Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Just a Few Canning Tips

by Throwback at Trapper Creek

Canning and preserving season is here all of a sudden. I thought it might be a good time just to go over a few basics that can make things go a little easier.

1) Make sure you have everything on hand for your recipe before you start. Ingredients including pectin, fresh spices, salt, sugar and jars, lids, rings, or freezer containers depending on your method of preserving.

2) Round up all your large bowls, colanders, and any other container you may need for the initial parts of production.

3) Plan your processing time to fit in with your other scheduled family responsibilities. Many things can be started and left to simmer, or macerate for hours and as long as overnight. Berries for jam can be crushed and mixed with sugar and pectin and refrigerated for day or so, pickles can be started in brine hours or even days before processing, allowing you to have several things going at once.

4) Follow tested recipes with low acid ingredients or foods. Experiment with safe things that are high acid like jams and chutneys that utilize preservatives like sugar and vinegar. Tomato products like salsa and marinara sauce are loaded guns for canning - treat them with respect. Or experiment to your hearts content and freeze them for safety!

5) Make sure you and your family really like what you're preserving - it's a lot of work and is disappointing to be staring at 15 jars of chutney next year that no one liked.

6) If possible can with a friend, or family members. It's fun and enjoyable, and the rewards are limitless from that first ping when a jar seals, to next winter when you enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Please add your tips in the comment section, I am sure I missed quite a few.