Back in the days when there was no fridge, people were in the habit of canning while the bounty lasted so they could have a supply of fruit and vegetables during winter months. Nowadays, we are so used in getting all we need and ready made at the grocery store that many of the younger generations no longer know how to go about it.
Yes, it involves quite a lot of elbow grease, a few kitchen supplies and a bit of time, but it is well worth it. We have seen this coming back as a “cooking trend” lately. Maybe is it because of the rumors of an upcoming recession, or because of a desire to get back in the old times way; no matter what your reason is, I promise it will be very rewarding to taste some of that apple jelly or strawberry jam on your morning toast next January. Good things never go out of style.
Yes, it takes a little bit of effort and savoir-faire to make your own canned jams and preserves. Once you get the hang of it though, you will find it pretty straightforward. Personally, I think it is a very cool activity for a girl’s night (or morning).
You will need a few basic kitchen supplies: well sharpened knives to prepare the food, wood cutting boards not only when you’re preparing the food, but also to protect the surface on which you let your canned jars to cool and pop, mason jars, lids, a big pot full of boiling water. Most hardware and retail stores sell canning starter sets or pressure canners, and these tools are very handy, especially the funnel with a big mouth and the jar lifter, which will minimize the risk that your canning ventures turn in a mess. You can still give it a try with what you have a home.
The procedure is pretty straightforward: you need to cook your recipe, and while it is still hot, ladle it in sterilized Mason jars. Then, put the lids on and immerse in boiling water for the recommended time. You can get to know more about this by visiting Ball website, where you will be able to look at tutorial videos and get complete explanations. There are also many resources online to do so. It is very important to follow all the steps and to sterilize all your equipment.
Fall is my favorite season. There are so many fresh fruits and vegetables to harvest, that the foodie that I am just loves to save a bit of that for the chilly winter months. I just love to hear the popping sound of my jars’ lids popping on my maple cutting boards when they’re cooling. Some of these jams and jellies make great hostess gifts at Christmas time – Christmas? Already? – or any time of the year!