Like to thank our dear New Zealand friend, Charley, for the catchy title. If I remember correctly, he said his granny used to say that. Wise woman!
Another friend of ours just passed along this Canning Song
If that doesn’t get you in the canning mood, there’s this wonderful DVD from the West Ladies (this DVD and the entire Homestead Blessings collection are sold right here at our online store)
When we started growing full time, every summer it came down to too many vegetables and fruits and something needed to be done with the surplus. So about 7 or so years ago I took the plunge into preservation and haven’t looked back. During the fall and winter we rely heavily on what we put up during the summer. We are proud to say there are not many store bought canned goods that line our shelves.
Learning practical food preservation has been something I’ve looked forward to every year and have come to enjoy. Looking at the colorful jars that are stocking the cabinet you get a real sense of food security and a connection with the past – something Grandma would be proud of I am sure.
Canning is easy, you just have to know a few basics. One of the most important aspect is the difference between low and high acid foods. Here on the urban homestead we use a simple water bath method to preserve our foods. With low acid vegetables like beans or peppers without a pressure canner we’ll just pickle instead.
SAFE CANNING METHODS
There are two safe ways of canning, depending on the type of food being canned. These are the boiling water bath method and the pressure canner method.
Boiling Water Bath Method: The boiling water bath method is safe for fruits, tomatoes and pickles as well as jam, jellies and other preserves. In this method, jars of food are heated by being completely covered with boiling water (212 °F at sea level).
High-acid foods contain enough acid (ph of 4.6 or less) so that the Clostridium botulinum spores can’t grow and produce their deadly toxin. High-acid foods include fruits and properly pickled vegetables. These foods can be safely canned at boiling temperatures in a boiling water bath.
Tomatoes and figs have ph values close to 4.6. To can these in a boiling water bath, acid in the form of lemon juice or citric acid must be added to them.
Pressure Canning Methods: Pressure canning is the only safe method of canning low-acid foods (those with a ph of more than 4.6). These include all vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. Because of the danger of botulism, these foods must be canned in a pressure canner. Jars of food are placed in 2 to 3 inches of water in a pressure canner and then heated to a temperature of at least 240 °F. This temperature can only be reached in a pressure canner.
Can All You Can
Are you capturing time in a bottle? Let’s show those canning hands – are you a veteran canner, newbie? What’s your latest canning adventure?
Let the harvest and fun begin! Latest pics of our can-athon here at the urban homestead…