I love canning. I started canning in 1989 or 1990. I started with grape jelly made from grapes growing on the property we were living at. My mother in law told me how she did it. And then it was just me and the grapes. And sugar. I made it with no added pectin. It takes longer to cook, but makes a very nice jelly. Without the added expense of pectin. You can only do this with fruit that are naturally high in pectin.
I then expanded to other jellies and jams. I even made pickles and salsa with ingredients from our garden. It was so good! I basically made whatever I could with a water bath canner.
Two years ago, I bought a pressure canner. And I love it! I was concerned about safety at first, but I trust it now not to blow up in my face. The first time I used it, I told the kids if it started making funny noises to run out the front door. Well, it did start making noises, normal pressure canner noises. But that didn’t stop two of my kids from running out the front door, yelling “Hit the dirt!”, and throwing themselves on the ground. roflol It still makes me crack up just thinking about it. lol
The newer pressure canners, from what I can tell, come with weights that go on top of the canner, not dial gauges like they used to. If you using an older canner with the gauge, please have it tested every year before using. Our Extension Office does the testing. I’m pretty sure they do it for free, too. Check with your Extension Office if you have a pressure canner with a gauge.
I have now successfully pressure canned green beans, corn, and yellow squash. I would love to can my own soups now. I’ve included two recipes I want to try below. I would also love to can meat.
Even though I know I have handled everything properly during canning, I am still careful when serving my homecanned foods.
Look at your jars carefully before and after opening. If anything looks off, don’t use it. Did you hear the seal break when you opened the jar? Also smell the contents after opening the jar. If it has an off odor, don’t use it. I also boil my veggies for at least 5 minutes before serving, just to make sure. You can not see or smell botulism, so proper care and handling of home canned foods is very important. When in doubt, throw it out is a very helpful saying when it comes to home canning.
Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is an excellent place to start. With great recipes and step by step canning directions, it really is a must for the home canner. It’s even available in a Kindle edition!Ball Blue Book Of Canning And Preserving Recipes
You can also visit Ball’s Website Fresh Preserving.com for tips and info on getting started canning, as well as recipes.
Re-useable Canning Lids – I would love to try these. They are more expensive up front, but would save money in the long run, and cut down on trash. Not to mention that they are now reporting that the regular canning lids have BPA in them. So these re-useable lids may be better for you.
How To Fix Canning Problems – very useful information
Here are a few recipes I have found lately that I would love to try.
Homemaker by Choice Week Long Blog Hop