Preserving Pears

pears, greenPears are a sweet treat over the holidays, some being cultivated and grown specifically for their availability this time of year. So after you’ve eaten your share of fresh pears, what can you do to preserve that special flavor?

If your canner is still accessible (and you have room in your kitchen regardless of holiday cooking!), then you may want to can pear halves. Remember that Asian pears are not as acidic as other varieties and have their own canning procedure which requires that addition of bottled lemon juice.

Pickled Pears are also an option for canning, especially if you have Seckel pears or another firmer, crisper pickling variety.

Pear Relish is another pickled pear product you could try; it includes onion, peppers, celery, and allspice. If you can also get your hands on 2 or 3 chayote, then you could make Chayote and Pear Relish, with allspice and pumpkin pie spice.

pear, single greenA couple of delicious sweet spread choices are available that use pears as a primary ingredient: Pear Preserves is a traditional, no-pectin-added southern-style fruit preserves made with large chunks of pear and a thickened sugar syrup (in other words, not a jam-like spread!).  Pear-Apple Jam is a sweet, gelled spread made with liquid pectin (and a touch of cinnamon!).

Finally, if you are not up for getting the canner going, then you could simply make a sugar syrup and freeze pears.

Got cabbage? Make relish.

cabbageWhile we can’t tell you to can plain cabbage, we can offer ways to incorporate this fall crop into some relishes.

Chow-chow is a popular mixed vegetable favorite, including beans, carrots, green tomatoes, pepper and onion in addition to cabbage.

Piccalilli is another popular favorite, on the sweeter side of the spectrum. Piccalilli makes the most of cabbage and green tomatoes, as well as smaller amounts of sweet peppers, onions, and brown tomato in garden

Fall Garden Relish is a simple medley of cabbage with cauliflower, green tomatoes, onions, and sweet peppers, brightened by flavors of mustard and turmeric.

red and green tomatoesRummage Relish is a great relish for using up a mixed assortment of garden veggies: red and green tomatoes, cabbage, onions, celery, red and green sweet peppers, and cucumbers. The plethora of sugar and spices on the ingredients list are no less impressive for their notable variety: brown sugar, garlic, celery seed, cinnamon, mustard, ginger, and cloves!

Freezing Fall Veggies

veggie blancherHearty vegetables from fall and winter gardens can’t all be canned. You can still preserve some of these nutritious veggies though, by freezing them!

Before putting fresh veggies into a freezer, be sure you blanch them. Blanching method and time will vary based on type of vegetable.

We don’t recommend canning broccoli, but it is easy to blanch and freeze on stem

You could pickle Brussels sprouts, or if you want to taste them as is, try freezing Brussels sprouts.

Carrots may be canned, pickled, or frozen to produce high-quality final products.

Pumpkin PieYou can also choose to can cubed winter squash or pumpkin, but if you want to preserve it mashed or as a puree, your only option is to freeze it. Directions for freezing pumpkin are only a little bit different from freezing winter squash.

We also do not have recommendations for canning eggplant, but it is simple to freeze eggplant (directions include how to freeze it for frying later).

Get ‘Em While They Last – Raspberries

single raspberryRaspberry season winds down as we make our way into fall, so make sure you preserve what you can while they are still available fresh off the bushes, market tables, and/or grocery shelves.

If you’ve still got room for jars of jam, then you might like to try this traditional, long boil, no-added-pectin Berry Jam that has just two ingredients: berries and sugar. Combine raspberries with other berries in this recipe if you like.

Uncooked jams and jellies are easy to prepare and do a great job of preserving fresh fruit flavor. If that sounds good to you, then try Uncooked Berry Jelly or Uncooked Raspberry Jam with Fresh Fruit. Remember that uncooked jams and jellies need to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, not at room temperature.cropped jars

Another option with raspberries is to make (and boiling water bath can) Raspberry Syrup to top pancakes, ice cream, and baked goods.


Raspberries on trayShort on time and want to have some raspberries available for sauces, baking or making smoothies? Freeze them plain and simple, with sugar, or in sweetened syrup.