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Old 05-28-2008, 08:48 PM   #1
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Thinking about canning...no clue where to start

With the cost of food skyrocketing these days, I am looking to many ways to trim our food budget. I want to continue to feed my family as healthy as possible. I would love to learn how to can fruits and veggies, but I have no idea where to begin. I plan to snag up the Ball Blue Book of Preserving to start. Can someone give me an idea as to how difficult it is to can.

I love to be in the kitchen and cook. I am always looking to try out new things, but I do not want to invest in a ton of new kitchen equipment. Ready to learn from you ladies!

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Old 05-28-2008, 09:16 PM   #2
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Re: Thinking about canning...no clue where to start

Canning is pretty easy - as long as you follow the directions!
The Ball Blue Book is a great place to start ... It's the only reference that I really use for canning.

If you want to pickup some canning stuff for cheap, you might try garage sales -- and not the ones selling baby stuff. Sometimes older folks have canned in the past but aren't any more. Just a thought!

Have fun! It's very satisfying to see all the jars of food lined up in your pantry and/or freezer!
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:24 PM   #3
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Re: Thinking about canning...no clue where to start

I agree- that's a good book. Fruits and tomatoes are super easy (anything acidic is). Other stuff, like plain veggies needs a pressure canner for best/safest results, so I haven't tried that yet. Jams, jellies, stewed tomatoes, salsa are all good. Other veggies, I blanch and freeze or dehydrate. The garage sale idea is a good one, or craigslist. You can sometimes find free jars- just buy new lids.
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:25 PM   #4
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Re: Thinking about canning...no clue where to start

I love canning. There is something so satisfying about the "pop" of the lid.
I canned Jalapeno Jelly this week. It turned out great.

I would start with jam or jelly since it is so yummy. I've had good luck with the no/low sugar pectin. Go with whatever is in season and a good price.

Start with a clean kitchen and everything you need out. Read the instructions several times before starting.

I agree with pp's about where to get equipment. If you belong to a church you might even ask around if ppl have stuff they don't want anymore.
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Old 05-29-2008, 01:45 PM   #5
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Re: Thinking about canning...no clue where to start

another tip- If you do get free jars make sure that they are not cracked or even what resembles a hair line crack. If you use them in a pressure cooker you'll have big trouble. We always check ours over good. Also, I always make sure to wipe off around the rim before putting on the lids so that everything seals tight. Even a couple grains of salt can keep your jar from sealing.
I highly recomend the Ball book as well

Oh zuchini relish is very yummy and easy...
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:09 PM   #6
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Re: Thinking about canning...no clue where to start

We just started canning a couple of weeks ago, because we've been given lots of produce by church members (dh is the pastor). Once you know what you are doing it's actually very easy. For us, the hard part is finding a pickle recipe that we like!

And one thing that escaped my pregnant brain the first time, is that the lids won't seal until AFTER you are done processing them and they cool down some. I kept poking at them while they were in the canner and since they weren't sealed, I left them in there for about an hour (and finally gave up and pulled them out). Needless to say, those were some MUSHY pickles (and had to be thrown away). So, follow all the directions exactly and you should be fine. Remember to get the water in your canner boiling first thing so it's ready when you need it. That's what took the longest for us- waiting for the canner to be ready.

The great thing about canning is, once you have all your equipment, all you have to buy is new lids and your ingredients. I was lucky enough to get all of my Mom's old stuff since she doesn't can anymore.
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:35 PM   #7
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Re: Thinking about canning...no clue where to start

Thanks ladies! I am soooooo motivated to try this out. Off to check cl.
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Old 05-29-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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Re: Thinking about canning...no clue where to start

Pretty easy, just follow the directions and make sure everything is clean and sterile. I'm sure you will find everything you need to know in the book. I think I followed the directions from a box of pectin the first time I made Strawberry jam.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:02 PM   #9
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Re: Thinking about canning...no clue where to start

http://www.pickyourown.org/allaboutcanning.htm

HTH,

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Old 05-30-2008, 08:13 PM   #10
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Re: Thinking about canning...no clue where to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by val01 View Post
This is GREAT Valerie! Thanks so much.
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