GTCC culinary instructors offer the recipe for success with canning fruits and vegetables – WGHP FOX 8 Greensboro

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Gardens across the Piedmont Triad are full of fresh fruits and vegetables right now.   

You can save some to enjoy all year by freezing or canning them.   

Shannon Smith got some advice from the culinary instructors at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown.

Chef Al’s Sweet & Spicy Refrigerator Pickles

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings 8


· 6 cups cucumbers sliced

· 1 cup red peppers sliced in 1 inch strips

· 2 jalapenos seeded and minced

· 2 T sea salt

· 1 cup white vinegar

· 1/2 cup sugar

· 1 T fresh dill

· 1/2 tsp celery seed

· 1 T Pickling spice

· 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

· ½ tsp Turmeric

· 1 clove garlic

· 1/2 cup water


1. Place the cucumbers, red peppers, jalapenos in a medium size bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and toss well. Let the mixture sit for an hour.

2. In a small sauce pan, mix together vinegar, sugar, turmeric, pickling spice, celery seed, pepper and water. Heat to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

3. Place cucumber mixture in glass or plastic containers and pour vinegar mixture over them.

4. Let the pickles sit in the fridge for 24 hours before eating them.

Prepping Tomatoes for Jarring


· Canning jars need to be washed and sterilized (place in 225 ° F oven for at least 10 minutes). Leave them in the oven until ready to be filled up;

· Lids also need to be sterilized; just 10 minutes in simmering water is all it takes. Leave them in the water until you need them;

· The rings only need to be properly washed;

· Tomatoes need to be washed. Although any tomatoes can be used, the plum varieties (Roma tomatoes) are the best when it comes to canning. Remember to use tomatoes that are blemish free.


· Score the tip of the tomato with an “x” OR cut the core out.

· Drop the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for about 60 seconds;

· Remove tomatoes and place in a bowl with ice water to cool down

· When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin.


· Add one tablespoon of Salt per pint (2 tablespoons if using quarts);

· Fill each hot jar with peeled tomatoes; Quarter, Chop, dice or puree if desired

· Leave 1/2 – 3/4 inch head-space from the top; Add fresh Basil if desired, I do

· Remove air bubbles by running a knife along the side of the jar;

· Wipe the rims clean;

· Place a sterilized lid and screw on the bands until “finger tight”.


· Place the sealed jars in a lukewarm water bath. Ensure the water is a couple of inches above the jars.

· Bring the water to a rolling boil and start the timing process. I will process my pint jars for about 45 minutes from boiling point an hour the quart jars.

· GOOD TO KNOW: In order to prevent rough mineral deposits on the outside of your jars and on the inside of your water bath pot, pour about 1/2 cup of white vinegar in your water bath.

· Remove jars and allow to cool down before storing.

You’re done! When you hear the seals of the jar lids popping, you’ll know you’ve done a good job!

Chow Chow


· 3 cups chopped fresh cabbage

· 3/4 cup chopped onion

· 3/4 cup chopped green tomatoes

· 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

· 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

· 1 tablespoon pickling salt

· 3/4 cup sugar

· 1/2 cup white vinegar

· 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

· 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

· 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

· 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)

· 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

How to Make It

Stir together cabbage, onion, green tomatoes, chopped green and red bell peppers, and pickling salt. Cover and chill 2 to 8 hours. Transfer mixture to a Dutch oven. Stir in sugar, vinegar, 1/4 cup water, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, and, if desired, dried crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, and simmer 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Stir in jalapeño pepper, if desired. Cover and chill 1 to 8 hours before serving



· 6 pounds cabbage (about 2 heads)

· 3 tablespoons canning salt

· Optional: 2 peeled and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples, 2 thinly sliced sweet onions, 2 teaspoons caraway seeds and 1 teaspoon ground coriander Buy Ingredients Powered by Chicory


· Quarter cabbages and remove cores; slice 1/8 in. thick. In an extra-large bowl, combine salt and cabbage. With clean hands, squeeze cabbage until it wilts and releases liquid, about 10 minutes. If desired, add optional ingredients.

· Firmly pack cabbage mixture into 4-quart fermenting crock or large glass container, removing as many air bubbles as possible. If cabbage mixture is not covered by 1-2 inches of liquid, make enough brine to cover by 1-2 inches. To make brine, combine 4-1/2 teaspoons canning salt per 1 quart of water in a saucepan; bring to a boil until salt is dissolved. Cool brine before adding to crock.

· Place crock weight over cabbage; the weight should be submerged in the brine. Or, place an inverted dinner plate or glass pie plate over cabbage. The plate should be slightly smaller than the container opening, but large enough to cover most of the shredded cabbage mixture. Weigh down the plate with 2 or 3 sealed quart jars filled with water. If using a glass container with a lid, cover the opening loosely so any gas produced by the fermenting cabbage can escape. Alternately, you can cover the opening with a clean, heavy towel. If using a crock, seal according to manufacturer’s instructions.

· Store crock, undisturbed, between 70° and 75° for 3-4 weeks (bubbles will form and aroma will change). Cabbage must be kept submerged below surface of the fermenting liquid throughout fermentation. Check crock 2-3 times each week; skim and remove any scum that may form on top of liquid. Fermentation is complete when bubbling stops. Transfer to individual containers. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.