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Summers End-Preserving & Canning

By: Benita McCoy-Lyons
By: Benita McCoy-Lyons

Preserving and canning can seem intimidating at first, but they can be an easy way to save money and give fruits and veggies a longer shelf life. You can enjoy homegrown vegetables and fresh fruit year round. Also make pickles, salsa, jams and jellies from scratch. In my Cookbooks I share Step by Step Instructions on Home Canning but here I’ll share some Quick & easy tips to help you get started.
Getting Started

Before you get started, it's important to have all the right tools. Here's a list:

* Mason jars with new lids and bands.
* Everyday kitchen utensils such as a spatula funnel and tongs.
* Produce or Fruits you wish to process.
* A pressure canner or a boiling water bath canner.
* Labels & a permanent marker.

Foods with high acidity, such as fruits and tomatoes, can be processed in a boiling water bath canner. These foods are naturally acidic and able to kill bacteria at boiling point (120°). Foods with low acidity, like green beans, most vegetables and soups, require a pressure canner which reaches high enough temperatures (240-250°) to kill any bacteria.
The Process

Although low-acidity and high-acidity foods use different kinds of canners, the overall canning process is basically the same for both.

∙Gather ingredients; read recipe and instructions.

∙Wash and dry jars, lids and bands.

∙Prepare food.

∙Remember to adjust the processing time to your altitude

∙Fill prepared jars with food, leaving appropriate headspace as called for in recipe. (Headspace is the space between the food and the lid.) If the recipe calls for it, remove air bubbles in food by running a spatula between the food and the inside of the jar.

∙Clean rim of jar and place lid on top, making sure it's centered so the seal makes contact with the rim. Tightly screw on band.

∙Place filled jars in canner. If using a pressure canner, follow manufacturer's directions. If using a boiling water canner, fill water a few inches over top of jars and bring to a boil. Depending on the recipe and your altitude, processing times will differ. Usually a 45 minute water bath is required fro most all recipes.

∙Remove jars from canner and let sit upside down 12-24 hours. Don't retighten or adjust the bands.

∙To be sure the lid is sealed to the jar rim, press the indention on the lid. If the lid stays put, the jar was sealed successfully. If you can feel or hear a popping the lid was not sealed successfully, you will need to place the unsealed jars in the refrigerator & use within 7-10 days.

∙Re-Use Mason jars to preserve foods, but never re-use the lids.

∙Only use a boiling water bath canner or a pressure canner. Open-kettle canning or the use of a dishwasher, oven or microwave for processing is not recommended

∙Canned food should only be kept up to a year. Only can the amount of food your family will consume over the span of a year.

∙Label & Date your jars and store in a dry, cool place.

∙When the Snow Flies…………………………………….ENJOY!


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