Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fresh Canning

I'm so excited. Clark bought me some freezer jam jars, a water bath canner and a pressure canner this weekend. I have long talked about canning and having fresh food for us all winter long, but never seemed to get it done (plus pressure canners scared me after hearing the horror stories my mom and grandmother would tell) but this year I'm going to get it done. Since we have a small garden this year and it is doing well and the price of food it going up all of the time, I want to make a greater effort to can and freeze as much food possible. I'm starting with freezer jam which I have done successfully before. I have found a great recipe for freezer jam that use Splenda as the sweetner so Clark can have as much as he wants. Also Ball now makes a No Sugar Added pectin for canning so that will help with any jams and jellies that I decide to can for the winter. I also have experience with the water bath canner and canning tomato sauces, but I normally just use my stock pot so I can't seal very many jars at one time. With my new canner I can seal seven quarts or ten pints at once. Much better! The pressure canner will be my new experience so I plan to read the directions very well and talk to people who can on a regular basis to get any advice possible. So if you have any to throw my way, go ahead. It will be greatly appreciated. For the things that just do not can well, I still have my chest freezer to store things in. I plan to put food up from my garden, trade things from my garden for things from my friends gardens and of course buy from the farmers market. I can't wait until harvest time. We have a few things at the farmers market now, but it will really pick up by the end of June. This gives Clark a project to work on as well. I need somewhere to store all of this wonderful food, so it is Clark's job to build some shelves in our downstairs office closet. It is coolest room in the house and I really don't store anything in that closet so it will be shelves and Ball jars from floor to ceiling. Wish me luck and of course I will post updates!

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