Tattler Challenge 1

The Tattler Challenge is for bloggers who love their reusable canning lids.  We’d like to encourage you to try new things and share your success.

If you have a blog…..

  • Post on your blog (or a blog you write for) about your canning projects using Tattler reusable canning lids,
  • Share the link to your blog post (on your blog) here in the comments.
  • Be eligible for a prize!

If you don’t have a blog….

If you don’t have a blog, but would like to participate.  Send your article and at least 2 images…. (one of which should show your tattlers in action) We’ll post it to tattlers blog and it will count!

E-mail your entries to info@reusablecanninglids.com.  Attach your images and please note in the comments line Tattler Challenge.
(Please note: Not all contributions will be accepted.)  The articles must be post worthy.  IOW I simply don’t have time to do any serious editing.  Please edit your article for grammar, spelling etc.  And we will not knowingly post anything that goes against USDA canning guidelines.

Current challenge… Keeping it Simple

Let’s do a blogger challenge! We’d like to encourage you to try new things and share your success. Post on your blog (or a blog you write for) about your canning projects using Tattler reusable canning lids. – See more at: http://blog.reusablecanninglids.com/take-the-tattler-challenge/#sthash.E14TFWAK.dpuf

For our first tattler challenge in the new year, let’s keep it simple.  Create a new blog post about using Tattler Reusable Canning lids.  That’s it!  Sky is the limit.  How easy is that?

tattler challengeThis challenge ends February 28, 2014

All post entries must be published on your blog between January 1st, 2014 and February 28, 2014.
(see our main challenge page for more detailed requirements).

All entries will be added to the page below with a link to your original blog post. Use the comment form to submit your blog post, post must contain a photo of the item you made so that we can include in the gallery. (you don’t have to send the image, I can pull it from your blog with your permission)

The Prizes:

One winner will receive a 50$ credit and a second winner will receive a $25.00 credit to Tattler Store.  This gives you the opportunity to choose what you need.  Spend it all on regular size lids or a mix of regular and wide mouth lids.  Maybe you have plenty of lids and would like to get replacement gaskets.  We also have headspace measurers, shrink wrap labels, and a very nice canning ladle.

We will select 2 random blog post entries as selected by random.org.  This gives every post entry a chance to win. We will also be sharing some of our favorite entries on our social media outlets. If we have more than 20 entries we will add an additional winner.

So to recap… two ways to enter.

  1. Leave a comment below with a link to your blog post entry.
  2. Or e-mail your entry to -  info@reusablecanninglids.com
  3. Good luck!


Important:
If you use the comments section below you must include a link to your blog post using tattler lids.  Just leaving a nice comment does not enter you in the contest.  (though we sure do like all your compliments!)

For more information see our Tattler Challenge Home Page
Comments are moderated before being made live.

Challenge is closed.  The winners are entry 5 and entry 1 as picked by random.org.

Congratulations Shepherd of the Home and pickled jalepenos was the first name drawn,  she will receive a 50.00 credit.

Congratulations Trixie with here lemonade concentrate was the second name drawn, she will receive a 25.00 credit. 

Challenge Entries (click on the image to see the entry)

 

 

Disclaimer…. Tattler  has not verified the canning methods in the challenge entries. Inclusion here does not indicate endorsement.  Please always use safe recommended canning practices.

Stack Canning Jars Pressure Canner

Did you know you can double stack canning jars in the pressure canner?
Yes you can! As long as you have a canner that is tall enough to hold your jars you can layer two levels of jars.stacking canning jars in the canner
Most brands of canners will come in a standard size that holds 7 quart jars. If you do a lot of canning it is worth getting the taller sizes. Some are tall enough to stand pints only and some will hold 14 quart jars in one load. This is very handy if you are canning to fill your pantry.

One warning. Before you purchase a tall canner check the distance between your stove top and the hood or cupboards above the stove. There needs to be enough room. The set up in my kitchen has just enough space for my canners that will stack pints, but if I were to buy the canner for layering quart jars it would not fit. Consider the space needed for taking the lid off and on and removing jars as well.

Don’t’ stack jars right on top of each other. Do have a rack in between your layers to maintain stability in the upper layer. You don’t want your jars falling over.stack canning jars pressure canner

In my opinion the makers of tall canners should assume we want to use 2 layers and provide an extra rack… but they don’t usually do so. I happen to have 2 pressure canners so I just use the rack from my other canner. I just did a quick search and found pressure canner racks on both e-bay and amazon.

Be sure and get a “pressure” canner rack. These racks are very flat and look like a metal plate with holes in them for water circulation. You don’t need the type of rack that usually comes with waterbath canners. These have handles to pull the whole rack out with all your jars. It might seem like a good idea but they don’t fit down into the pressure canner as well.

Double the jars in the same amount of time.  Makes good sense to me.

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My canning liquid loss fiasco

I experimented with my tattler lids the other night.  I was canning venison stew and I used 3 tattler lids and 4 metal lids.  I wanted to compare and see if there were a difference with the liquid loss. I’ve been asked about home canning liquid loss.  It is not uncommon. Read more here.  tattler-comparison

Well it was a good experiment because things did NOT go as planned.

Oh it had nothing to do with my canning lids. The Tattler lids did great!  Rather it was the canner that was giving me fits teaching me patience.

canning-venison-stew4I filled my jars placed them in the canner and started the process.  Darn!  It was almost up to pressure when the canner started leaking steam around the lid.  I was not paying attention.  Messes you up every time.  I placed my lid slightly crooked and so it reached a certain pressure and started leaking.  I’ve had this happen before and it is an easy fix.  But it involves letting the pressure down to zero, adjusting the lid so it is straight and starting over.

That stew was well cooked by the time I was done.  To add to the whole situation, it was late when I started.  When the processing time was done it was very late, I was tired and I knew by the time the pressure released and I could remove my jars….. it would be 3 am.  Uhhhhh not gonna happen.  I’m tired and going to bed.

So I made the decision to turn it off and let it cool overnight and remove my jars in the morning.

I don’t usually recommend doing that.

It leaves your jars in the heat longer than is necessary.  And with the canner I was using (my All American) I’d read that the lid will sometimes stick if you leave it overnight.

With Tattler lids you need to tighten that screw band down as you remove the jars from the canner.  I knew that in the morning they will have cooled longer than usual and I was not sure if it would affect how the lids sealed.

I should not have worried.  I took the jars out in the morning and they were already sealed.  They were still hot so I tightened the bands down at that time and let them cool the rest of the way.  They sealed just fine.   canning venison stew 2010-10-30 007

OK so go back to my original intent of checking to see if there was any siphoning.  If there is, what is the difference between tattler and metal lids?

Yes I did have a small amount of liquid loss.  But honestly with everything that went wrong… it didn’t surprise me.  The best thing is, There was no noticeable difference between Tattler lids and metal. They all were at approximately the same level of broth.

It figures they would work fine.

Disclaimer – I always recommend using proper recommended canning procedures.  Leaving your canner over night before removing your jars is not the norm. 

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Fear of pressure canning

pressure canningOccasionally I get letters with questions from people who have a fear of pressure canning.

Big Ol pot… valves, steam, pressure, scary!  It isn’t really necessary… is it?

My answer is YES it IS really necessary.

The fear that these new canners express is real.   Know what conquers fear?  Knowledge.  If you understand why pressure canning is important you will overcome that fear of that “big ol pot”

 How Processing Stops Spoilage in Your Foods

The short explanation of what happens when you process your jars:

During processing, as the contents boil, food spoilers are stopped and oxygen is expelled from the jar. As the jar cools after processing, its contents shrink and the lid is pulled down flat to form a seal. This prevents further contamination of the freshly sterilized foods inside the jar.

The difference between water bath and pressure canning is the amount of heat produced. A pressure canner produces a much higher level of heat. And remember, botulism can only be killed at very high temperatures.  Let’s go over each method.

Pressure Canning – 

Processing in a pressure canner is the only recommended method of canning vegetables, meats or recipes that include any of these as ingredients.  Chili or soup recipes are some examples.

Vegetables and meats are low acid foods. Botulism thrives in low acid, low oxygen environments. Just like what you find in a jar of home canned food.  In order to get rid of the risk of botulism… pressure is necessary.

Pressure boosts the heat levels in your canner high enough to kill the bacteria that causes botulism.

Water bath canning -

High acid foods may be safely processed in a water bath canner.

All fruits are high acid foods. Pie fillings, jams, jellies and fruit spreads (such as apple butter) are all included in this group.

Pickled products are also considered to be a high acid food even though they are usually vegetables (like cucumbers). Since they have acid added during preparation, usually in the form of vinegar or lemon juice they are acidic enough to be safely processed in a waterbath canner.

Salsa, some condiments including ketchup and barbecue sauce, as well as the dill pickle are included in this group. Because the acid is added during the cooking process, these are also considered high acid foods and are safely processed in a boiling water bath.

Pay attention to where you get your recipes for this group!  Be sure it is a tested recipe from a reliable source.  Safety in canning is based on the acidity level of your foods.  If you are using a tested recipe you will know that the ingredients are acidic enough to be safe.

Making your family sick is much more fearful than taking a chance with NOT pressure canning.   When pressure canning is called for.  I suggest you follow the recommended guidelines, and process your foods with the correct canning methods.

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New to canning where do I start?

checking the seal on canned peaches

checking the seal on canned peaches

I am new to canning and I was wondering in your opinion what is the easiest things for the newbie canner to start off with to get the hang of it.

I have an Autistic son so I want to give him the best food possible(all naturally canned)and I am also a former chef so the kitchen and I are good friends :):):) Any advise is more then appreciated. thank you for your time..

Dan

Answer from Sharon

Hi Dan,   The easiest way to get started is with fruit in a water bath canner.  Applesauce is very easy, as is apple butter.  But really most fruits are pretty easy, with pears being the most fickle.  They are so quick to turn brown.

Here is a link to Simply Canning Fruits section.

After you have done several things with a waterbath.   If you are just a hobbyist you might be satisfied with just items you can waterbath.

Once you are comfortable with that get a pressure canner.  It opens doors to what you can do.  If you want to fill your pantry with healthy food, you’ll need a pressure canner.  Then you can do veggies, meats and meals like chili, stews soups.

Hope that helps!

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Canning Apple Pie question and breaking jars.

canning apple pie filling I have a canning apple pie question.  As I was canning  my pie filling, it cooled down very quickly so the jars were not as hot an normal. One of the jars exploded when I lowered it into water bath canner.  

What should I have done to prevent this?  Thank you! 
Answer from Sharon

Some items it is hard to keep your jars very hot.  But it is important to do so as you found out.  You are right in assuming the temperature change is what may have caused the jar to break.

The next time you are canning something and your jars seem like they are cooling off before placing in the canner try this.

 

Have the water in the canner hot but not quite as hot as you had it.  I always say hot but not boiling.  You want to keep the temperatures of the water and your jars approximately the same.  This way there is not such a temperature change.

Now please don’t worry about being fanatical about it.  You probably don’t need to get your thermometer out.  Just keep in mind the ‘hot but not boiling’ suggestion.  Place your jars in the hot (but not too hot) water when all your jars are in the canner turn up the heat.  The jars will heat with the water in the canner.   When it comes to a boil then start your time.

I hope that helps!

Sharon

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Help I accidentally used double gaskets on my tattler

double gaskets tattler lidsDon’t worry if you’ve used double gaskets on your tattler lids.  This question has come up a couple of times so you are not the only one.

First let me reassure you…. as long as your jars remain sealed, the food is still safe.    What I’d recommend is placing those jars with extra seals to the front of your cupboard and use them up first.  Be sure and check the jars carefully when you open them.  You want to be sure the seal is still intact.

Many folks leave their metal bands on jars when they put them in storage.  I’d encourage you not to do that with these jars.  Store them without the band.  IF that seal does break, you want to know for sure.  You don’t want the screw band holding the lid down.

Aside:   I recommend leaving the metal bands off all jars when in storage anyway.

I was surprised that the lids would seal with extra gaskets in the first place. Just because I am a canning geek, I had to try it myself!    Soooooo…..
tattler-double-gaskets13
I took two small jars and some regular sized Tattler canning lids.   I used 2 gaskets on the smaller jar and 3 gaskets on one of my favorite cute jelly jars with the raised fruit pattern.  (No, I don’t know where to get these anymore. Treasure them if you have them.) tattler-double-gaskets15

I filled the jars with boiling water and placed my lids.  Finger Tight!   (afterwards I realized I failed to take the step of simmering the lids and gaskets…. oops)

I placed both jars in boiling water and boiled 10 minutes.   My old vintage mirro pressure cooker did the job nicely, I did not want to fill the whole canner for my little experiment. I did not lock the lid down.  There was no pressure involved.  I covered the jars and boiled them just as a waterbath.  tattler-double-gaskets16

By the way, if you are ever processing something and just need a waterbath, any pot will do as long as it has a rack to keep the jars off the bottom… and is deep enough to cover the jars with boiling water.

After the boiling process, I removed the jars and tightened the metal bands down just as I would if I had actually been canning something.

Later in the day I checked the seals by removing the screw bands and lifting the jar by the tattler lid.   Ta Da!  It worked.   Now keep in mind I’m NOT recommending that you be careless about using too many gaskets.  One is plenty!  :0)
tattler-double-gaskets21
But I satisfied my “gotta try this myself” geekiness, and proved that yes more gaskets will indeed seal.

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Pink Tattler lids

Did you see them yet?  Just in case you haven’t  here they are.  Pink Tattler lids.  I think they are cute…. no they are probably NOT a necessity.  And yes, you could probably live without ever having canned something with pink canning lids.  But why not!?  I’m a pink fan.  I have 4 sons and no daughters.  That means anything In my house that is pink… is MINE.   I guess I’ll have to share my peach plum jam though.

pink tattler lids

Peach Plum Nectarine Jam

And I’m sure next summer when it is hot and they have all been working hard, I’ll share some of that cherry lemonade I make with this concentrate….

pink tattler lids

Cherry Lemonade Concentrate

 

And the best part is you will be supporting something that helps women going through breast cancer treatment.

October is breast cancer awareness month.  You can make a difference.

Notice I didn’t say breast cancer research.  No when you buy pink lids during October you will help women and their families.  Real live women going through real live hard times.  Read more here.

pink cancer fundraiser

 

 

 

Pink Tattler Lids,  fun canning for a good cause.

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Cherry Rhubarb Pie

I decided to make a cherry rhubarb pie for dessert. Then I remembered this post (link). I’m happy to report jars are still sealed! I went ahead and checked all the cherry rhubarb jars I had since I couldn’t tell for sure which was the jar that I worried about the seal. Not a problem with any of them.

Here is how I make my pie…. the really really easy way.

cherry rhubarb pie filling

Opening jar of Cherry Rhubarb Pie filling

The story actually starts as I was walking through the grocery store, I spotted (shhhhhh) premade (and most certainly not as tasty or flaky or healthy as homemade) pie crusts. I knew that it was the holidays and I was surely going to be making a pie at some point. I also know that I am pie crust challenged and well….. one thing led to another and not one but TWO of those boxes pie crusts jumped into my cart.

roll out the pie crust

roll out the pie crust

Seriously… I don’t remember putting them there. But when I got home there they were. Imagine that?!?  So, yes I cheated and quickly and easily rolled out a pie crust for the bottom. I then pulled out 2 quarts of Cherry Rhubarb pie filling. (link)  Poured in 1 quart of pie filling, then half of the other quart.  Quickly and easily rolled out the other pie crust for the top.

home canned pie filling

Used my fork to make a somewhat sort of fancy crust edge. (not) Poked a few vent holes in the top, covered the edges with foil strips to keep them from burning and baked in a 425 oven until bubbly and lightly browned.

score the edges with a fork

cover the edges of the pie crust

cherry rhubarb pie

Cherry Rhubarb Pie… the Easy Way.

Ok so I left it just a BIT too long. See that sorta darkish brown spot on the top. Martha Stewart I am not. But my guys are certainly NOT complaining and going to love it!

Pop the tattler lid back on the half quart left over and store in the refrigerator until the next time we have ice-cream. YUM!

Enjoy!

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Canning Soup

I don’t know about where you are but ….. it’s cooling off here in Western Colorado! You know what I love about winter in Colorado?…. skiing, wood stoves, hot coffee with lots of cream and honey… and SOUP!  :0)

I love all kinds of soup. Most of the time I create my soups as we eat them. I’ll combine home canned broth and meat with dehydrated veggies and simmer it all day. Makes my house smell wonderful. But it is also handy to have soups ready to heat and serve from a jar.

Here are a few soup canning tips.

It is safe to can your own soup recipes but there are a few safety precautions you should be aware of. Number one rule….. always pressure can soup. Soups are made of veggies and usually meat is added, so a pressure canner is a necessity.

What should not be included in home canned soup?

Pasta noodles, rice, dairy products, flour or any other thickeners are a no no. Heat needs to penetrate completely to the center of your jars and the USDA has recommended that thickeners not be used.

If your favorite recipe uses any of these ingredients… there is an easy solution. Simply make the soup skipping these ingredients, and then add the noodles or cream when you heat the soup to serve it.

It is also not recommended to can pureed type soups…. again this is a thickness issue. And once again the solution is simple. Can the soup chunky… then puree or mash it when you open the jar to serve it.

If you are using beans or peas in your soup they must be cooked prior to canning. Cover your dried beans with water by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes, remove from the heat and let soak for at least 1 hour and drain. (or you could simply cover with cold water and let soak overnight) Add beans to your soup and cook. I’ll usually cook my soups so that any beans or peas are just slightly underdone. They will finish cooking in the canner. But don’t try to can them from raw.

Filling the canning jars.

canning split pea soup

Canning split pea soup

When you fill your jars to process be sure and fill halfway with the solid ingredients, then top off the jars with your broth. Leave the correct head space and process.

If you find that you don’t have quite enough liquid to top off your jars, you can simply heat up some broth or tomato juice to finish up the jars you have.Don’t try to add more solid ingredients. Jars with half solids and half liquids is the recommendation.

Be sure and wipe the rims of your jars clean…. add canning lids and rings. (Tattlers of course come highly recommended!) Process following pressure canning instructions.

Pints will need 60 minutes and quarts will need 75 minutes. Be sure to adjust your pressure according to your altitude.

If you are canning soup with seafood you will need process either pints or quarts for 100 minutes. Be sure to adjust processing according to your altitude.

Be sure to adjust pressure in your pressure canner according to your altitude.

Pressure Requirements for a Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 10 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15

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