Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Canning for Dummies, or more specifically... Me.

One of the strongest memories I have from my early childhood is of my grandmother's strawberry freezer jam. Sadly, I wasn't smart enough to be interested in how she did it before she passed away, but now it seems to me like something I should know how to do.

I started out by google-ing 'freezer jam' and got a lot of mixed information. Lots of recipes, not enough of 'start with a jar, you idiot'. I stumbled around a bit until I found Canning Pantry and Canning Food Recipes. Both of these have fairly straight forward 'how-to' sections, and Canning Pantry has all the supplies you would need, from pressure cookers to jars themselves. Canning Food Recipes has (as obvious from the title) tons of recipes from basic fruits and veggies to salsa and spaghetti sauces.

Canning veggies and most fruits seems fairly straight forward once you have the supplies and a general know-how. Water Boiling and Pressure Canning seem to be the two big methods, the method varying with the PH level of whatever you are canning. the general pattern I'm seeing is: Fruit is water boiled, everything else (veggies, meat, dairy etc.) needs to be pressure cooked. The canners themselves run quite a gamete, from about $70-300. This doesn't include any of the extra supplies like jars, lids and such.

I would love to make my own spaghetti sauce, as it's something I use a lot, and frankly I'm sick of shelling out $5 a pop for a bottle of spaghetti sauce when I can make it myself for a fraction of the cost. The same goes for salsa and jams. Pickling also seems interesting and fairly simple, and who doesn't love a nice pickle?

1 comment:

  1. Strawberry freezer jam is the best! Just waiting for the berries to hit the stores to make mine for the year. Just FYI it is almost impossible to get the water hot enough to can with a flat top stove. Urgh, got to drag in hubbies camp stove if I want to do any of that.


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