Tuesday, June 23, 2009

You Too Can CAN!

The best part of gardening is harvesting, eating and putting away the extra goodies. Nothing beats pulling out a jar of tomatoes during the dead of winter! It rushes me right back to the middle of my garden, when the vines are full with maters waiting to be picked. My first year of canning I bought the Ball Blue Book. It's considered to be the canner's Bible and still after years of canning I refer to it frequently. It not only covers the subject of canning, but also freezing and dehydration too.

A few of my personal tips:

1) It isn't necessary to buy brand new equipment. You'll need new lids each time, but can re-use rings, jars and most of the other equipment too. I usually buy new lids AND rings, but this is a personal preference. Many of your larger items you can find at garage sales or second hand stores so keep your eye out! Boiler, jars, jar lifters....etc.

2) Lay out all of your equipment BEFORE starting. I usually work on two counter surfaces. Preparing the food on one and then canning on the other. This is not the type of recipe/do it yourself that you can read a step, complete it, then gather tools for your next step. You'll want the process to flow smoothly and some steps are time/heat sensitive.

3) Make sure your work area is cooled. Sometimes AC is not enough. Use your ceiling fan or additional fans to circulate the area. Heat is your friend when canning but unfortunately doesn't stay confined to your pots!

4) When you hear that first lid "POP" think of me. I love that pop and can recognize it across the house. I can't help but do a little canning jig each time I hear it!


  1. This is a great post! I'm so intimidated by canning. However I'm also about to be drowning in tomatoes (YAY!) so I guess I'd better get on it with the learning. Or, you know, begging my friend to let me come to her house so she can show men in person.

  2. Don't be intimidated! Bring a batch down and we'll do them together!

  3. Hopefully my Roma maters come in so I can can this year... I said can can. Ole!