Canning & Preserving For Dummies, Second Edition.
You’re not alone if you’ve thought about canning and preserving your own food but haven’t tried it because you’re afraid it’s too involved. Well, it’s time to set aside your hesitation. Today’s methods and procedures for home-canning, freezing, and drying food are simple and easy. Many of the techniques may be similar to those your grandmother used, but you’ll find they’ve been perfected. In this book, you get all the information you need to can and preserve food safely.
About This Book.
Welcome to the wonderful world of canning and preserving. This book presents four preserving methods — water-bath canning, pressure canning, freezing, and drying — in an easy-to-understand format and walks you step by step through each technique. You don’t need any previous canning or preserving experience in order to start, or continue, your endeavor to become a first-class food preserver. Within these pages, you’ll find information like the following:
- What to look for to make sure you’re preserving the best, most fresh fruits and veggies.
- A list of canning supplies and equipment (complete with illustrations), as well as instructions on how to ensure your canning equipment is in good working order.
- What techniques help you preserve the best flavor in your foods and how to avoid spoilage and recognize it if it does occur.
- Illustrations of different techniques and equipment along with tips for making your canning and preserving journey fun and rewarding.
- A whole host of favorite recipes for your enjoyment.
Consider this book your guide to discovering simple ways to preserve all the foods your family loves, without any mystery or confusion along the way.
Conventions Used in This Book.
The recipes in this book include preparation times, cooking times, processing times, and the yield you should expect from your efforts. Here are some details that apply to all of the recipes but aren’t repeated each time:
- Use a vinegar with 5 percent acidity.
- Use pure salt with no additives. (Canning or pickling salt is best.)
- Cook all food in heavy-bottomed pots and pans.
- Use nonreactive equipment and utensils (items made from glass, stainless steel, or enamel-coated steel or iron).
- Use glass jars and two-piece caps approved for home-canning.
- Always use new lids for canning.
- Start counting your water-bath processing time when the water reaches a full, rolling boil.
- Begin counting your pressure-canner processing time after releasing air in the canner and achieving the required pressure.
Also, all temperatures are Fahrenheit. All recipes and processing times are developed for altitudes at sea level to 1,000 feet above sea level. (For higher altitudes, refer to the altitude adjustment charts for water-bath canning in Chapter 4 and for pressure canning in Chapter 9.)
In writing this book, we made some assumptions about you:
- You know your way around a kitchen. You’re familiar with basic cooking techniques and food preparation methods.
- You’ve never canned or preserved food before or have relatively little experience with food preservation methods and want basic, easy-to-understand-and-follow instructions.
- If you have canned and preserved food before, it was long enough ago that you want to find out more about the newer, safer, and easier techniques that are recommended today.
- Perhaps most importantly, you want to stock your kitchen with more natural, healthier, homemade alternatives to standard supermarket fare.
About the Authors.
Amy Jeanroy: Amy has been canning and preserving foods for 20 years. She is passionate about filling the pantry with useful, delicious foods, and creating healthy meals from her own small farm. Amy is the Herb Garden Guide for About.com and also writes a weekly farm newsletter that provides homemade recipes to help her readers store and use their summer bounty.
Karen Ward: The author of Pickles, Peaches, and Chocolate, Karen is a life-long home canner, home economist, and recipe developer. In addition to judging preserved food at the San Diego County Fair each year, Karen teaches canning and preserving to men and women of all ages. Karen has been a featured guest on many television shows, including QVC and HGTV’s Smart Solutions. She is a founding member of the San Diego Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a nonprofit organization mentoring women and providing scholarships in the culinary arts. Karen is a native-born Southern Californian. She makes her home in San Diego with her husband, Chris.