WOW great thread. I'm so glad I happened upon it today. I've been canning all month! I learned from my mother, Nana, aunt and we used to use rubber rings and glass tops. I still have those jars and keep dry good in them. that link to to the Lehman site is just the thing I'll be getting next! I so hate throwing out the lids. What a waist! OPTIMIST 1948 can I have the recipe for pickled green beans?? Sounds yummy! I've bought most of my supplies at yardsales and Salvation Army stores. I have both waterbath steamers and really Lg. pressure cooker for broths and soups. I make all my own stocks and I'm experimenting with different homemade soups right now...So far I've done, Butternut/Pumpkin, Southwestern Chicken, Cabbage/White Bean. Fish Chowder, Very Veggie Vegetable and I'm planning, Tomato/Lentil,Split Green Pea, and Chicken/Wild Rice with Mushrooms. Last year I made Fresh Tomato/Carrot and It is awesome! I've been very lucky in that I have friends who work out with the public and through word of mouth I have acquired over 50+ canning jars from older ladies who want to get out of it cause of health issues or age and GAVE me their supplies! Some stuff brand new and in their original boxes. You name it, I've probably got it! So I decided this year with the new diet I'm using, that I will can everything I can get my hands on. I love giving away jars just because and seeing the happy faces of the recipients when they find out it is an original, organic recipe!!! I do know how tricky some of this looks, but it really is as simple as make sure your jars and tops are hot and clean and you TIME your processing by the book. I have both the Ball book and Stocking up. I can't wait to order those new tops!!! Thanks for all the great posts and Happy Canning!
current weight: 165.0
Fitness Minutes: (2,557) Posts: 173 5/18/13 1:23 P
I have been a canner and dehydrater for most of my life. I love the ease of having wholesome healthy food available. I started a facebook page focused on just the safe part of canning and preserving. I think there is a lot of poor advice and misinformation out there right now and that scares me. I put basic tested tips and recipes up (and not really doing so well at the moment.... been taking a break) but the link is www.facebook.com/preservingtheharvestbythe book if anybody is interested
Pressure canners are worth it! It is really not too difficult, and they usually come with a book of instructions on how to preserve common foods and recipes using that particular product. This year I canned more than I have ever canned before: strawberry and peach jam, pickles (actually my pickle recipe claimed that it didn't need a water bath), tomatoes, tomato soup, salsa, corn, green beans, and beets. We are planning on doing applesauce this fall as well. I love it because I can save produce that is either from my own garden, or from local farmers, and know that it's method of production and delivery is more sustainable than what I'd get at the grocery store. We also freeze some things (greens, cherries, chopped spring onions and garlic scapes, etc.), but our small chest freezer fills up pretty quickly.
Another good reference book is "Stocking Up," published by Rodale Press.
Tomatoes are a great vegetable to start canning with, since they can be done in a water bath. As someone else mentioned though, you have to make sure you're canning varieties with a high enough acid content (since non-acidic items need to be pressure-canned). To make sure I'm getting it right, I usually add a tablespoon of white vinegar to each pint jar of tomatoes.
My sister and I both can regularly and would LOVE to have someone come and help out. My current "jam" is a Green Tomato Marmalade with lemon and ginger. Stuff is fabulous! However, we only can things that we cant get at the store. For example, I would never make a strawberry jelly. However a strawberry-baco noir wine jelly? I'm all over that action. Dilly Beans (pickled green beans) I sent some to my cousin for her Thanksgiving gathering: she horded the whole batch and didnt share. I have never canned a single tomato. Once I started canning, I realized what an enormous project it is and I refuse to do it for things I can get in the store. Especially when they make them better and cheaper. (Personal opinion, of course,)
It is so helpful to have a friend guide you through it, isn't it, COLD_GOLD? I finally dove in this summer and tried a bunch of different things. A woman at our local hardware store was helpful and encouraging, and I probably wouldn't have done half as much without her cheering me on.
That's awesome...we definitely need to bring back the craft of preserving...it was becoming a lost skill. My family owns an organic bakery/sustainable living store with an old fashioned general store feel. We can our own jams, jellies, preserves and butters. You are safe to just use a water bath sterilization method on fruits and some other stuff as long as it is acidic. Low acid foods like most vegetables and all meats require the use of a pressure cooker to prevent bacteria like botulism. So, just make sure you research about the foods you are trying to can and then always sterilize and keep in refrigerator after opening. Oh, and good luck. It's definitely very rewarding!!! And, of course, you know what you are putting in it, no chemical preservatives, corn syrup, or food processed or grown in china. In the old days, everyone canned because they needed to preserve the food from harvest to get through the winter. But, with mass production of foods it became cheaper for people to buy a can of green beans at the grocery and forget all the work it took to harvest and preserve their own food. But, now days with more folks keeping their own gardens and the need and want to eat locally and have control over what we put in our bodies has led to a renewal of this practice. I think it's awesome. If you have a Big Lots store in your area, they have the cheapest canning jars sold retail. Wal-mart is 2nd but I won't shop there. We have a wholesale account with Ball but they require a $500 minimum order and that's a lot of jars!!!!
thanks so much everyone! I will definitely check out that book. I managed to convince my very talented friend to let me do her annual hot pepper jelly with her today. I a little more comfortable with the whole thing, but I will definitely need a book. I *really* want to save some tomatoes for winter... yum!
Good to know about the low-sugar and salt options... we put in sooo much sugar today! Good thing this stuff is too spicy to eat too quickly!
current weight: 134.0
Fitness Minutes: (67,620) Posts: 9,840 9/2/10 5:31 P
You might want to start by making a batch or two for the freezer, so see if you like it. If that goes well and your family eats it, go to easy stuff requiring simple canning techniques, like fruit juice, jams and whole tomatoes. Once you're happy with that you can try the foods requiring pressure canning or extra processing equipment.
I second that book. I've taken two informal classes on canning, one at our local "green" general store and one put on by Ball. They were both very informative. It seems that as long as you follow those recipes pretty much, you're good. Also, things like sugar and salt are optional--the rep from Ball told me this directly--so if you want lower sodium or lower sugar varieties than the recipes you're following indicate, that is OK. If doing jam though, you'll need a low or no-sugar pectin to help it set up better. Other than that, sterilize. Keep jars clean. Don't touch them with your bare hands. Use new lids on every jar, but you can reuse the rings that seal around the lids.
Ball also makes this Canning Discovery Kit that is really inexpensive and provides recipes and instructions, as well as 3 complete jars that makes it a lot easier if you are a beginner. Hope that helps,
I am thinking about doing some canning soon. I did some jam with a very experienced friend last year, but I wouldn't mind having some local produce handy for the winter. I was thinking maybe tomatoes and tomato sauce. Does anyone else have any good ideas or tips?
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