Google+ Organic Gardens Network™: Learn to Safely Preserve Your Harvest

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Learn to Safely Preserve Your Harvest

Cooking allows for a certain amount of improvising. However, even though home canning is an artful form of cooking, this is one time when you should definitely not improvise. There are specific steps to follow to ensure that your harvest is sterilized and safe to eat when you are ready to serve your home canned food.

You must choose the proper jars and lids for your canning projects. I like to use the wide-mouth mason jars, as they are easier to fill. I also prefer to use Tattler Reusable Canning Lids, which are BPA-free. They are good for pressure canning, water bath, and vacuum sealing, and guaranteed to last a lifetime. In addition, they are made in the USA!

I found these two great books on canning that will help you with all you need to know about canning and pickling so you can savor seasonal foods long after the harvest.
Tart and Sweet: 101 Canning and Pickling Recipes for the Modern Kitchen offers the essentials on small-batch canning with easy-to-follow photos and instructions, and lots of sweet and savory recipes for preserved fruits and pickled vegetables including jams, chutneys, marmalade, syrups, relishes, sauces, salads, and more.

Put 'em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling offers a fun new approach to canning and preserving, and is jammed with recipes, tips, techniques, resources, troubleshooting and more. It offers step-by-step instructions for every kind of preserving, from refrigerating and freezing, air and oven drying, to cold- and hot-pack canning, and pickling too.

So if you’re feeling in the mood for home canning, check out these two delightful books and enjoy some vine-fresh tomatoes, garden fresh salsa, icebox jams, homemade marinara, and zucchini relish all winter long.

What are some of your favorite canning projects? Do you have some of your own tips and tricks to share?

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