from people signing up for this service.


Ok, I (think I) screwed up. I had a lot of blackberries that I wanted to make into jam, and I hate making little batches, so I made 4x the batch. And I lost count of how much sugar I put in, and it never got above 205 degrees no matter how long I boiled it (I didn't use pectin), then I realized I couldn't do a double boiling water bath, but I had all 20 pints in the canner, so I pressure canned them . 6 hours later the jars are sealed, but the "jam" is practically still liquid. Should pour them out into a pot, add the sugar I forgot, boil & process them correctly? Help? ::wibble face::
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Bulk Grain Purchase

Hi, fellow food storage fans,

I've not forgotten our wonderful community here. I've been overwhelmed with a special needs kid whose special needs are often met by some of my food storage efforts, such as making bread and preparing stuff to can, but leaves less time for computer endeavors!

I've recently discovered a person in the Amherst, MA, area who has been coordinating bulk food efforts for families around New England. She orders a variety of foodstuffs from a wide variety of sources. She's trying to put together a grain order from Wheat Montana. If she can fill the truck (45000 pounds), we can all benefit from the cheaper shipping.

I have a copy of her original e-mail, her e-mail address, and the item list. Please let me know if you're interested. She'd like to finalize the order by this weekend, if possible.

I plan on trying to work with her to streamline an ordering schedule so interested parties can plan their purchases more efficiently and effectively.

Happy Harvesting!
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A friend offered me a family recipe for a strawberry & muscadine jelly. She is having a hard time prying it from her moms hands once her mom found out it was going outside the family.

It sounds great to me. Anyone got a recipe for that mixture they want to share?

Also a friend asked if I would teach her how to can. I really feel inadequate to this because I have only been canning for 2-3 years or so. When did you start teaching if you ever did? I figure a Blue Bell book as a gift is a starting place.

Before the questions start she did not know what she wanted to can. I asked her to think about it so I would know if she needed a pressure canner or a water bath.


Found at the local thrift store some small jars at a good price. They are the one cup size and they were $0.39 each. Some were $0.59 which I did not consider a good price.

I personally put semi spicy peppers, pepper blends, or ... well any peppers in this size jar. It is just about perfect for a chilli. Just dump them in and keep moving. A mix of 50/50 green bell and jalapeno or so is good. If I put the peppers in a pint or quart jar it is just too many.

The really small jars 1/2 cup are good for really spicy chilli peppers. Things like cayenne, habanero, or thai.

I have been putting rice, flour, grits, or other such dried goods in quart jars. Soften the lid in warm water, dry it, throw an O2 absorber in with the goods and your good to go. I am considering ordering in some 1/2 gallon jars. Got any good / cheap suppliers for them? No one stocks them around here. I am not sure if I need to put stuff into a larger jar or not. It is just me in the house now mostly.

I used to use a food saver vacuum sealer but I kept finding the vacuum broken. Not sure why. I could step up to mylar but it seems like kind of huge quantities for just me.

I guess I am posting this to start a conversation because I am bored and want to see what y'all do.

Mint chocolate chip storage

Today I discovered that a local bulk-foods store is discontinuing their awesomely delicious mint chocolate chips. The remainder of their stock is on sale at 85% off regular price... so of course I bought a great, big, huge bunch. Several big bags of them in fact.

But now I'm wondering how best to store these chocolate chips so they don't lose their mint flavor. I'm afraid that since mint is kind of a volatile flavoring, by the time I've used them all up they will be just chocolate chips, with the minty flavor all evaporated.

Normally I keep my chocolate baking chips in plastic or metal containers with tightly sealing lids, and in a cool area, and I've never had flavor-loss problems. But this is a BIG batch of chips that won't be used up any time soon, so my usual storage method and containers may not suffice.

Should I freeze the extra bags, maybe? Or - what? I'd be grateful for any and all tips.

(X-posted to hip_domestics)