a. We need to store food for many reasons.
b. We do not enjoy making a trip to the grocery store every day.
c. It is convenient and time saving.
d. It is economical to purchase in bulk when food items are available at reduced prices.
e. Foods that are stored properly are both nutritional and time saving.
f. It makes me feel good to look at my food storage and know that my family can enjoy good, healthy nutritious foods.
g. Some forms of food storage may take a lot of time and effort at the time I am doing it; however, in the long run it is very time consuming.
Because, we lived on a farm, we would plant large amounts of fruits and vegetables; which, would mature in large quantities at the same time. For some reason I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed eating and knowing that we would have plenty to eat all winter; even if we were snowed in. Some winters this happened frequently during the season.
It is a proud moment when you open the first jar of your very own peaches, pickles, strawberry jam, or luscious red tomato juice! Even if you’ve never canned before, it will be easy you’ve read the instructions that come with your very own pressure cooker. (Watch for following articles to be published with recipes etc. regarding canning, freeze drying.)
General Information on Canning
Canning is one of the most economical ways to preserve foods, and colorful rows of home-canned fruits and vegetables give visible evidence of a homemaker’s skill, thrift, and nutrition-wise planning. The lovely products of the experienced canner are the results of knowledge, care and skill, but all of these are not beyond the achievement of the inexperienced. Actually, the qualifications for successful canning are the same as those required in every phase of homemaking—cleanliness, intelligent management, the ability to follow directions accurately, and the will to see a job carried through to a successful finish.
No special equipment is needed for canning fruits and tomatoes other than that; are available to every housewife—jars and lids, tongs, saucepans, a deep kettle fitted with a lid, paring knives, canvas gloves, etc. A pressure canner must be used for canning vegetables (except tomatoes and pimientos) and for meats; which, require a pressure cooker. I do not suggest new comers use meat for their first project. Instead, I suggest you store your meat produce in a freezer. It will keep well; and, you can take a cut of meat out of your freezer; thaw it, cook it just like you just carried it home from the super market. Tomatoes and pimientos have a high level of acid and require a pressure cooker to store well. Don’t experiment with your family’s health at stake!
Once one learn to prepare fruits and vegetables to serve the family, it is easy to master the techniques necessary for the preparation of these same foods for canning. In addition to the wise selection of food and its careful preparation, however, one needs to understand the principles underlying preservation by canning and how to handle the various kinds of equipment and containers, so the work will move smoothly and easily. A realization of the hazards involved in food spoilage as well as in the use of heat makes one understand why it is essential to work efficiently and safely.
The methods for canning as will be recommended in upcoming articles and by the manufacturers of canning and pressure cooking equipment. The methods for canning as recommended in the manufacturer’s instruction which come with your pressure cooker are tested and retested during years of scientific experimentation by commercial canners, state and national government agencies, university laboratories and other scientific organizations of home economists’ and safety engineers. Every direction and recommendation for packing as well as processing in the published bulletins of these specialists has a sound reason behind them. It is never wise and not always safe to make changes in either the procedures or the processing and not always safe to make changes in either the procedures or the processing times. The statement is so often heard that; “Mrs. ____ has canned successfully for years, and she never bothers with these new fangled methods.” The only answer is that Mrs. ___ has been extremely lucky and probably has “for gotten about” quarts and quarts of food she has lost through spoilage. Waste is not the only risk from food that has been improperly processed – there is a serious threat to health from eating spoiled canned vegetables and meats; which, can result in severe illness and even death. There is too much at stake in this business of food preservation to take chances with your family’s health by following anything but safe and certain directions. The directions given in the manufactures instructions or by the state and federal government are based on the latest scientific recommendations; which is exactly why I do not publish my directions on this blog. I may not have the latest and safest method.
In canning, it is important to preserve as much of the nutritive value attractive color and characteristic flavor of the fresh or freshly cooked food as possible, and at the same time to insure that the food will keep. Therefore, the processing (cooking) times are kept as short as is safe so that the fine qualities of the foods may not be lost, and as long as necessary to inactivate the enzymes and destroy organisms; which, cause spoilage. In the “acid” foods such as fruits and tomatoes, this is accomplished in the boiling water bath and if these foods are packed and processed according to directions, the will keep safely and be attractive to eat. One kind of bacteria in “non-acid” vegetables (Clostridium Botulisms) is especially resistant heat and must be subjected to a temperature higher than that of boiling water for considerable time to be sure it is destroyed. The only way to achieve this higher temperature is by steam pressure I a pressure canner. Therefore, all vegetables except tomatoes, pimiento, and sauerkraut, must be processed in a pressure cooker to keep safely.
In both methods of canning, the foods are usually precooked and then packed hot I clean hot jars, the lids put into place and fastened down partially or completely depending upon the kind. The foods are then processed (cooked in the sealed jar) a definite number of minutes. When the processing is completed, the lids are tightened if necessary to make a seal. There is no change for spoilage organisms to get into a perfectly sealed jar. The open kettle method of canning is not recommended since it is not possible to transfer the food from the kettle to the jars without the possibility of spoilage agents entering the foods. Only processing in the sealed jars can assure the permanent destruction of the spoilage agents in the foods.
Oven canning is not recommended. It is most difficult to hold oven temperature constant and foods are likely to be under processed or over processed. In addition, there is grave danger of explosions, the loss of juice cannot be controlled, and the finished product is of poor quality.
The slovenly worker is rarely a winner in canning. Yeasts, molds, and bacteria float about in the air. They are found on utensils, sun-drenched foods harbor few spoilage organisms, but soon become infected with thriving colonies of yeasts, molds, and bacteria if allowed to stand at room temperature especially in a cluttered kitchen. In this way the number of spoilage organisms it is more difficult to destroy many than a few organisms, and it is more difficult to destroy many than a few organisms. As food stands after picking, the enzymes in the tissues continue their activity and hasten the overdevelopment as well as decay of fruits and vegetables. The wise canner puts the food into jars at the peak of their freshness and goodness and considers that a job like canning, if worth doing – is worth doing well.