Monday, 4 October 2010

Please don't can like Grandma

by Throwback at Trapper Creek

Canning and home preserving in general is making a huge comeback. And many times we turn to the past for guidance. Or better yet, Grandma is still alive and happy to gift you with her canning supplies that were so important to her in the day. Here is where it gets touchy.

1940's - 1950's era aluminum food mill.

Grandma wants to pass the torch, which many times can be wonderful. And while you can heed the warnings about old canning time tables and methods, you can use newer guidelines for longer processing times and safer methods without hurting her feelings, not using her favorite food mill may spark a little resentment. Many times Grandma wants to know that you are using her tools that meant to so much to her in a earlier era. Some relics are best delegated to display only. For instance anything made from aluminum that will come in contact with your foods, such as pots and pans, food mills, and funnels. Especially high acid foods like applesauce, fruits and fruit butters, and tomato products, which just so happen to be the most popular foods that people can.

High acid foods will react with the aluminum and impart a metallic taste to your food, and maybe some discoloration. You have to figure since you can taste it in your food, you're ingesting it and since aluminum has been linked to many diseases from Alzheimer's to cancer it best not to use it. Look for non-reactive tools for your canning efforts.

You can still honor Grandma by accepting her advice, and displaying her antiques, and buying yourself some new preserving gear that will last your lifetime. Stainless steel is a wonderful substitute, and will last a long time and become the new heirloom for you to pass on to your family. Happy canning!