Canning workshop

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2010 at 7:40 AM

The second workshop in our Nutritional Cooking Series was all about canning. Canning isn’t just about making jam. Think tomatoes, green beans, okra, apricots, or peaches. The introduction of plastic in the commercial canning process has made many of us interested in finding a way to limit our consumption of those items.  We’re interested in “canning” (jarring really) our best local fruits and vegetables ourselves, so we can have them for the winter. It is also a great way to use what you may not have time to eat from your CSA share while things are ripe and packed with nutritional value.

All you really need are jars, tongs, and large pots. You can order jars wholesale online if you need a lot or you can buy them at the hardware store right here on Chambers Street or Fishes Eddy downtown.

Some helpful tips for canning:

  • Use ripe, not over ripe, fruit or vegetables.
  • You do not want to introduce any bacteria in the jar. On that note, make sure the jars AND LIDS are sterilized before use by simply placing them in boiling water for five minutes or in the sanitizer mode of your dishwasher.
  • Things like tomatoes and peaches should be skinned first but thin-skinned fruit such as apricots do not need to be skinned.
  • Cut your items as you would like or leave them whole if you prefer.
  • Don’t over-fill jars, leave about 2″ at the top.
  • When placing jars in boiling water, be careful and use tongs (there are specially designed ones you can buy but regular cooking tongs are just fine) and make sure there is 1 inch of water covering the jars while boiling.
  • After boiling, test the jars (carefully it’s hot) by pressing on the lid: if there is no movement/indentation, THEN it is ready, if there is a very small amount of movement you can either refrigerate that one and use it sooner or put it back in the water, if it has a lot of movement it should go back in.

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