Weeping Cherries

faith, family, food and frugality

Mason Jar Monday October 27, 2008

Filed under: Mason Jar Monday — Jen @ 2:39 pm
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What more obvious use for mason jars is there than canning? Today, I am going to bring you an excerpt from Heavenly Homemaker’s blog on canning 101. If you haven’t visited her site before, I highly recommend it.

So, here you are: Canning 101by Heavenly Homemaker

“Just in case you may be unfamiliar with the beautiful art of canning fruits and veggies…I thought I’d do this post to explain some of the basics. Then later, I can post about the specifics!

Here are some of the basic supplies you will need in order to can food. Some of these supplies are not entirely neccessary…just really, really helpful. Some of these supplies are entirely neccessary.

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If you are planning on canning fruits or veggies, you will need jars.
(Oh, how I love jars!) I like having both quart and pint sized…
and my favorites are the wide mouth jars.

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You’ll also need lids and rings. The rings you can re-use year after year,
but in order to have your lid seal, you must use new ones each year.

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This handy dandy tool is a magnetic wand, which I use to retrieve lids
and rings out of hot sterilizing water. (See below) I love this tool!!

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This tool helps me grip the jars as I pull them out of the hot water bath.
Since I’ve had this tool, I have broken fewer jars and burned myself less often.
I SO recommend one of these.

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This wide mouth funnel is a lifesaver when you’re trying to get
your produce into the jar without making a big mess.

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A water bath pot is pretty neccessary…
if you’re planning to seal your jars in a water bath.

Okay…next…

Here are a few things you need to know if you don’t want to die from botulism

*Using the hot water bath system to seal your jars is only safe if you’re canning something acidic. Otherwise, food must be sealed in a pressure cooker. Food that I know of to be safe to can in a hot water bath: tomatoes, apples, peaches, pears. If you aren’t for sure what’s safe…please look it up to be sure before you use a hot water bath to seal your lids!

*You need to sterilize your jars, lids and rings before you put food into them. All I do is put my clean jars upside down into a shallow pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes.

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I do the same with my lids and rings.

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See, this is where that magnetic wand comes in very handy!

*When you put your jars full of yummy fruits or veggies into the hot water bath, I recommend putting them in before you start to boil the water. If your water is already boiling hot, you run the risk of breaking your jars and losing all of the work you put into filling. So, put your jars into the pot of water, then turn it on to begin to get hot. Once it finally starts to boil, then start your timer for the recommended boiling time.

Okay…this will all make more sense with my other posts about canning specific fruits and veggies. But…that gives you the basic information you’ll need so that those posts will make sense. Or maybe none of it makes any sense and you’d rather just come over and watch. (Watch, nothin’. I’d hand over a knife and some apples and tell you to get busy.) )

Sidenote: Sarah, I am holding you to your word that we are going to can next year.

Side-question: To all readers- what is your favorite thing to can/favorite canning recipe?

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4 Responses to “Mason Jar Monday”

  1. Betty Says:

    I remember the days my mom & grandma used to do this. We would have preserves & picked pickles, onions radishes and all that great stuff. Brings back lots of memories. I don’t have the recipe but my favorite was apricot marmalade, YUM!

  2. Becky Says:

    Wait, i’m so confused. Why can’t you just put stuff into a jar and be done with it? Why do they have to be sterilized? What’s with the hot water bath/pressure cooker?

  3. Jen Says:

    If you are going to eat it right away, you could just stick it in the jar but if you are going to store it for any length of time you need to sterilize it because of botulism concerns.

    I am still fairly new to all this, could a pro answer more in depth Becky’s question about sterilization?

    • beck Says:

      well there are types of spores and bacteria that grow on food, even when put into jars, so the canning process of a water bath kills the bacteria, you must process the jars in boiling water long enough to kill the bacteria..even sterilized jars once the food is inside the jars…each canning recipe calls for its own time to be processed, jams and jellies, pickles, all acidic foods can be processed in a boiling water bath…it is to kill dangerous bacteria and you must get a seal on the jars to prevent air exposure..that way you can store the food in a cupboard for up to several months…when you open it you will have the great taste of fresh produce.


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