Monday, August 23, 2010

Canning Season

'Tis the season for an abundance of fresh produce! If you garden, have fruit trees, have a farmer's market nearby, or even hit some good produce sales at the store, you will have plenty to can and store for use during the rest of the year. At first, doing home canning kind of scared me, but I started learning how to do it about two years ago. I have successfully made and canned apple butter, apple sauce, chokecherry jelly, pickled beets, and homemade salsa. I'm just getting started this year and made some salsa yesterday. I am planning on making more chokecherry jelly, and trying my hand at wild raspberry jam, among other things this year.

Some things to keep in mind when canning are safety procedures to ensure safe food, elevation considerations, and having adequate supplies. It is very important to research what you plan to can by using tested recipes and by studying proper canning methods. If food is not canned properly, it can become contaminated with botulism and cause serious illness. Some foods are fine being canned using a water bath canning method, others require pressure canning to ensure safe food.

When canning, you want to keep your elevation level in mind. Living in higher elevations require longer processing times to ensure proper food preservation temperatures. You can usually do an internet search to find out your elevation level, and proceed accordingly. Last, but not least, make sure you have the proper supplies. A water bath canner/pressure canner to use for processing, glass jars with lids and rings, a funnel, and a jar lifter or set of tongs for removing hot jars from the canner. The jars and rings can be saved and used again, but you will need new lids every time you can something new in a jar.

Here are some links for some good general information on canning:

Here is a link for elevation guidelines:

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