For my first post of the summer, I want to talk about canning. While we all love the farmer’s markets the winter is just around the corner. Canning is a great way to enjoy your favorite flavors all year round. My grandmother canned everything from carrots to pickles to jams. The basement was full of jars. You never knew what kind of yummy goodness you were going to find.
Don’t be overwhelmed. Canning can be a fun way to spend an afternoon and you will enjoy the benefits all year round.
This year, I decided to learn to can for myself. I thought it was going to be daunting but with a little research and a few tools, I was ready to go. I absolutely must recommend the Ball Blue Book guide to preserving. Anyone thinking of starting to preserve their own food should buy this book. Not only does it have many delicious recipes but it also goes into the science of how canning works. This is everyone’s first purchase. And for about $8, you can’t go wrong.
To get started, you will need a few easily acquired items. The first is a really big pot. Most people use a black granite ware pot because it is huge and really cheap. You will also need a rack for the inside of the pot. Don’t worry, they usually come together for the same price. Next, you will need a pair of tongs. You will also need some mason jars to start your project.
There are a few other items that are convenient to have but not completely necessary. These include:
Lid lifter – small plastic wand with a magnet at one end.
Jar lifter – tongs that fit mason jars. For the removal of jars from the water bath
Jar filler- A small funnel for filling your jars
Most major big box retailers have very affordable canning set that include everything you need. The only other purchase you will need is the jars.
Don’t be overwhelmed. Canning can be a fun way to spend an afternoon and you will enjoy the benefits all year round. And if you clean as you go, there won’t even be a big mess at the end of the day. Try some new recipes and you will surprise yourself.
Please note: This post is only for canning high acidic foods. This is perfect for pickles, tomatoes, jams and other high acidity foods. If you would like to preserve low acid foods. You will need a pressure canner. Always check with the National Center for Home Food Preservation to see if your food is high or low acidity food and how long your food needs to be processed for your altitude.