Canning: food preservation method with the use of a pressure canner or hot water bath.

This past week our WVU Extension agent Shirley Wilkins come the the Linwood Library and held a Canning Workshop. We had a great turn out and learned lots of great stuff! Here are just a few of the things we learned.

When canning your produce it is very important to follow the strict guide lines put in place for your protection!

Grandmas way was not always the right way. Ooops!

A once excepted method in canning food may no longer be a healthy method in today’s canning world. The reasons why are many. One of the more interesting facts to me; the vegetables we grow today contain less acid. With the enhancements made in modern food production we have learned to propagate low acid varieties of produce

Acid is an important part of the food preservation process because it helps kill bacteria within the stored produce that may cause spoilage. By reducing acid in what we are storing, process times and pressures have increased. This change was made to make up for the lesser amounts of acid for food to be safe to consume and be shelf stable.

‘Open Kettle’ canning process is not to be used for any food storage anymore. This was a common method for jellies, pickles, and sometimes even tomatoes. This method required no pressure or heat outside of having the jars and ingredients hot you were preserving. Now all of these produces must be processed farther in a hot water bath or pressure canner.

Not everything from our canning past is lost! The jars that your mom, her mom, her mom and her mom, (or dad’s) used you can still use today. As long at the jar remains intact with no blemishes along the rim you’re good to go.

The older jars with the metal bail however are not considered a safe canning jar, save them for your extra sugar or a bouquet of wild flowers.

This year with our new gardeners we also have new canners! For this new generation of an old craft we have provided them with NEW JARS!!

Canning is one of my favorite parts if having a garden. I love cooking in the dead of winter and having fresh home grown beans for dinner! Its also great because I know where the food cam from, and what is in the food I am serving to family and friends.

It’s a hot job and some might think it’s not worth the work, but once you hear that first…. POP! Of a sealed jar cooling on your kitchen table. You know all your hard work has paid off!

Sorry there are no pictures! I have a ton of great ones that I can not get to load! I’ll try again later!