Iowa Public Television


Preparing for the Fair - the Pickler and the Weaver

posted on August 16, 2011

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A husband-wife team from Iowa City take their wares to the Iowa State Fair judging rooms for competition. Even though their categories are different, their love of competing is the same.

Pickled Baby Carrots

3 pounds peeled baby carrots
5 ½ cups white vinegar (5%)
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons canning salt
8 teaspoons mustard seed
4 teaspoons celery seed

Wash carrots.  Combine vinegar, water, sugar and canning salt in stockpot.  Bring to a boil and boil 3 minutes.  Add carrots and bring back to a boil.  Then reduce heat to a simmer and heat until half-cooked (about 10 minutes).  Meanwhile, place 2 teaspoons mustard seed and 1 teaspoon celery seed into each empty clean, hot pint jar.  Fill the jars with hot carrots and liquid leaving ½ inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles.  Wipe jar rims with a clean, moist cloth.  Adjust lids.  Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.  


Spiced Apple Rings

16 cups cold water
6 tablespoons fruit fresh
2 tablespoons salt
5 pounds Pink Lady Apples
12 cups sugar
6 cups water
1 ½ cups white vinegar (5%)
3 tablespoons whole cloves
2 3-inch sticks of cinnamon
¾ cup red hot cinnamon candies
½ teaspoon red food coloring

Wash apples.  In a 16 quart kettle place the 16 cups water, fruit fresh and salt.  Stir until salt dissolves and set aside.  Slice apples into 3/8 inch horizontal slices.  Peel each slice and core.  Immerse in solution to prevent discoloration.  
To make flavored syrup, combine sugar, water, vinegar, cinnamon candies in a large saucepan.  Place cloves in a muslin spice bag and add to mixture.  Heat to a boil; stirring constantly.  Cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Remove apples from the solution and drain well.  Add to hot syrup, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.  Over high heat, return apples to a boil.  Uncover and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let apple rings set until cool.  Use a weighted plate to keep the rings fully submerged in the syrup.

Fill hot pint jars with apple rings, leaving ½ in headspace.  Pour syrup through a sieve over a saucepan to remove debris.  Bring syrup to a boil.  Discard spice bag.  Cover apple rings with the hot syrup.  Remove air bubbles.  Wipe jar rims with a clean, moist cloth.  Adjust lids.  Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.  


Tags: apples arts & crafts competitions cooking crafts Des Moines Fair 2011 fairgrounds food Iowa Iowa City Iowa State Fair marriage pickling recipes weaving


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