[Creative Commons photo via galant]
Have your tomato plants been producing like crazy? Are your cucumbers and green beans blowing up? If you’re producing more than you can eat, it’s a great time to preserve some of your summer bounty for winter! Here are some home canning tips, along with a great five-part series of videos on the topic!
Canning Tips and Tricks
While canning is not exactly rocket science, you do want to take precautions to keep things sterile and ensure that your food is safe. Make sure you’re using jars made specifically for canning. Reusing jars is great for things that you’re storing short term, but for canned goods, you want the sort of mason jar with a 2 piece lid, like in the picture at the top of this post.
It’s easiest to can acidic foods, like tomatoes, since the jars just need to be boiled in a regular pots. The acidity of the contents will do the rest of the work and keep things bacteria free. If you’re canning low acid foods, like green beans, you’ll need a pressure canner. A good workaround for this is pickling your low acidity vegetables before you can them. The vinegar adds the acid necessary to use the boiling method and still keep it safe.
Finally, make sure that, if you’re pouring hot food into your canning jars, that the jars themselves are warm. Pour hot food into a cold jar, and you might just be spending your afternoon cleaning up broken glass instead of preserving your harvest! Boo!
Home Canning With Granny Miller
This series of five videos from Granny Miller gives you lots of great info on how to safely and easily can your own food. Check it:
Part 1- Introduction
Part 2- Two Types of Canners
Part 3 – Easy Steps To Home Canning
Part 4 – Water Bath Canning
Part 5 I & II – Pressure Canning