Canning Mistakes

 

 

 

I keep seeing an article about 7 mistakes people make while canning, so I wanted to give my two cents on this topic since I have been canning for quite some time!

 

The first mistake listed is about how oven canning is not safe and I agree. The oven can’t get the food in the jar hot enough to kill the bacteria and should not be trusted.

 

The next mistake is flipping jars to seal them. This is also not a good idea. The seal with not be strong enough and using a water bath or a pressure canner is necessary in order to kill the bacteria in the jar.

 

Another mistake is using Paraffin waxto seal the jars – this does not provide a proper seal and will allow bad bacteria to grow.

 

They also talk about inventing your own recipe. While I have to admit, I make up recipes all the time, the concern with this is the amount of acid needed to safely preserve food might be off (a pH of 4.6 or lower is advised). Another issue could be the temperature might not get high enough to adequately destroy bacteria and mold spores that are present.

 

The next mistake is if it’s canned at the store, it’s ok to can it at home. This is a problem. You cannot can certain foods at home, such as puree pumpkin ,because they are so low in acid and/or dense that you cannot kill all the bacteria in the jar with your non-commercial equipment.

 

Next they talk about not needing to boil the lids. They started making new lids a while ago saying just wash in hot soapy water and dry and set aside until ready to use. I tried that and half of my jars do not seal – I was not happy. So I always dip the lid in hot water right before I put it on the jar. This softens the rubber on the lid and I have a high success rate with this method.

 

The last mistake they mention is canning butter. I have never heard of anyone canning butter but it’s much easier to just freeze it as a way of preservation.

 

Although I agree with all of these “mistakes”, the article does not mention the most important aspect of canning – CLEANLINESS. If you have a dirty vent above your stove PLEASE do not can. Here is why: when you can you have a big pot of boiling water on the stove. The steam from the pot rises and will release the grease from the vent. This grease can fall into your pot of jam and now you have bacteria in your jars which can cause food borne botulism. And of course your kitchen should always be clean when starting to can.

 

Instead of worrying about these mistakes, come take a class with me so you have none of the stress and all of the fun!

See you in class

 

Cabbage Cabbage Cabbage

People have been asking, ” What do you do with so much cabbage.” Well let me tell you. Some of my cabbage weight as much as  5 1/2 pounds. I have made many cabbage rolls for the freezer, soup for the freezer . I made many different sauerkraut. We have had two different coleslaw salads. Shredded cabbage in fish tacos. My husband has put it in his smoothie. I assure you none of it has went to waste. I’m proud to say.

This is what I have been up to. Please let me know what you have been growing and preserving.

Happy Canning.

See you in class

A New Season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It finally feels like Fall! There is a little cool breeze in the air and leaves are falling from the trees and a lot has been going on here at “The Farm”. The summer crop was wonderful. And yes, I still have eggplant but I don’t have the heart to pull it out when it is still providing produce.

Companion planting went well and was a lot of fun to try. The Eggplant loved the Banana Pepper and Tarragon as its companion plants. The Okra loved the Basil and Bell Pepper as its companion plants.

The strawberry and blueberry plants are looking happy and strong. I was told to remove all the flowers off of the plant in the first year to ensure that the roots will be healthy for years to come. I sure hopes this pay off because I have pulled so many flowers!

 

The raspberries are doing well. They tasted great and I get a small hand full each day. It is perfect for topping yogurt or ice cream. My fig tree gave me so many big beautiful figs that I made fig jam, fig newtons, as well as dehydrating some of them and of course eating them. I’m hoping to get fruit from my apple trees, cherries, pear, nectarine, plum, peach and apricot next year.

With all the food that came for the garden, All In A Jar had a lot to offer students all summer long. I was very busy canning and preparing dishes for the freezer too.

Let me tell you what I have planted for the fall/winter garden. In bed 1 I have Green Onions, Garlic, Walla Walla onions, Sweet Spanish Onions, and Lettuce. In bed 2 I still have Tarragon and Eggplant in 3/4 of the bed and at the other end I have Brussels Sprouts. When the Eggplant is done I will be planting a few companion plants for the Brussels Sprouts (like Beets and Celery). In bed 3 I have Broccoli and Kale; the companion plant for these two is Spinach. In bed 4 I have Cabbage with the companion plants of Roma Lettuce, Arugula, Swiss chard and I put a few Fava Beans in for the nitrogen. In bed 5 Blueberry plants, In bed 6 Strawberries. In bed 7 Carrots, Beets and companion plants of Onions and Cauliflower. Bed 8 Blackberries, Bed 9 Raspberries. I have three dirt bags and they have Oregano, Parsley, and Thyme in one bag. Parsley, Basil and Lemon Thyme. In the last bag I have Rhubarb, Mint and Cilantro.

I have been trying to watch the moon and plant accordingly.

I read that you should plant your annual flowers and vegetables that bear crops above ground during the light, or waxing of the moon … from the day the moon is new to the day it is full. And plant flowering bulbs, biennial and perennial flowers, and vegetables that bear crops below ground during the dark, or waning, of the moon … from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again.

Soon I will be working on the new class calendar. Please let me know your suggestions for a class you would like to see on the schedule.

 

See you in class!