Just a little “shout-out” to my Mormon (LDS) friends. If you want to know what in the world I’m talking about, here’s a link to this children’s song.
Last year, my friend, Darlene, offered to let me come and pick apricots from her tree. She was about to have surgery and didn’t have time to can them that year. I took her up on her gracious offer and ended up with 2 almost full grocery bags of beautiful apricots! All I had to do was decide how to use them. There are so many options: canning, freezing, jam, and pies! I decided to do three of the four. I canned some, made jam out of some (which I also canned), and made a pie!
Today, I’m going to give you an overview of how I canned the apricots and the jam. But before I begin, I’m going to give you a little canning primer. Keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive tutorial detailing how to can, how to be safe, etc. Rather, these are some important things I’ve learned through my canning experiences. If you want a more detailed list of to-dos and not-to-dos, please visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s website by clicking here. They have so much great information including recipes! I highly recommend you check it out.
Important Canning Basics
1. Cleanliness is next to Godliness – It is imperative that you follow these basic instructions to keep your canned food free from bacteria:
~ Wash your hands with soap under warm water before you begin.
~ Wash and sterilize your canning jars. Wash your lids and rings in warm, soapy water.
~ Use new lids every time you can.
~ Use a clean knife, cutting board, and other tools.
~ Make sure you process the jars the correct amount of time with the proper canning method. You may need to add additional time due to your altitude.
2. Choose the correct canning method – There are two recommended methods for canning: water bath and pressure canning. Some foods must be processed with a pressure canner. Please consult a canning book or other reputable source to determine if the food you wish to can requires a pressure canner. Most fruits and jams can be processed in a water bath canner.
3. Be prepared – Have your equipment washed, ready-to-use, and nearby before you begin.
Okay, now the fun part!
I began with some beautiful Apricots!
I ended up with several jars of apricots and several jars of apricot jam, all shelf stable and ready to use at a future time.
Have you ever tried canning? What’s your favorite thing to can?
If not, why not? What would you like to can if you knew how to do so?