In recent months I have found out most people know you get sick from poorly prepared canned foods, but they don't know the reason behind it....well, I picked up a book from the library today with a quick easy understanding of botulism within canned foods.
Botulism poisoning, a very serious and sometimes deadly illness, is most commonly the result of ingesting improperly canned low-acid foods like plain unpickled green beans. While the bacterium itself is killed by boiling temperatures , its spores survive much higher temperatures than can be achieved in a boiling-water bath and are actually activated in oxygenless environments like the inside of a canning jar. This means that even though a food has been boiled, processed, and sealed, it may still contain the spores whose activation and growth produce a toxin that can cause botulism poisoning. The spores cannot, however, survive in high-acid environments-that is, in foods that have a pH lower than 4.6. Low-acid foods, or vegetables that have not been acidulated (pickled) to a proper degree, must be canned in a pressure canner, which can process jars at temperatures higher than that of boiling water, high enough to kill bacteria as well as the spores of Clostridium botulinum. Do not process nonacidulated vegetables or meats in anything other than a pressure canner.
This is not meant to be an inclusive definition of botulism, but a means to clarify why it happens.
We are finally getting back to a routine and our Orange Marmalade "Hen Party" pre-party activities are underway. Mind you, the "Hen Party" was delayed a week due to the Big Snow Event 2011.
I ran across some interesting tidbits of information online while doing research for recipes containing orange marmalade. Did you know Marmalade has been used as bread spread for hundreds of years. Initially, marmalade was made from quince, a bright yellow fruit related to pears and apple. Though the English took the recipe from the French, the term "marmalade" was borrowed from Portuguese term "Marmelo". Portuguese used the term "Marmelo" for quince jam. You could say, marmalade is a preserve that includes the rind of a citrus fruit.
There are many myths about orange marmalade. The Scots claim, they first made orange Seville marmalade. Seville oranges are inedible because they are very bitter. In 1797, a cargo ship carrying oranges took refuge in Dundee harbor. The captain was eager to sell his perishable cargo. James Keilor, a grocer purchased the entire cargo at a knockdown price. He forgot to check the quality or the variety of the oranges. He discovered the taste of the oranges after reaching home. It was his wife who along with her friends made the inedible Seville oranges to edible orange marmalade. Today, it is one of the most favored bread spreads around the world. Marmalade is a source of vitamin C when fresh citrus fruits are unavailable.
Marmalade has many uses, such as in fruit butters, as a glaze for meats and vegetables
and in marinades. Orange marmalade marries well with salty savory condiments such as Worcestershire and soy sauce.
As most of you know last year I closed the market in November. We have decided to remain open this season as long as we can secure regionally fresh vegetables. This may be a few more weeks or longer.....
The Cannery Kitchen will continue to offer both public and private "Hen Parties". The next schedule party being on Tuesday, November 16 @ 6PM. Please call for more information on how you can join this party or host one of your own.
In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday we will be closing for the next two weekends, Nov 19-20 and Nov 26-27. The cannery kitchen will remain open for appointments during these two weeks.
This week has shown no signs of slowing down....we began the week by canning a batch of green tomatoes on Monday. We voted Tuesday morning! Mr. Brooke dropped by Tuesday afternoon to can his locally famous apple butter. Then we finished up another batch of green tomatoes...85 pints! Wednesday was workout day and prepping 3 bushels of apples for Thursday's visit to Ellijay's cannery to make applesauce. The trip to Ellijay on Thursday began with the cannery and ended with my weekly visit to BJ Reece Apple House...and picking up fresh breads for the week at Our Daily Bread. We then stopped by the Cherokee County Animal Shelter in Canton, picked up left over jars from a recent fundraiser...and sold a few loaves of the fresh bread. Friday began at the Atlanta's Farmer Market looking for the extra needed pumpkins and remaining vegetables before the frost from Ringgold. We managed to cook Carla's turnip greens and start her tomatoes before moving on to Christy's sugar free pumpkin butter and apple pie jam....but, Saturday was the big day...we cooked and canned 92 quarts of chili, completed Carla's tomatoes, cooked 36 quarts of applesauce and apple butter and cooked an additional 24 quarts of collards and mixed greens.....then went to a small fundraiser for Autism in Acworth....today was rest! Let's see what next week brings with pumpkin canning workshop on the horizon Tuesday.....see you there...
Today was our 2nd annual Pumpkin Carving Clinic. This is geared primarily for those folks like me that have limited carving skills. We become more experienced in scraping the inside of the pumpkin clean.....making sure to save the seeds for roasting...but, our artistry leaves a lot to be desired. As always it is the fun that counts.....not to mention the pride of mastering another template on the orange canvas. Thanks for all you guys that came out to have fun with us today...and I hope your pumpkin glows bright on your front porch until the hallowed day passes.....
We still have a few Jack-O-Latern pumpkins left for those folks waiting until the last minute to carve.