This is the season that I most look forward to each year. Canning season! Think about it…Fresh tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, lettuces, herbs, fruits, you name it. Why do most people settle for frozen or salty, mushy canned foods on all the off-seasons?
What I suggest is that you find some canning jars at a flea market or yard sale (or new if you don’t mind making the initial investment, which will pay off dearly). Buy brand new rubber ring sealers and center lids (used ones can me unsanitary, and used, they may not seal the jar). They don’t cost very much and can be found at any grocery store.
Run your 2-piece lids and jars through the dishwasher and you’re ready to start. All you need for equipment is a large pasta size pot to boil jars and some tongs to take them out when they are done.
So let’s get started…
What Is Canning?
Canning is really one step beyond cooking. It is a method that applies heat to food in a closed glass home canning jar to stop the natural spoilage that would otherwise take place, and removes air from the jar to create a seal. There are two home canning methods – Waterbath Canning and Pressure Canning. Below we will guide you through the 3 simple steps for Waterbath Canning, which is the best place to start for beginners.
Home Canning Is Easy
No matter what you want to make, this is the place to start. In just three simple steps, you’re on your way to a fresh, flavorful creation.
Wash your jars and lids and heat your water.
Select your recipe and prepare it.
Submerge filled jars in boiling water.
Your recipe will tell you the boiling time. When the boiling time is done, remove the jars and let them reach room temperature. You should see the center lid start to concave, proving that the air has been removed and the food is preserved.
I make jam, jelly, preserves (I make blackberry preserves with all the seeds for the birds), tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, peppers, asparagus, strawberries (whole and sauces), carrots, pickles, and just about anything else I can get fresh. Try it once and you’ll never regret learning this wonderful skill. Trust me.
A special thanks to Ball for the use of some text and photos.
Check out their canning tutorials for instructions and some great free canning recipes. http://www.homecanning.com/