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Friday, March 13, 2009

Home Canning Basics

We've been home canning on an annual basis for well over ten years now - I usually put up about a dozen cases of jars each summer. I remember learning how to can with my grandmother when I was a little girl.

If you are working hard this year on your first garden, you have probably at some point thought about ways to preserve your delicious fruits and veggies so you can enjoy them all year long.

Don't worry, home canning is really not very difficult and it is very rewarding to open that delicious jar of peach preserves or corn relish during the winter months to savor a taste of the summer garden again.

To get started, I recommend that you get a copy of the Ball Blue Book of Preserving - I have several different editions - and have never had a recipe fail.

The book goes through the basics of home canning equipment and terminology, discusses high and low acid food preserving, freezing and dehydrating. If you can only purchase one book to learn how to can, this is the one I'd recommend.

Most of the equipment you need for home canning can be picked up at fairly reasonable prices, but don't wait until the last minute or you might not get everything you need.

The search for canning jars is to a home canner what searching for fabric is to a quilter! I search garage sales, thrift stores, Freecycle and Craigslist for canning jars. They are getting difficult to find at these places in my area though.

When I have to buy new jars, I first check Big Lots or Fred's, as they have the best prices I've found in my area on new jars. I leave the big box stores and grocery stores for last, as they tend to be the most expensive places to purchase jars.

If you want a hands-on class in home canning, check with your local extension office to see if they offer one.

Whatever you do, don't let the fear of the unknown keep you from trying your hand a preserving your harvest - you'll be glad you took the step!

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Tennessee Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Tennessee Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.