I received another great question from a student. Their question was, “When I’m canning and I only have enough food left to fill half of a jar, do I process that jar that is only filled up half way?” The answer is no. Every recipe has a head space recommendation which needs to be carefully followed. As a general rule, leave 1 inch of head space for low-acid foods like vegetables and meats (when you are pressure canning); leave 1/2 inch head space for high-acid foods like fruits, tomatoes, pickles, and relishes; 1/4 inch head space for jams and jellies. Care must be taken when filling jars to the correct head space. To much air can turn food a dark color and may cause it to begin to mold. To much food in a jar can cause the jar to break in the water bath during processing. If you have a jar that is only half full, put it in the refrigerator and eat it first.
All In A Jar wants you to have a delicious Valentine’s Day. Make something yummy. We will be having Pickled Pencil Asparagus and Endive With Goat Cheese and Pickled Raspberry Beets for an appetizer. Our salad will be a seared sea scallop salad with Marinated Mushrooms on top of mixed baby greens. For dinner we will enjoy rainbow chard with lemon and green olives, rosemary-rubbed rack of lamb and red potatoes. We can’t make up our minds for dessert; there are so many options from my jars. Should it be Whole Peaches with Vanilla Bean in Sparkling Wine or Pears with Toasted Almonds in Italian Almond Liqueur or maybe Shortbread with Orange Vanilla Bean Curd? I do have vanilla ice cream to go with whichever option we choose. Enjoy your dinner!