Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tips For Canning

Over the past couple of years, friends and neighbors have shared some great tips with me about canning. Hope they help someone else as much as they have helped me!

  • If possible, have someone help you. For some reason, you get more than double the amount, and it is much more fun.
  • If what you are canning requires you to remove the skin (peaches, tomatoes), this tip will save you a ton of time. Tie string TIGHTLY around the plug in your sink. Put plug firmly in place over drain. Fill sink up with peaches or tomatoes, leaving string visible (you can put it over your faucet). Pour boiling water over the fruit until all fruit is covered. Leave on for 30-60 seconds. Pull string to release the plug draining all the water out. Now you have a sinkful of fruit ready to be peeled and used. Much faster than doing several at a time in boiling water.
  • To peel pears, do the step above. Then, instead of peeling with a knife, use a piece of nylon netting from the fabric store. It is sold right next to the toulle, but it has smaller holes and is softer. Simply rub the skins with the netting and it leaves a skinless, beautiful pear.
  • Don't start until your kitchen is clean. This way the process is easier, less stressful, and easier to clean up.
  • Buy a camp stove. I love having the 3 burner stove set up in my garage. It keeps my house cool, and I can do 2 or 3 canners at a time.
  • Use multiple canners. It makes the process twice as fast! If a neighbor or friend has a canner, trade off, so you each can have two going at a time.
  • Make sure you have all the tools that you need out, clean, and ready to go.
  • Wash jars in dishwasher. Keep them hot until ready to use.
  • Buy a package of latex (if you are not allergic) exam gloves. They are really inexpensive. I bought a box of 200 at Sam's Club for about $7.00. Well worth the money. They keep your hands from turning brown when doing peaches and tomatoes. They are wonderful to use when canning meats as well.
  • Enjoy the work of canning. Each season it is very fulfilling to see what I have preserved for my family. We enjoy it all year round.

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