Tryon Farmers Market August Demonstrations

Published 10:00 pm Monday, August 18, 2014

My dear friend Dori and I had a wonderful time demonstrating the pickling of the green bean at last Thursday’s Tryon Farmers Market. Each Thursday that remains in August (and maybe a week into September) there will be food preservation demonstrations held at the market, via a grant from the “Ball” company won by Alex Rike, Polk County Farmers Market Manager.
In wooing people to stop for a demonstration, we had a lot of reactions to our greeting question of “Do you can?” Reactions like “Oh honey, I’ve canned enough in my life, gave it up years ago” and “It’s too hot to can,” to “No, that’s way too much work,” and “I don’t want to kill anyone with botulism.” The one we most loved was “I’d love to can, but I don’t know how.” One nice lady said, “My kitchen is too small.” If only she could have seen the spreading out I’ve seen others do toward the living room, out to the screened porch, into the yard. Ninety quarts of applesauce later, the job was done.
Yet these weekly demonstrations are designed to shed light that “Yes. You can can!” and the recipes and processes demonstrated are simple and delicious.
Take a peek at this easy recipe from the Ball Blue Book: Honey-spiced Peaches: 8 pounds small local peaches, Ball Fruit-Fresh Produce Protector, 1 c. sugar, 4 c. water, 2 c. local honey, 3 sticks cinnamon, 1 ½ t. whole allspice, ¾ t. whole cloves. Wash peaches, drain. Peel peaches, refer to Peaches recipe. Leave peaches whole, Treat with Fruit-Fresh to prevent darkening. Combine sugar, water and honey in a large saucepot. Cook until sugar dissolves. Drain peaches. Cook peaches one layer at a time in syrup 3 minutes or until hot throughout. Pack hot peaches into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Add 1 cinnamon stick, ½ t. allspice and ¼ t. cloves to each jar. Ladle hot syrup over peaches, leaving ½ inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 25 minutes in a boiling-water bath.
The real work is usually in preparing the ingredient to be pickled: snapping the 10 pounds of beans or peeling the 8 pounds of peaches. But after these initial steps, the processing is quite simple.
Sure there are home canning principles that are very important to follow like how to prevent food spoilage and deterioration. This is all done by controlling the conditions as you go along. The proper processing methods include the boiling water method and the pressure method. Equipment isn’t fancy or expensive and can be improvised. Jars, lids and bands, a boiling water canner or a pressure canner and some utensils get the process from start to finish.
These items are all on display in the demonstration tent at the Tryon Farmers Market each Thursday evening from 4 – 6 p.m. this month. Sign up to receive valuable ball coupons and recipes, etc. and receive some useful freebies while entering yourself into a raffle for larger ticket items donated through the grant. Several copies of the Ball Blue Book of Preserving Foods will be raffled off over the coming weeks as well. Give it a go with a bounty of your favorite items. Ball canning and preservation tips will be with you every step of the way.
– Carol Lynn Jackson

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