|Dilly Fiddles (Pickled Fiddleheads) A Maine necessity.|
These Dilly Fiddles are such a Maine thing, I never had fiddleheads before I moved here. They are from the Ostrich fern and picked in early spring when then ferns are just springing up and look like the nice little spirals-- the headstock of a violin, hence the name. It seems to me, people either love them or hate them, I am one who loves them. When I tasted Dilly fiddles for the first time I was in love. They are nice and crunchy with a perfect dill pickle taste. This was the first recipe I hunted down from a friend, when I received my new reusable lids in the mail.
I love to can but hate having to always throw away the lids and go have to buy more or worse; start a canning project and find out I don't have the lids that I thought I did and have to make the dreaded trip to the store.
I was researching canning online and found out about Tattler reusable canning lids. I was skeptical at first, but continued researching and grew more excited as I found out more about them. Here is a list of their features from their website:
-Made in the USA!
-for both hot water bath and pressure canning
-No acid corrosion=no food spoilage
-FDA approved materials
I also need to add that these are made to fit on standard canning jars, they make regular and wide mouth lids.
I found they have a trial pack with both kinds of lids available at a slightly discounted rate and ordered them. And you have to love the free shipping they offer.
The first thing I noticed when opening the boxes was that the plastic lids were much harder than I imagined, they come with rubber rings that can be also reused for as long as they are not stretched out or ripped, I read that can be quite a long time as long as they are properly cared for. I have been canning a lot, these last few months to make sure I like them; beans, beans, and more beans, chicken, fish, mild taco sauce, dilly fiddles, etc...
So far I have had very successful time with them, with the exception of my first batch of beans, and that was because I didn't follow the instructions about the lids properly. For the most part they can be used just like a regular canning lid but there are a few differences to get used to with them which I will explain in the steps for canned chicken below.
Its so nice having a drawer full of lids I know will be with me for life.
There was a great sale for boneless skinless chicken breasts last month. I was on a canning kick so I bought 4 extra packages to try. It was great, two of the large family packs made one batch of 9 pints.Below I've starred (*) the important points to note when using Tattler lids.
-I cut the fat and undesirable parts off and reserved those in a freezer bag to make stock at a later date.
-Then cubed the breasts into 2 inch pieces and raw packed the jars. It worked out to be a just little over 1 breast per jar.
-I added 2 Tbs of water to each jar, because I have found when canning meat, the juice rarely covers it entirely. I've read this is perfectly acceptable and safe as long as you get a perfect seal. But I just like the look of a nice full jar, next time I will add a little more water.
-Added 1/2 tsp salt to each jar, with a clove or two of garlic for fun.
-The rims were wiped with a paper towel with vinegar,
-the clean lids are placed in boiling water and I immediately remove the pan from the heat so the lids themselves are not actually boiling.
-I then secured my Tattler lids and rubber rings with regular ring bands making sure they were not too tight.
*This is the only real difference using these lids. It is also the most important part about using them, they need to vent properly during the canning process. They need to be "finger tip tight" here is what Tattler recommends:
"When you reach the point in the canning preparation process where the jar is filled with food and the TATTLER lid and gasket are properly in place on the jar, place the jar on a flat surface and begin screwing the metal band on the jar using only one hand. DO NOT HOLD THE JAR WITH THE OTHER HAND. Using only one hand, the metal band will tighten until the moment when the jar will begin to spin on the table or counter-top. At this point you have achieved the proper tension and the metal band is tight enough.
The amount of tension achieved with this technique is enough to ensure the gasket is compressed only enough to prevent water from seeping in when placed in the water bath, but not so tight it prevents a free, even flow of pressure from the jar during the water bath or pressure canning process."
-The chicken was processed at 11 lbs pressure (according to my elevation) for 75 minutes (pints)--90 if your doing quarts.
*When they were removed from the canner the ring bands need to be tightened down immediately (carefully with hand protection, those jars are hot)
-You will not hear the satisfying pop, when they seal. This is the one thing I miss about the ball lids.
They just need to sit until completely cooled, then test the lids by picking the jar up by the lid.
- I always remove the ring bands for storage, it's good to do this to prevent rust.
When opening a sealed jar-- with the ball lids; I used to pop the top off with the hooky part of my regular can opener, but I don't do that now, because I am afraid it might damage the Tattler lid or the rubber gasket underneath. They are difficult to open just with fingers so I will be investing in one of the openers specially made for the lids on the website. I think it will be worth the 3 dollars.
I feel that the few extra steps is totally worth the investment. From what I read they will last and live up to the standard. I will have to do another review in a few years to see if this is so.
The finished canned chicken
For lunch about a week ago, I made chicken burritos. They were so easy and delicious.
cut a chunk of cream cheese and place in the middle of a tortilla,
add 1/4 of a can of chicken,
chopped bell peepers,
cheddar cheese to taste,
and salsa of your choice.
roll up and heat on a lightly oiled skilled until golden and crispy.
Chicken burritos for lunch.
Also this picture shows the underside of the tattler lid (closest to the burritos) with the red rubber ring attached and one behind it resting on a knife. The others in the photo are standard ball lids.
A friend of the family's, who is a lobster fisherman, brought me 8 big Cusk fish a month or two ago, I canned them up. It took a long time boning, skinning and filleting for the first time. Boy, they are delicious, so much better than canned tuna from the grocery store!
Canned cusk in wide mouth jars.
Just out of the canner mild chili sauce with a view of my canned Mexican beans behind.
I am very excited about this, I love these things.
I encourage you to read more about the lids on their website. http://www.reusablecanninglids.com
There is a lot of information and reviews, and a blog too.
I can't wait to buy more!
And, I received nothing from Tattler (except their permission) to write about these lids.
If you have had experience with the tattler lids or if you have any good canning recipes you'd like to share with me, please leave them or the link in the comments for me. I always enjoy a new recipe.