Friday, September 17, 2010

Advice for canning season

I’m really big on not re-inventing the wheel. If someone else has already done it well, then I don’t need to make my own attempt unless I think I can truly improve upon it. I’m not yet a seasoned enough canner to offer much advice on canning. So yesterday when I heard the radio piece on Here and Now about canning, I thought, ‘That’s a great resource to list on my blog.’

I’m sure everything Kathy Gunst says about canning is absolutely true. But, I will say we’ve broken her rules on a couple of occasions. For example, we have successfully canned carrots. Yes, canning does require acid, salt or sugar, or some combination, and we did locate a recipe for canning carrots that worked in The Joy of Cooking.

Also, I’m sure it is preferable to store canned vegetables in a cool, dark place. But, we don’t have such a place in our home. We store our jars high on a shelf in the kitchen where they are exposed to light and, sometimes, to less-than-cool temperatures. Still, they’ve been preserved nicely and retain their good taste. The light, however, does oxidize the vegetables, which slightly darkens their color.

If you’re new to canning, follow directions and you should be fine. If you pick up one of your jars in December and find the lid popped up or that it smells bad, don’t take a chance. Throw it out. Otherwise, prepare to enjoy the goodness of your garden all the year long.

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