Friday, May 20, 2011

Canning, for Dummies

Canning for dummies, starts with me. I am so far removed from the delicacy of canning that I have been pushing it to the bottom of my 'to do list' for far to long.

With my new found excitement on making the most of my garden; largely due to the fact of fresh grocery costs, I am looking to make the most of every piece of produce that comes out of my garden.

In the Winter, earlier this year, I found all of the canning supplies on sale at wal-mart. I purchased the canning discovery kit to help get me started. Which even came with a $2 coupon for a set of balls jars. Yippee!!

See, I do not own any special "canning" tools. Not a pressure cooker even. I do stock up on Balls Glass's when on sale, (since that is a canning staple) but nothing fancy can be found in my cupboards, because if you have a big enough pot that will do the trick. A dear friend of mine even shared with me that all the glass jars I get in the store can be "re-sealed" at least one more time.

Canning is so simple, I actually treated the canning process as a "dish" while I was preparing dinner the other night. That shows how canning can be done while juggling a few other things going on in the kitchen. We had spent the entire morning working in the garden, to included picking all of our ripened green beans. We ended up with about 6 cups of beans with our first wave.

Yes, you can throw the waste in your compost for added value to next years soil. Yes, you can give away to your favorite neighbors. But I am an advocate of one who cares for her family first with the means we have been given. So, with our extras I bottled up to glean the health benefits continually throughout the year.

Here are the "No Fail" steps I took to complete this beneficial, fun task:

1. Pick all ripened beans.

2. Pop off the ends snap the remainder into 1-2 inch, bite size, pieces

3. Fill your, cleaned, ball glass with beans.

4. Once your jars are filled, with bean, fill the jars (to right below the ribbed area) with clean water.

5. Run a knife, inside, the walls of the jar to remove any air bubbles.

6. Pour in 1-2 TSP of Salt ( I use the Himalayan Sea Salt as it is the most nutrient dense salt in the world)

7. Bring LARGE pot of watter to a boil. Prepare a pot that will allow for at least 1 inch of water over your jars.

8. When water is boiling drop in your jars, using the canning basket, and boil for 10 min. If you don't have the canning basket be sure and put a small towel or washcloth on the bottom of your pot to avoid cracking the glass.

9. Once boiling is completed use tongs or pull up on basket.

10. Set aside to cool.

At this point if the jar lids have not sealed, they will while they are cooling down. I was skeptical too, but it does work.

FINALLY: Be sure and label your jars so you know how to use in order of expiration.

Happy Canning!

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