This “Old-Fashioned” way of preserving food is something that I’ve had on my list of Things I Wish I Knew How To Do for years and now my friend, Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife, has created the perfect resource just for me. OK, maybe not for me specifically, but certainly for people just like me that want to feed their family well and save money in addition to preserving “old timey” techniques to pass down to the next generation.
There is nothing like jumping into something headfirst without knowing what you are really getting into. Here are some quick tips that you need to know about canning before you start!
- Only use the finest quality foods. Fruit and vegetables should feel fresh and firm. Smell and look ripe, with good color and no blemishes.
- Wash your food thoroughly. Not only does dirt cause bacteria but it also is very unpleasant to grit in your bite of food.
- Do not soak fruit or vegetables as this will remove all the flavors from your food.
- Handle the fruits and vegetables carefully as they do bruise easily.
- Have a working area, canning equipment and jars with lids clean and ready.
- All jars and lids should be perfect. The jars should not be nicked or cracked and the lids should be soaked to soften up the sealing compound.
- Use a recipe book and be sure to follow all the recipes. It’s important that the steps are followed exactly. The accurate time and temperature of hot water bath or pressure canners will make the difference of good food prepared well.
- Leave enough head space in jars, and don’t over-stuff them with fruits and vegetables, as the produce in jars will expand when being heat processed. Also remove air bubbles from around food in jars. The air left will again endanger foods with bacteria.
- Clean mouth of jar before putting the lid on to ensure a proper seal all around. Tighten the rings firmly, as this will push the sealing compound tightly against jar mouth thus assuring a good airtight seal.
- Before moving jars into the pantry or on a shelf, make sure jars are vacuum sealed. A jar that is properly sealed is slightly dented in the lid.
By following these tips, you will ensure that your canning adventure will be a great success. And, if you are looking for a great canning recipe book, check out my ebook Canning Made Simple. Each page is filled with tips, tricks, information and lots of great recipes!