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Old 10-10-2005, 06:00 PM   #1
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Need help w canning Chard

Need help w canning Chard
we just canned our first batch of swiss chard, *exactly* following directions from the Ball book.

after pressure canning for 1hr 10min, when we took out the jars they were less than 1/2 filled with liquid - which was 1" from the top when it started. it looks like the liquid boiled out.

do they need to be 'filled' to be storable? did we screw up??

note: we did *not* fill the pressure canner to a level over the jars, which we normally do for 'regular' boiling-water canning. this was per directions we read about pressure canning, and i'm not sure if it had anything to do with their losing 1/2 their liquid.


HELP!

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Old 10-10-2005, 07:29 PM   #2
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This one beats me - that shouldn't have happened. If you followed the recipe in the Ball book - you "should" still have enough liquid to come up to within 1" of the lid (the headspace).

You might want to contact the folks at the Ball/Kerr website and ask them - since they are the experts.
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:30 PM   #3
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Not having the Ball book, I can only make an educated guess here. Chard typically reduces by more than half when cooked, so I would say that is likely what happened in the processing. I don't think you did anything wrong. Having said that...I hope Michael is along soon with his trusty book to give you a better answer.

And WELCOME to DC. Pleased to see you here.
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Old 10-10-2005, 07:46 PM   #4
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Loss of liquid from jars during processing

well .. thanks for the link to the FAQ site at homecanning.com. heres what the experts say:

Loss of liquid from jars during processing typically result from the following:
  • food not heated before packing into jars;
  • food packed too tightly;
  • incorrect headspace;
  • air bubbles not removed before capping jars;
  • steam-pressure canner temperature allowed to fluctuate during processing;
  • jars not covered with water in boiling-water canner;
  • jars removed from canner too quickly after processing is complete;
  • starchy foods absorbed liquid.

The food in the jar that is not covered by liquid may darken, but should not spoil as long as it was processed according to up-to-date methods (see Canning Basics) and there is a vacuum seal on the jar. Do not open jar to replace liquid.
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:28 PM   #5
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I'm glad the experts could help!

I've personally never had that problem - but I know the folks at homecanning.com ARE the experts, which is why I suggested you contact them.
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:37 AM   #6
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Gee, do any of you want to come over here and can some chard for me? I'm actually throwing some of mine away because canning isn't one of my skills. However, Portuguese bean soup is on the horizon. Any great ideas out there for chard? Guess I'll move over to veggies and see!
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Old 10-11-2005, 06:23 AM   #7
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That happened to me with a bunch of asparagus once; never did figure out what the problem was.


Question - wouldn't freezing the chard be the better way to go?
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Old 10-11-2005, 10:35 AM   #8
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michael,
"I'm glad the experts could help! "

thanks for the tips. we're still not *positive* what caused the problem, but it looks like we may have packed down the chard too tightly.
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Old 10-11-2005, 06:39 PM   #9
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My neighbors had tons of chard and froze it in freezer bags after blanching. I have never tried this but it makes sense. I buy frozen spinach all the time in the winter! I would think you could freeze chard!
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Old 10-12-2005, 08:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalady
Question - wouldn't freezing the chard be the better way to go?
Freezing would be my first choice marm - a lot quicker, easier and cheaper than canning.
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