Sunday, October 16, 2011

Home Canning 101

One thing we don't do much is preserve food. We've frozen some things and canned tomatoes with my mom, but Gerry's always been a little timid about trying to can on his own. He's scared he's going to poison someone, plain and simple. I'm not even sure he trusted my mom, and she's been canning for many years!

So when I saw a coupon for the Ball Canning Discovery Kit, I thought it might be just the thing to tempt Ger into giving it a try. The kit comes with three pint jars with lids and rings, a small canning rack, and a little booklet with a few different recipes, including salsa. Knowing how Gerry feels about salsa, I thought it might be just the thing to spark an interest in canning!

And it worked! Our farm share supplied the tomatoes, peppers, onions, even the cilantro! Ger was a little conservative with the jalapeno peppers, and the salsa could be hotter, but he can adjust that next time. Meanwhile, he's gobbling it up!

The recipe made exactly enough to fill the three pint jars. Those clever people from Ball...they know what they're doing!

Before we bought this kit, I looked up some reviews about it. I liked that it offered a simplified, friendlier approach to canning, but I was worried that it was a complete waste of money. As it turns out, even many experienced canners really like this smaller rack, as it's convenient for preserving small batches.

Also, I have been prowling around at the Ball Canning and Preserving website, and WOW, is there a lot of information there! There are recipes, discussion boards, and tons of other resources. It's worth a look!


ChrisC said...

I taught myself to can a few years ago now, and I think that most people are too scared of it. As long as you're canning stuff that's high-acid (jams, pickles), you're really unlikely to poison anyone! The most important things in canning, in my experience, are to be scrupulously clean about everything, and to follow recipes exactly, especially for stuff like Salsa where there are a lot of low-acid ingredients. Adding "just a little more pepper" can push the acidity too low for safety. Also, store your jars with the rings off. That way, if something goes wrong with the product, the gasses that are released will pop the flat lid loose and you'll know not to use it :-)

Anonymous said...

I never thought I'd say this but seeing that cute little kit makes me feel like canning something.