Canning Summer's Bounty: Easy And Low Tox

| 9/18/2014 10:32:00 AM

Tomato sauce in Weck's jars

Canning is a great way to preserve your own harvest. You can also buy organic produce that is on sale from your local grocer or from your local farmers market. When the produce is in peak season, it is the most healthful and the least expensive of the year.When you can, you have to follow the recipe exactly to make sure it is safe to eat. When canning acidic foods like fruit or tomatoes, or anything using vinegar or sugar, you can likely use only a water bath. All other canning requires a pressure canner to get to high enough temperatures to kill off the bacteria that cause botulism.

Home Canning Resources

Here are some web pages and resources to use:
Mother Earth News How to Can app 
National Center for Home Food Preservation
USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning
Home Canning website
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving

I bought a 1946 canning booklet from Steamliner Pressure Cooker-Instructions for Cooking and Canning so I could learn how to use the old fashioned canning jars. It was fun to read, complete with recipes! Okay, I thought, could I do some canning? My Granny canned during the summers I spent with her when I was little. We were growing tomatoes in our little flower/veggie garden. My handy Ball canning book revealed that tomatoes and fruits are high acid so they do not require a Pressure Canner; only a water bath was needed. Makes it an inexpensive experiment. I read that many canning lids also contain BPA. So, what other options were there? I found these glass lids in an antique store. I also bought the jars with the wire closure. All I needed now were the rubber seals and some directions!

I searched the web to see if I could find any instructions on how to use old-fashioned canning jars. No luck. Then I went to Amazon to see if there were any books on it. I found a 1946 pamphlet “Steamliner Pressure Cooker-Instructions for Cooking and Canning.” Success! It was great fun browsing the pamphlet. It was also very thorough in its instructions on how to use the old fashioned canning jars.

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