Saturday, September 25, 2021


Have you ever read an old family recipe that measured the ingredients as a pinch of this. a snippet of that, or just a dab?  I have my mother's cookbook, over 80 years old that is filled with those measurements.  As a young bride without any cooking experience to speak of, I would call my mom for interpretation. Her advice would be something like -- "well maybe try 1/4 cup" or maybe it would be  with advice to "try a teaspoon, if not enough add more".

All those memories came to mind when I was thinking about the canning season.  According to the predictions grocery prices may double as we move into winter. I'm thinking that a trip to a farmers market or veggie stand would be wise.

I remembered I had a measurement guide in my canning file from a 1998 Old Farmers Almanac. Harvest season is here.  If you are thinking of doing some preserving, either canning or freezing this guide might help.

When harvest recipes call for 1 pound of beets, exactly how much do you need? 

Asparagus:                   1 pound =   3 cups chopped

Beans (string):             1 pound =   4 cups chopped

Beets:                           1 pound =   2 1/2 cups chopped (5 medium)

Broccoli:                    1/2 pound =   6 cups chopped

Cabbage:                      1 pound =   4 1/2 cups shredded

Carrots:                         1 pound =   3 1/2 cups sliced or grated

Cucumbers:                   1 pound =   4 cups sliced (2 medium)

Garlic:                              1 clove =   1 teaspoon chopped

Onions:                          1 pound =   4 cups sliced = 2 cups cooked

Peas:                   1 pound whole =   1- 1 1/2 cups shelled

Potatoes:             1 pound sliced =  2 cups mashed = 3 medium

Pumpkin:              1 pound =   4 cups chopped = 2 cups cooked, drained

Spinach:                         1 pound =   3/4-1 cup cooked

You may ask, why use a canning method when it is easier to freeze.  One reason is if we have a major power outage, there is a chance of losing the contents in your freezer.  Your canned goods will still be available on your pantry shelf.  

One word of caution--if you have an old Ball Blue Book guide to preserving, recycle it and treat yourself to a new edition.  The canning process has changed over the years.  As fun as it is to say we use our mother's canning books, the results could be a risk.

Prior to COVID, preserving classes were offered through the nutrition program with the Master Preservers program at the OSU Extension campus in Redmond.  Hopefully that program will resume in 2022.

Be sure to listen to the Gardening: Get Good at it "Gear Up the Garden for Cold Weather" segment on Tues. Oct. 5 on KPOV 88.9 FM between 9-9:30 a.m.

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