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No-Problem Pickling.

I used to have a problem with pickling peppers and okra. They always popped up out of the pickling syrup no matter what I did. I would top them, cut slits, and pack them in as tight as I could, but the vegetables still popped into the headspace. And home canners should never completely fill a jar with vinegar solution, because the jar can leak or even break during the canning process.

My solution to this problem is to fill the top of the jar with clear glass marbles. I fill the jar as directed, within about 1/4 inch of the top, before adding the marbles. The marbles fill the jar completely full, preventing the veggies from floating to the top while leaving space to properly seal the lid.

I did get odd looks from people when I gave them jars containing marbles, so you might need to explain. When opening a jar of peppers to use at home, I simply wash the marbles and collect them in another jar for reuse. Then the marbles are sterilized and ready to use In the next canning batch.

You can find clear glass marbles--usually in a little plastic bag--in the artificial floral department of most craft stores. For around $1, you can buy enough marbles to top off five or six standard jars. Boil the marbles for a few minutes before using them.

Wendy Akin

Terrell, Texas

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Title Annotation:Country Lore: Readers' Tips to Live By
Author:Akin, Wendy
Publication:Mother Earth News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2019
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