Water-Bath Canning And The Joy Of Preserving Your Own Food

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Water-Bath Canning And The Joy Of Preserving Your Own FoodIf you are new to the art of canning and preserving your own food, this guide should help you be on your way to a very enjoyable and satisfying experience. If you have already done canning before and just want to brush up on your canning skills, you should also enjoy this guide. You can choose to grow your own food if you have the space and want to make sure that you know how your food was grown before canning. If you don’t have the time or space, if you have access to vegetables and fruits from stands that crop up during the growing season, they can provide quality products suitable for canning. Many of those people running the stands will sometimes be very experienced in the canning process and some even have old recipes they are willing to share. This writer has acquired cookbooks over the years and it is filled with canning recipes on sheets of paper, index cards or just about anything a recipe can quickly be jotted down on. These recipes have come from friends, family and other sources. That favorite salsa or jar of pickles that just can’t be found in any store is anticipated every year during the canning season.

The boiling water-bath canning process is easy and safe for everyone to use as long as the instructions are followed exactly as stated. Most likely, you have already been looking at the utensils needed if you have decided to try canning your own food. A quick look at the equipment list is here for you:

1. Canner large enough to allow for 1-2 inches of boiling water to cover each jar.
2. Rack to hold jars one-half inch off the bottom of the canner to allow boiling water to circulate freely.
3. Mason jars in any size from one-half pint to quart size. Wide-mouth jars are easier to fill and serve from.
4. Two-piece lids that consist of a sealing disk and a metal screwband.

Although it is usually noted that there are optional utensils, it is usually more handy that you do buy them for simplicity and safety. They include:

* Jar funnel for pouring food product into jars.
* Jar lifter for lifting hot and heavy jars from the canner.
* Plastic spatula to work bubbles out of jars.
* Lid wand for placing hot boiled lids onto jars.
* Timer to keep track of processing times.
* Clean towels, hot pads and cutting board.

It is now time to start preparing your product that you have chosen to can. Select fruits and vegetables that are ripe and firm but never overripe or soft. Make sure to quickly start the canning process as soon as harvesting is done for best results. If you are going to can fruit and vegetables from your own garden, make sure you pick your product as early as possible before the heat sets in and dew is still on the vegetables. This ensures that the vegetable will be crisp and cool.

When canning with the boiling water-bath method to preserve food, follow all the instructions that come with your canner. It is also important to follow all the instructions that come with the recipe to ensure a quality product is canned.

Many people can feel intimidated in the beginning by all the instructions and going through all the different steps. It is wise to choose one recipe that isn’t too large or complicated and try canning using the water-bath method. A good suggestion to try is a recipe for making jelly. After you have gotten your feet wet, you will feel more comfortable with the boiling water-bath method.

There is a lot of satisfaction in being able to can your own food. It isn’t for everyone, but most people continue every year putting up their own recipes. Happy canning and good luck in your first endeavor to preserve your own food.

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