Sunday, November 30, 2008

Canning Year-Round

Got empty jars? Canning season isn't limited to the summer and fall months.

I knew a wonderful widowed woman named Lenore who kept her jars full year-round. During the harvest season she would bottle fruits and vegetables from her garden. After eating those, she would fill her empty jars with soups and meats during the winter and spring months. Her "Fast Food" was delicious, nutritious, and economical. She was a wise and thrifty woman, spending her time in service to others. Truly an inspiration.

Don't have empty jars? Get some. Try asking older relatives, friends, and/or neighbors if they have any used canning jars that they're not using anymore. This works well when you offer to purchase them. Often, people are willing to oblige -- it frees up some of their storage space, too. Check local classified ads and second-hand stores as well. I've seen new jars available for purchase from grocery stores and Walmarts year-round (and Targets seasonally.)

"Ball" has a website with a link for Choosing the Right Jar for the Job. They also have a great "how to" link for using a boiling water bath canner, pressure canner, and more. I also like their Home Canning Recipes link.

Living Essentials from BYU has a great link entitled "Canning for Keeps" with tips on getting started, successful canning, and recipes, too. I also like Wendy DeWitt's blog "Everything Under the Sun" that has information on bottling meats as well as other helpful information.

Don't have a boiling water bath canner or pressure canner? With Christmas coming up, how 'bout putting one of those items on your "wish list"? A good pressure canner can be kind of costly. We purchased an "All-American Pressure Canner" a few years ago. We've been happy with it. Here's an All-American Pressure Canner link to a site with some sale prices going on right now. (Be sure to shop around to make sure you're getting the best price.) It may be a great time to purchase one, especially if you plan on using it year-round.

Home-bottled items make thoughtful Christmas gifts! Here's a fun site with lots of recipes for different jams and jellies.

Happy Canning!

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