Thursday, August 15, 2013


I spent the morning and a small bit of the afternoon canning today. The pickles were made with pickle crisp for the first time. I really do hate the mushiness of canned pickles. I've tried all the typical tricks like ice, salting, and starting just after you pick those cukes. And yes I always cut off the blossom end and leaves a bit of stem. But nothing ever works. I haven't yet done the low temperature canning. But if this doesn't work, it will be my next experiment. The thought of standing over the canning pot for 30 minutes and making sure the water stays at the appropriate temperature doesn't sound like a lot of fun though.

The other jars are barbeque sauce. Since I can't eat the tomato variety, I figured I'd experiment. I made peach BBQ sauce mostly following the Ball recipe. I did take out all the peppers. I also added some bourbon and made half the fruit plums. It does taste more like barbeque sauce than the other experiments, but I don't like it all that much. It is OK. I'll see what it tastes like on meat though to make sure. I really don't like the honey in the recipe. I want brown sugar. But honey is acidic (it varies but about a pH of 4), so I'm afraid to just replace it.

The browner sauce is Ball's Victorian Barbeque Sauce. Granny sent me the recipe. It is made from rhubarb and raisins. I used an immersion blender to break up the raisins and make it into a thick sauce. It doesn't taste much like barbeque sauce, but oh my gosh is it tasty. I just want to sit down and eat it straight. It reminds me more of apple butter than anything else. If I end up not liking it on meat, I think I'll bring out the ice cream and put it on top of that. Or just use it as a butter and put it on bread. In fact I think it would be to die for if I put it with some sharp cheddar. I'll have to try that too.

Tonight I'm going to do a test. I'm going to use the above sauces and some Chinese plum sauce that I made earlier to coat some chicken breast. I'll grill it. Then we will do a taste test to see which ones we like the best.


  1. I'm glad the rhubarb sauce turned out well, even though it doesn't taste like barbecue. With just one plant, and a pie loving husband, I'll probably never have enough to try it.

  2. I am always amazed at all the knowledge you have like for example, honey is acidic, I never knew that. Also, love your in depth knowledge of all things plants!! I have never come across more scientific explanation to so many things regarding plants other than from your blog. I guess it is because of your chemistry background :)

  3. Great post. You have inspired me to try and make some of my own BBQ sauce using some of my hot peppers. I'll post about it soon.

  4. I always freeze barbeque sauce. That would let you use the brown sugar.

  5. "The thought of standing over the canning pot for 30 minutes and making sure the water stays at the appropriate temperature doesn't sound like a lot of fun though."

    This sounds like a business opportunity for some thermometer maker. Some way to signal when the temperature is out of range.