Sunday, June 29, 2014

Canning Season is Here!

It's time to go through all your canning supplies and restock what's missing. The first thing you need to load up on are lids and rings. You might be able to reuse your rings, but don't ever reuse your lids. After you put all that hard work into canning, why would you risk your food getting spoiled? Carefully check over your jars for defects or cracks. Replace any that are questionable. Three other handy tools are a good pair of canning tongs; a magnetic lid lifter that lets you safely remove your sterilized lids and a flat plastic tool that removes all the bubbles before you seal put the lids and rings on. For the past few years I have used a thick drying blanket to let my jars cool off on. It absorbs water well and cleans up in the washing machine easily. Another handy tip is to add 1 cup of white vinegar to the water in the canner. This helps reduce the white film that can get on the jars due to minerals in hard water, which we have.
This past Saturday, my daughter-in-law Amanda spent the afternoon canning with me. This was her first adventure in using a pressure canner. It took me, ahem, 50 years to get over the fear of using one. Well, I broke down and did it last summer and I'm so glad I didn't chicken out. Amanda is now well versed in the use and I look forward to us putting up enough jars this summer to last our family all year. Thanks to the help of grand daughter Emilee Rae and her new planting skills, we should have plenty of beans!
 Amanda has 9 pints of green beans ready to put under pressure. The full directions of how to can green beans can be found in the links below with additional canning recipes.
It takes 20 minutes to pressure can pints jars of green beans, but don't forget to factor in the time it takes for the pressure to be released so you can safely remove the top. Be sure to use the proper tools when removing these extremely hot jars from the canner. Even after they were removed, the water inside was at a rolling boil for quite a while. The canner allows the water to reach a temperature well over what can be achieved by a hot water bath alone. It is critical you follow the correct canning guidelines to prevent food spoilage and possible food poisoning!

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