How do you can foods for the person who has never done so before? see more...
I am afraid of botulism and other things of doing it wrong. I don't have a pressure canner so I would be doing this the old fashioned way--by water bath. I would also like some recipes for pickling cucumbers and watermelon rind and tomatoes and such.
it was the way of life just 70 years ago for most of American . so you find out how to do it. my mom did it until I was about 10 to 11 for by then she had to work and stop doing it
Do not attempt canning low-acid fruit or vegetables in a boiling-water-bath. This is extremely dangerous. Low-acid food must be canned in a pressure cooker. If you don't have a pressure cooker, freezing or drying are good preserving methods. You do not need to buy an expensive pressure cooker. Presto has a quality pressure cooker you can buy at Walmart for about $69 and other sundry stores. Go to garage sales and pick up a pressure cooker for a few bucks. Just be sure the gasket (rubber seal) and regulator (wobbly pressure knob) are in good shape. Go to Presto website for instructions on how to use the pressure cooker and they even have recipes.
If you're going to can using the boiling-water-bath method be sure that the recipe you're using is specific for high-acid food to be canned using bwb.
Thirty years ago, I canned tomato-vegetable soup in a bwb just like my mother and grandmother. Today, I use a pressure cooker because the tomatoes we buy today have been engineered to grow with less acid. You can get around the lower acid by adding citric acid to each jar but you need to know what you're doing and it's a good idea to have acid strips to test the food being canned.
Pickling is a high-acid method of preserving. In fact, many pickle recipes require no cooking except for the vinegar, salt and water brine. Check out my green bean pickle recipe at http://thisdamecooks.com/2010/05/quick- … een-beans/
Read everything you can find first and then try to find someone who has some experience doing this. You are right to be careful as botulism, etc. is very unforgiving. With the Internet you can cross check a lot of the methodology for safety. I am sure there are parts of it that you are already familiar with but never discount the value of getting that seal properly in place in the final step...that could be a biggie! Good Luck. WB
Clean, clean, clean, make sure you sterilize everything. I found pickles were the easiest to start with. Basic method of measure, cook and bottle.
Start with clean canning jars and new lids, if you have a dishwasher, this works great to sterilize, if not wash and rinse your bottles, boil up a big pot of water and fill each clean jar to the top.
Boil your lids, you will need a clean work space, kitchen towels, a spatula, a large mouth funnel,a ladle and few interruptions.
Find a small batch recipe, you don't want to have a large batch then discover they are not to your taste. Follow the recipe, dills are super easy.
When your pickle is cooked and ready to bottle, place your sterilized funnel into bottle number 1 and carefully ladle the pickles into your bottle. Remember to leave a 1/2 inch head space and don't crowd the vegetables, leave room for the brine to cover the pickles. With a clean cloth, wipe up any drips, making sure before you cap them that no spills are on the jar rim.
After all your bottles are filled and wiped clean remove lids from their boiled-bath and pop them on. Screw on the rings, not too tight.
No need to hot water bath most pickles, I do apples and beet pickles in the oven. Place the jars on a sturdy cookie sheet, making sure they don't touch and bake. For other foods I feel safer freezing them, why chance it?
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