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Old 01-16-2004, 11:07 PM
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Linda Lou Linda Lou is offline
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Home canning is a great way to preserve food for the coming year, to give as gifts, and also so you know exactly what you and your family are eating. It is safe and a lot of fun if you follow current methods and recipes from reliable sources. The Ball Blue Book is really good for giving basic info as well as recipes that are safe for home canning. Be sure to use a new version as some methods used in years past have now been tested and proven to be unsafe. They also have a website at www.homecanning.com. Just for clarification, a pressure cooker and a canner are not always the same. Not being picky, but there is much confusion at times on this. A canner is larger than a cooker, and designed for that purpose. Some may say cooker/canner and they are normally about 22 quarts in size. That means they would hold 22 quarts of liquid, not that many quart jars. A regular pressure cooker is more of a saucepan and only designed for cooking in.
There are lots of websites from university extension that also have current, safe recipes and instructions. You will find that not all books, and info online contain methods that would be considered safe. All vegetables and meats must be pressure canned in order to keep botulism and other food borne illnesses from growing in the jars. Pickled veggies, fruits, and jams and jellies can be canned in a water bath canner. You should have a local county extension office, listed in your phone book under government agencies,that can also provide you with low cost pamphlets with good recipes. Salsa is a food that may be water bath canned IF you follow a safe, tested recipe, or again, botulism is a real possiblity.
Your extension office may offer canning lessons for a small fee. That way you could get hands on help.
I think getting the Ball Blue book and also looking at the websites can give you a good idea of things you may want to can for your family. The newest version has more modern, updated recipes, too. Things like roasted red pepper spread, pecan praline sauce, and mango pineapple relish, etc. You will also be able to find recipes using the foods you listed that you use most of.
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