The Moose thought it might be a good idea, to share canning recipes with the blogosphere. I already have my list of topics and am thinking about other articles that can be posted that would fall under the self-reliance category. If you have any ideas, or want to guest post, please let me know.
Canning has been used for generations as a reliable means of preserving food. We’ve just gotten so lackadaisical, that it’s second nature to just pick a can with a pretty paper label off the shelf at the store. Trust me, I still have to, there are just some things I cannot grow in my area. But after learning about the chemicals that are sprayed on our foods, or GMO’s, I am making an effort to avoid them when possible. We’re not perfect, but we have to start somewhere.Of course, you need to source the items you need for canning. Do you garden, or do you have access to a farmers market? Canning can be done on a small or large scale. Much of it will depend on where you live and the number of growing seasons you have. We have two here in Central Florida; spring and fall. This gives us access to fresh produce for a better part of the year. What you may not know, is that everything we normally eat, cannot be grown in each season. Cabbage, broccoli, etc. are cool season vegetables only for the fall season. So, we’ll need to grow more during this season, and preserve more for the “off” seasons.
I am focused on canning; however you can dehydrate or freeze foods as well. We’ll cover these in future articles.Here’s a basic list of equipment needed. I would suggest buying the items a little at a time, to help save the pocket book. There is an initial startup cost, but this can be alleviated by spending some time at local yard sales, or on Craigslist. Once you have these items, other than lids (which you can also purchase that are reusable), you’ll get years of use out of them.
· Spoons, wooden are best. For stirring and packing.
· Knives, a variety are needed, for peeling and chopping as necessary
· Saucepans for sterilizing lids
· Measuring cups
· Food scale
· Timer (I use my microwaves clock)
· Water Bath Canner
· Pressure Canner
· Jar Funnel
· Jar Lifter
· Bubble Freer, used to run down the sides of a jar to release air bubbles
· Jars; quart, pint
Stand out items; Water Bath Canner. The big box stores sell these as a kit that includes the canner, tongs, jar funnel, jar lifter and bubble freer. Also, I buy the lid brand Tattler as they are reusable. There are other companies out there, the choice is yours. My friend “Sista” posted an interesting article regarding BPA in canned foods, as well as disposable canning lids. If this is important to you, you’ll want to find lids that do not contain BPA. Just one other reason to consider reusable lids can be found here.http://welcometothehenhouse.blogspot.com/2012/05/canning-and-stupidest-person-on-planet.html
The list can seem daunting, but please take the time to consider the health benefits of canning fresh produce yourself. You'll know where your food comes from.