Thursday, February 9, 2012


I thank my mother and grandmother for teaching me the technique of canning. Canning is not only an easy process, it is also a way to save on your grocery budget. In todays economy I'll bet that's a pretty high priority on alot of our minds. You won't need fancy equipment. Much of what you need may already be in your own cupboard.

It is not necessary to run out and purchase expensive canning jars. You probably have plenty of jars already. Old speghatti sauce jars, jelly jars, friut jars and most other jars with a metal lid are reusable. Not only are they reusable you won't have to worry about them laying around in a
landfill somewhere taking up space. Friends and relatives have been kind enough to contribute their jars for me. I've been fortunate enough to find boxes of canning jars at the goodwill for around $1. The rubber seal on any metal lid must be fully in tact. The jar and lid need to be thoroughly cleaned to avoid contamination of any kind. The best way to do this is to boil the jar and lid before they are used.

Any large pot with a secure lid will work to seal the jars once they have been filled. Pressure cookers are helpful, but can be very costly. I have success using my tamale pot to hold the jars. It will take a little longer to boil the jars long enough to seal this way, but they do seal. I usually leave the jars in the pot on high for 15-20 minutes. Never place a jar in direct contact with heat. Lift the jars from the bottom of the pan using any metal element you can. I found an old cookie cooling rack at the goodwill that fits nicely in the bottom of my pot. Make sure the pot has plent of water. Fill the pot to reach about 1/3 of the jars.

I am not an expert on canning, but I do enjoy the process. I have been doing it for years. It's easy to buy fruits when they are inexpensive and can them. I would rather can the vegetables I grow than see them thrown in the composte pile. What I enjoy most is the money I save when I don't have to pay supermarket prices on things like chicken broth, peppers or corn.

It may seem like a large chore to can. It will take time, but not nearly as much as you may think. If you enjoy saving money, cooking with fresh, homegrown produce and having the confidence of knowing exactly what is in that can of corn you open, than canning might be for you.

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