Bear N Mom Recipes - Canning Fruits and Vegetables

Vegetables and Fruits canned for winter use.
Vegetables and Fruits canned for winter use.

Canning and Putting Up for Winter

In the North vegetables only grow from May until early Fall. Grapes and peaches are at their best around August. In the Fall, you get your apples and other fruits. Bear's mom had a garden but didn't depend totally on her own crop. She was a frequent visitor to the Farmer Markets and sometimes to the Wholesale District, know in Pittsburgh as the Strip District.

There are several ways to put vegetables away for future use and more economical in some areas than buying frozen or canned.

Today we will be talking about canning methods and how to prepare your canning utensils for putting up your own fruits and vegetables.

Canning with Mason Jars

 Always remember to clean your vegetables thoroughly and drain prior to canning.

When using glass jars, make sure there are no chips in the neck and that you have purified them.

Bring a canning pot full of water to a full boil.

Dip each jar into the water and let stand for 3-5 minutes.

Remove jar being careful to not bump it on any hard surfaces.

Let jar cool completely before filling with fruits or vegetables.

Fill jar to just below the lips of the jar.

Let stand until the contents of the jar have cooled.

Melt canning parafin wax and fill to seal the jar.

Put the lid onto the jar

Mark the jar with the contents and the date before storing.

Vegetables in a freezer bag, marked with date/
Vegetables in a freezer bag, marked with date/

Freezer Methods

 Always remember to clean your vegetables thoroughly and drain prior to canning.

Use a bowl to support your bag while you are filling.

Fill bag 3/4 full

Let stand until the contents of the bag have cooled.

Remove all excess air from the bag and lock the bag.

Mark the Bag with the contents and the date and put into freezer.

Related Canning Links

This Really Happened

Nick's Mom used to grow and put up bushels of tomatoes each year for the winter. She had a room under her front porch that used to be the coal bin from the days when you would buy coal for the furnace and store it in a portion of your cellar. It was perfect for cold storage because it was separated from the rest of the basement with a door and wasn't heated.

She lined the walls of this room with wooden shelves that held her jars of tomatoes and other vegetables and would use them over the winter until they were gone. Since she was Italian, you know that most recipes start with tomatoes and it was no problem to use the bounty of her summer toils before the next Spring.

One year after she had put up her tomatoes and stored them, she heard a huge crash coming from the basement area. When she got down there, the entire cold storage room was swimming in tomatoes because the wooden shelves had tipped over. What a shame to lose all those wonderful dinners.

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