Canning Lime Pickles


Lime Pickles are sweet and crunchy with a serious jaw dropping zing. Pickling with Lime adds crispness to these tasty pickles that just can’t be replicated by using any other method.

The process of Lime pickling is a bit time-consuming but well worth the effort. When using Pickling Lime be ready to spend 3 full days to process your recipe.


To make this recipe using Mrs. Wages Pickling Lime. Most local food markets carry the product in the baking or seasonal foods isle. The recipe for Sweet Lime Pickles can also be found on the back panel but I used my mother’s recipe.

Lime Pickles Recipe:

7 lbs. cucumbers (Slice crosswise)
1 cup MRS. WAGES Pickling Lime
2 gallons water
8 cups distilled white vinegar, 5% acidity
8 cups sugar
1 tablespoon salt (optional)
2 teaspoons MRS. WAGES Mixed Pickling Spices

1. Slice and Soak clean cucumbers in water and lime mixture in crockery or enamel ware for 2 hours or overnight. Do not use aluminum ware.


2. Remove sliced cucumbers from lime water. Discard lime water. Rinse 3 times in fresh cold water. Soak 3 hours in fresh ice water.

3. Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and mixed pickling spices in a large pot. Bring to a low boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook syrup for 5-10 minutes. Remove syrup from heat and add sliced cucumbers. 

Optional: Allow pickles to soak in syrup, at room temperature overnight. Return to a boil before filling canning jars

4. Fill sterilized jars with hot slices. Pour hot syrup over the slices, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Clean rims with a clean towel and cap each jar when filled.

If desired, food coloring can be added during this step. Separate the hot syrup in half prior to covering cucumbers, add a few drops red food coloring to half and a few drops green to the other half, stir with a wooden spoon until food coloring is well blended then pour over cooked cucumbers as directed above.




You may choose to add another canning project such as Pickle Eggs during the brining and soaking steps. Hard boil 1 dozen eggs, place several eggs in sterilized jars and ladle hot syrup over, process in hot water bath with pickles. Pickled eggs that are processed in a water bath must be kept in the refrigerator. 


5.  Process pints 10 minutes, quarts 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.

6. Test jars for airtight seals according to manufacturer’s instructions. Refrigerate unsealed jars



For detailed instructions of jar sterilization and canning preparation click HERE

Recipe source:  and Anne Stone

All Photos by At Home with Rebecka

COTS n QUATS Marmalade with Madagascar Vanilla Bean & Morbier Cheese

Cots and Quats Jelly
The bright orange skin of the kumquat is so inviting but with one taste your mouth will twist up into a pucker.  The tart pucker can be eased by adding sugar allowing the complex citrus flavor the perfect vehicle for consumption. In contrast, the soft almost furry skin of the apricot beacons me for a bite, revealing it’s sweet tart flavor and juicy flesh. Apricots are filled with natural pectin and are perfect fruit for preserving.These two distinct flavors sounded like a perfect pairing for a marmalade and since I’m in “canning mode” that’s exactly what I decided to make.  I also wanted to add an element of surprise to my recipe so I incorporated the rich flavor of Madagascar Vanilla Bean and a touch of almond extract.   Filled with inspiration from these fresh ingredients I rendered one of the most flavorful marmalade’s in my canning history!  A mouthful of nectar fit for a king! 




2 cups kumquat sliced skin on, seeds removed
6 pounds fresh apricots (10 cups) cut into quarters, pits removed
4 cups sugar
1 Madagascar Vanilla Bean
1 teaspoon almond extract


In a large stock pot combine kumquat, apricots,  whole vanilla bean and sugar, stir to combine, cover and cook on medium heat until kumquat release their liquid about 15 minutes, remove lid and bring to a boil.  Skim foam from top of hot mixture, remove vanilla bean and split with a sharp knife, remove seeds by scraping a sharp knife inside seed pod, add all seeds to mixture and return seed pod to hot mixture; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.  Add almond extract and stir mixture vigorously with a metal spoon to break apart apricots, mixture will thicken naturally, do not add pectin.

Ladle hot mixture into prepared jars and cover with clean lids and rims.  Return sealed jars to a hot water bath and boil for 15 minutes, remove jars to a clean dry towel, rest jars until seals form, this can take 15 minutes to 24 hours (see instructions for jar preparation and how to create a proper seal)

Apricot and Kumquat Jelly

The tart sweet flavor of this marmalade makes for a fabulous light picnic paired with Morbier cheese and crackers. French Morbier is from the eponymous town in the Jura Mountains, this raw cow’s milk cheese is traditionally made from two milkings, an evening and a morning, separated by a layer of vegetable ash. Legend has it that Comté cheese-makers with extra curds at the end of each day sprinkled them with soot to protect their bounty from flies until they could add milk the following morning to complete a smaller wheel of cheese for personal consumption. Thus, Semi-Soft, pressed and uncooked cheese with pronounced aroma and hearty flavor, which is Morbier. Today the layer is one of vegetable ash, usually decorative, and the paste remains supple and sweet.(source,

A fine bottle of Proseco and sweet ice coffee accompanied my picnic.







Apricot Ginger Conserve

I started canning alongside my mother when I was very young. One of my favorite memories of canning was when our family lived in Elmwood Illinois. Together with mom, dad and my three older brothers we lived close to an open track of meadow that went from Elmwood all the way into Chicago. Covered in a canopy of lush trees, meadows, filled with beautiful flowers and ponds and surrounded by nature’s harvest. Almost everywhere you looked there was a huge bush of ripe black berries, gooseberries, boysenberries and wild strawberries.

When Mom decided she was going to put up some jam or jelly we’d gather several buckets or tubs and prepare for a day in the woods.  My three older brothers and I would put on our long pants and long sleeve shirts, tie the sleeves and trouser legs shut with twine. This ritual gave us some protection from the thorny bushes and helped stop bugs and snakes from climbing our legs and arms while foraging for ripe berries. 

Wearing our protective gear and looking a bit silly, the four of us would take off in search of wild berries. As we made our way to our favorite berry picking site I would listen to my older brothers talk about their week at school. The conversations were very informative for a girl my age!  I learned a lot about “boy stuff” during those hot summer days.

Finally, reaching our destination we would stand back and asses our plan of action.  The bushes were dense and filled with long thorns, they were also about 2 feet taller than me.  I had to let one of the older boys blaze a trail before it was safe enough to walk among the berry laden bushes. It was very tricky business. 

I would follow the boys into the thicket of  monstrous, tangled bushes eager to collect my bounty.  The most delicious berries awaited us and beckoned to be plucked from their spindly branches.  I’d find handfuls of beautifully plump black and red berries and fill my bucket to the brim.  Several berries made it into my tummy instead of the into my bucket; their juicy goodness served as a sweet treat as we worked in the hot sun.

Remember the twine around our trousers and cuffs?  Well, no matter what precautions we took we would still get bitten by chiggers, mosquitoes and spiders. On almost every occasion we would narrowly miss being struck by some sort of poisonous snake. Yikes!  By the time we were ready to leave we were covered in scratches from the spiky bushes and dripped with perspiration from the 90 degree weather and humidity. Our faces and hands were stained from the juices that ran down our arms from fat berries that had been handled too roughly. It felt really good!

The walk home was always a little harder to manage laden down with buckets filled with fruit. With intent…I would begin to complain about my bucket being to heavy, how hot I was and how tired my feet were, as we trudged towards home.   After a few choruses of whining, one of my brothers would finally give in and offer to carry my bucket. I was then free to fall behind to pick wild flowers and search for other treasures that might present themselves along the way.

Mom was always ready for action when we walked in the door.  We would deposit our buckets in a predetermined spot in the kitchen and she would begin her dance with the berries.  Deep pots on the stove filled with boiling water, bubbling while the sound of the glass canning jars gently bobbed in the vapor pressure.

My mother would spend hours preparing and canning the juicy fruit while we  waited, exhausted from our day in the heat to take a cool shower. I almost always went first!!   Being the youngest and the only girl has its advantages.  Feeling squeaky and clean we would compare our war wounds to see who got the deepest gash or the biggest bug bite.

The following morning we would wake to the smell of fresh brewed coffee, mom’s sweet fluffy waffles and bacon.  Creamy butter and maple syrup rounded out our breakfast feast.  Like the guest honor, a jar of moms freshly made jelly sat waiting on the table, poised to be smeared onto the hot crispy waffles.   YUM!

I began canning on my own in my early 20’s using several different cookbooks.

“The Household Searchlight recipe Book” was my all time favorite cookbook to use for canning and it remains my favorite to this day. I found the book while shopping for antiques in Colorado Springs, CO. I love hard bound cookbooks and this one was in great shape. It was published in 1914 and I paid $4.00. When I got the book home and began reading through it, I was so please to see the first page hand written inscription, “To Faye, Aug 26/42”. Just knowing that, “Faye” used this cookbook in her kitchen so long ago made this find even more special.

For complete description and definition of Conserves, Jams and Jelly HERE

Basic Apricot Ginger Conserve Recipe
5 Cups fresh Apricots

3/4 Cup sliced Candied Ginger
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
5 cups cold water
2 Teaspoons Grated Orange Rind
1 Teaspoon grated Lemon Rind
2 1/4 Cups Sugar
opt. 1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 3 oz. pkg Liquid Pectin

Wash apricots and cut in half removing the pits, add water to a large heavy stock pot, combine the apricots, ginger, orange, lemon juice, grated rind and sugar, mix well and simmer slowly until tender about 35-40 minutes.

Add Pectin and cook added 5 minutes.

Optional ingredients:
walnuts or pecans
add nuts to mixture at the end of the cooking process and  cook added 5 minutes

1 cup of chopped dried Mango, add mango at the beginning of the cooking process to soften with other fruit.



Pour into prepared jars and process for 10-15 minutes in a water bath.
apricot ginger
Apricot Ginger Conserve over yogurt


Peach Salsa

Best Salsa Close up
Canning Peach Salsa
  • 4 cups red, yellow and orange bell peppers medium dice
  • 2 large jalapeño peppers seeded and ribs removed
  • 3 scotch bonnet (Habanero) peppers seeded and ribs removed
  • 5 piquello peppers seeded and ribs removed
  • 6 Roma tomatoes rough chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 2 large clove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup fresh or dried apricots chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • juice from one lemon
  • 6 cups peaches rough chopped

in a large sauce pot cook first 12 ingredients for 20 minutes,

add peaches and cook added 20 minutes

Ladle hot salsa into hot prepared jars leaving 1/4 in head space and process in a water bath for 15 minutes, cool on clean dish towel and store or refrigerate for immediate use.

Peach Salsa Served with Arapas Cotija,
Arapa Best Sliced half Yellow Bird Plate

Hot Giardiniera Recipe

Hot Giardiniera RecipeSpicy Giardiniera Recipe

My recipe for Hot Giardiniera Recipe is filled with the fresh flavors of white vinegar, scotch bonnet peppers and red peppercorns. This simple recipe can served immediately, canned for later use or kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. My my mouth waters just thinking about canning some jars for my pantry.

Giardiniera is an Italian or Italian-American relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil. Giardiniera is available as either mild or hot. In the United States, hot giardiniera is often referred to as “Hot Mix”
Common vegetables in the Italian version, also called sotto aceti, include onions, celery, zucchini, carrots and cauliflower, pickled vegetables in red- or white-wine vinegar. It is typically eaten as an antipasto, or with salads.
In Chicago, giardiniera is a condiment, typically used as a topping on Italian beef sandwiches.[1] Giardiniera is commonly made with Serrano peppers and some combination of assorted vegetables, such as bell peppers, olives, celery, pimentos, carrots and cauliflower and sometimes crushed red pepper flakes, all marinated in vegetable oil, olive oil, soybean oil or any combination of the three oils. SOURCE: wikipedia 

Hot Giardiniera Mix

3 cups white vinegar

3 cups water

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons Maldon Sea Salt

2 teaspoons red peppercorns

2 bay leaf

3 cups cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces

1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into strips

1 yellow bell pepper seeded and cut into strips

2 serrano peppers seeded and cut into strips

1 whole scotch bonnet pepper split


Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, reduce heat and cook for additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are aldente, don’t over cook.  Discard the scotch bonnet pepper and bay leaf.

If you’re going to use the Giardiniera right away let the mixture cool and transfer to container with a lid and refrigerate.

 If you want to can the Giardiniera, place the hot vegetables in sterilized jars, pour hot liquid over the vegetables, remove air bubbles and seal jars.  Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.


The Anatomy Of JAM…


Jellies, Marmalade, Preserves, Butters and Conserves..

For the longest time I didn’t have the slightest idea what made a Jam a “Jam” or a Jelly a “Jelly”, let alone the difference between a Conserve or Preserve. To make matters even more complicated there are even more choices when canning fruits; Butters and Marmalade!

The best place to start is at the beginning; what sets each choice apart from the other.

Jams are made by cooking crushed or chopped fruits with sugar until the mixture is thick and stays firm on a spoon. Jams can be made of one fruit or a mixture of fruits. When complete, Jam will be spreadable but not retain the shape of the jar.

Juice is strained from fruit to make Jelly. It is usually made so that the result is very clear without fruit bits or seeds. Jelly is firm but spreadable and will hold its shape on a spoon.


Marmalade is a soft spreadable product with small bits of fruit and peel suspended in a clear jelly. Marmalade must be made in small batches and almost brought to a rapid boil. This causes the fruit to reach the “gelling point” (see description below). Marmalade is very similar to jam but more robust in texture and flavor.

Simply, fruit preserved with sugar so it retains its original shape, cooked till the liquid is clear and the fruit is plump and tender. Some preserves can be as thick as jelly but most are thin enough to spoon over other foods, like ice cream with apricot preserves. Preserves do not hold their shape when removed from the jar.

Fruit butters are made by blending fruit to a pulp and adding sugar, cooked down slowly so that the butter will spread easily over toast etc. Butters are thick and will keep their shape on a spoon.

Conserves are similar to jam but contain two or more combinations of fruits and nuts. Conserves are thick and hold their shape on a spoon. Nuts are optional, but if used must be added to the recipe in the last five minutes of processing.

Gelling Point:
The gelling point test is used for recipes that don’t need commercial pectin products to check for doneness. I use the “Spoon and Plate methods”.

Spoon Method:
Remove your sauce pan from the stove so the recipe does not continue to cook. To check for doneness for jams, jellies and marmalade’s place a small amount of hot liquid in a spoon, holding the spoon over your saucepan tilt the spoon to drain liquid back into pan, at first the liquid will look like syrup and run from the spoon when tilted.

Return saucepan to heat and cook 3 to 5 minutes longer and repeat this process. As you get closer to the gelling point the liquid will show signs of “sheeting”. Sheeting is when the liquid begins to form or gel and the drips look larger and begin to slow when the spoon is tilted.

Finally, when the gelling point is reached the liquid will break from the spoon in a large sheet or clump. Remove from heat and fill and process jars per the recipe instructions.


Plate method:
Place a small amount of hot liquid on a cold plate; place the plate in the freezer until the spread is room temperature. Using your index finger, gently run your finger through the gelled liquid. If the liquid separates then returns to is original shape, the jelly is ready to process.

It may sound complicated at first but once you’ve tried it a few times you’ll begin to see the changes and know when your jam, jelly etc. have reached the gelling point. Weather and altitude can affect the canning process so don’t be surprised if your best recipes don’t turn out on a rainy day.  Now that I live in the mountains (8500 ft), I’ve had to adjust several of my recipes by adding more cooking time or another package of liquid pectin to get them to gel properly.

Never fear!!!  If it doesn’t work the first time you can reprocess the unset portions by returning the unset jam or jelly to a saucepan and bring it to a roiling boil again.  Follow the steps for the Gelling Test as before.

If you’re unable to succeed after 20 minutes add a 3 oz pouch of liquid pectin, boil for 1 minute, skim foam and return to clean jars; process the jars in a water bath for 15 minutes. 

There is never a failure in canning just a lesson learned.   If I’m in no mood to reprocess the unset jars I just keep the jars sealed until I’m ready to use the unset portions like syrup.  My family never complains when I have fresh berry syrup to pour on their pancakes or yogurt.