Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Eat Fresh - Time to inventory canning supplies

It's an early spring in South Texas, time to plan for the first pick harvest. This always includes taking an inventory of canning supplies and making a list of what we need.

Canning is easy if you follow some simple steps. Always can in a clean environment. I bleach my sinks and counter tops before starting, wash and rinse all my canning supplies including jars and dip them in boiling water for a minute or so to insure all bacteria is killed. I also start in a well cleaned kitchen with all dishes put away and a floor that is newly swept and mopped. I even clean my stove with a disinfectant. This may be an overkill but I am confident that I am starting as clean as possible.

Before you start make sure you have all of the proper supplies. In addition to the things you might think you need including a hot water canner with a rack and a pressure canner designed to hold several jars and the jars, lids and caps themselves you also need a canning accessory set. That is very useful when canning and you will use the pieces that are included over and over. Good sharp knives, a steel colander or two that can be disinfected are also useful. I also have racks to place my hot jars on and use those that are intended for cooling cakes. It's also helpful to have a couple of rolls of paper towels on-hand as well as it can get quite messy.

For those who have never canned there are several good books out there and your local extension agent usually has a lot of information on-hand.

Canning takes time, is a lot of work but well worth the effort.

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