There’s a crispness in the air that tells us to prepare for winter. Have you felt it? If so, grab your apron and follow us into the kitchen to preserve this summer’s harvest!
How to Take the Taste of Summer into Winter
Have you noticed how busy squirrels are this time of year? Preparations for a cold winter are well underway. Of course, while our needs are much less urgent, embracing a little of their industrious energy can help stock the pantry. Head to the grocery store and bulk up on anything locally grown. October harvests feature apples, pears, and cranberries; if you’re lucky, you might still catch the tail-end of corn and tomato season.
What You Need
Many of the tools for home canning are found in any well-stocked kitchen. Of course, certain utensils are explicitly designed for home canning. Here’s a complete list of the kitchen essentials and helpful aids you’ll need:
- Mason jars or freezer jars
- Two-piece SNAP LID® or freezer jar lids
- Large deep pot to prepare the recipe
- Canner – either a large deep pot fitted with a rack or lid. Boiling water canner for high acid foods or a pressure canner for low acid foods).
- Accurate measuring spoons and cups
- And, of course, ingredients in the condiment or preserve your want to make
Clean Jars are Essential
While new jars may look clean, being in a box or covered in plastic wrap isn’t necessarily a sterile environment. Wash jars in the dishwasher or by hand, using detergent and rinsing well. This is a good time to inspect jars for any cracks or chips and recycle those jars that are damaged. If you have a film from hard water on your older jars, it can be removed by soaking jars in a solution of 1 cup of vinegar to one gallon of water.
At this point, we’ll pass the reins to Canada’s mason jar aficionado, Bernardin. Experts in home canning for over 100 years, their step-by-step how-tos are very helpful, packed with great tips, and they even delve into the science behind heat processing. Plus they have an array of delicious recipes, some of which can be made all year long like their Apple Ginger Chutney!
Photo by Anshu A Digital on Unsplash