Be Ye Strong
Newsletter
July/August 2010
Volume 3; Issue 4

President’s Message
Dear Sisters,
Summer is a time of abundance. Gardens are full of green beans, tomatoes, carrots, corn, potatoes and a host of other vegetables. Trees and bushes yield a luscious variety of fruits and berries. How rewarding it is to harvest vegetables and fruits grown in your own garden and to enjoy their delicious fresh taste.

We encourage you to preserve some of summer’s bounty to enjoy in the coming winter months. There is a wonderful sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing shelves of bottled fruits, jams, pickles, and vegetables waiting to be used to nourish your family.

The cycle of planting, growing, harvesting, and preserving reaps many spiritual as well as temporal blessings. The process of growing food to nourish our bodies typifies the process of nourishing and growing our spirits. We plant seeds of faith, nurture them carefully, and harvest stronger richer testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ and His gospel. In Alma it explains that seeds of faith, when carefully tended, grow strong and firm “unto a perfect knowledge” of the gospel. Sisters, plant and nurture your seeds of faith that you may grow in spiritual strength and knowledge. Maintain and preserve your faith that it may feed and sustain you through life’s wintery trials.

May the Lord bless you and your family, as you strive to grow, harvest, and preserve the abundance of summer and grow in faith and testimony.
Love, Shannon, Lori, Sammy, and Jan

Sun Flowers

Stake Harvest Festival
The annual Harvest Festival will be held Saturday, September 11th at the Stake Center beginning at 4:00 pm.

Pickling Tips
When we speak of pickles, many of us think only of cucumber pickles. But in canning terms, pickling includes any fruit, meat, or vegetable prepared by a pickling process. Pickle products are either fermented in brine (salt) or packed in vinegar to aid preservation. Heat processing is also required to destroy microorganisms that can cause spoilage and inactivate enzymes that may affect flavor, color and texture.

Quality of Fruit and Vegetables
Ideally, fruits and vegetables should be harvested no more than 24 hours before pickling. If preparation is delayed, the produce should be properly stored until ready for use. Cucumbers, especially deteriorate rapidly at room temperature. Select tender vegetables and firm fruit. Unlike other areas of canning, some pickling recipes may specifically call for slightly under-ripe fruits and vegetables for pickling, such as pears, peaches and green tomatoes. Produce should be of the ideal size for the recipe being followed, and each fruit or vegetable should be of uniform size.

When making cucumber pickles, use only a pickling-variety cucumber. Other varieties of cucumbers may be good choices for relishes or chutneys, but they often do not make good pickles. Do not use waxed cucumbers since the brine cannot penetrate the wax coating.

Salt
Salt acts as a preservative and adds flavor and crispness to pickles. Brine draws juices and sugar from foods and forms lactic acid, a preservative. Pure granulated salt (kosher salt) or canning and pickling salt should be used. Table salt and iodized salt should not be used as they contain additives that prevent caking and may make the brine cloudy. Also, iodized table salt may darken pickles.

Water
Soft water must be used for making brine. The minerals in hard water will have a negative effect on the quality of pickles. If soft tap water is not available, water can be softened by boiling for 15 minutes and then letting it stand for 24 hours. A scum will likely appear on the top of the water. Scum should be carefully skimmed off. The water can then be ladled from the container without disturbing the sediment on the bottom. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar per gallon of boiled water before using. Distilled water can also be used.

3rd Annual Garden Share 
August & September, Saturdays between 9:00 & 11:00, at the Stake Center. Everyone is invited to come & take the produce they need; a donation isn’t necessary. Any donation of surplus garden produce is always appreciated.

Cannery News 
Alicia Clayton
Stake Welfare Specialist
801-254-2450
Sandy Utah Home Storage Center Dry Pack (801-561-8104) 
Thursday, Sept. 9th - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Tuesday, Oct. 19th – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
These times have been reserved for our Stake.

Water Bath Canning
Canning High-Acid Foods at Home
Clo Dillman 
This applies to generally to fruits, jams and jellies. Figs and tomatoes sit on the borderline between high- and low-acid status and therefore require acidification (the addition of an acidic ingredient, such as vinegar or lemon juice) to be safely processed in a boiling-water canner. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and fermented pickles are also high-acid foods. Other recipes combine high- and low-acid ingredients, but are sufficiently high in added acidic ingredients to achieve a pH of 4.6 or lower. Examples include pickles, relishes, chutney and condiments. Heat processing directions are stated for elevations of 0 to 1,000 feet, at which water boils at 212°F. When preserving at elevations higher than 1,000 feet, processing needs to be adjusted to extend the food's exposure to adequate heat to destroy microorganisms. The method of adjustment differs between high- and low-acid foods.

For high-acid foods processed in a boiling-water canner, processing time is increased as indicated below:
  • 1,001-3,000 feet increase processing time 5 minutes
  • 3,001-6,000 feet increase processing time 10 minutes
  • 6,001-8,000 feet increase processing time 15 minutes
  • 8,001-10,000 feet increase processing time 20 minutes 
Equipment needed for water canning method
  • Boiling-Water Canner
  • Canning Jars
  • Home Canning Closures
  • Canning Utensils
    • Jar lifters 
    • Canning funnel 
    • Magnetic wands 
    • Ladle 
Boiling-Water Heat Processing, Step by Step
  • Clean the jars and closures 
  • Heat the jars 
  • Prepare the closures 
  • Prepare the recipe 
  • Fill the jars 
    • Place funnel in jar 
    • ladle prepared food into hot jar 
    • Slide a nonmetallic utensil inside jar to release air bubbles 
    • Clean rim with damp cloth 
    • Apply lid 
    • Place screw band on jar 
  • Heat-process the filled jars 
    • Adjust water level to cover jars by at least 1 inch 
    • Bring water to a full rolling boil 
    • Begin counting the processing time specified 
  • Cool the jars 
    • Turn heat off 
    • Remove canner lid 
    • Let jars cool 5 minutes in canner 
    • Remove jars carefully 
    • Place hot jars on a towel 
    • Do not disturb for 24 hours 
  • After processing 
    • Check the vacuum seal 
    • Remove screw band 
    • Clean jar 
    • Label before storage 
Credits: This material is taken from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, Edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine. Published by Robert Rose Inc.

Fresh Tomato Salsa 
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup green bell pepper
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
In small metal bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to blend flavors. Store covered in refrigerator for up to five days. Makes 3½ cups.