Canning procedures have sure changed over the years!

Discussion in 'Food Preservation and Storage' started by 2ofus, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. 2ofus

    2ofus Hardy Maple

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    I started canning over 40 years ago when jams were sealed with paraffin and if they had a little mold on the top I just removed it and we ate the rest. The times for water-bathing was much shorter and pressure canning was not as long and not as high pressure. A friend was so worried about me still using my original canning book that she bought me a 'new' one. That was about 15 years ago. I do use it and I do NOT intend to get a newer one. I don't want to poison my family but I not going any more 'sterile' than I am now! No wonder few people do any home canning or preserving anymore. It's gotten to be a pain in the kester! I know there are other members that can and preserve food. I'd love to hear what your opinions are.
     
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  3. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    I've canned for about 40 years, also. I make sure everything (jars, lids, rings) are sterilized, and for jellies and jams I still use small canning jars and lids that are sterilized. My pressure cooker is about 30 years old, and it does a great job for the low-acid vegetables, like green beans.
    If a person new to canning reads the "do's and don'ts" they can be scared off and never can anything! It's a shame, since having a pantry even partially filled with your home-grown, home-canned vegetables is such a benefit to your family and your budget.
    Since moving to Texas we freeze more and can less--a result of what we grow. However, I love my water bath canner, and my pressure canner, and use both each canning season. I must admit I like having a day in the kitchen with prepared vegetables, hot jars, lids and rings in a boiling water bath, and steam rising! There are some things a gardener just can't do without!
     
  4. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I started making jam and jelly about 47 years ago and the first instructions I used didn't even mention giving your jars a water bath so mine never got one and I still do not give them one. I have been making sweet pickles for 30 years, they don't get a bath either. I do sterilize jars, lids and rings.
    Randy's Mom was making orange marmalade when we first met and she always used paraffin and the lids w/rings.

    One of the reasons I never really got into canning veggies was that the process was so involved it scared me to think that if I made one little goof my whole family would die.
     
  5. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    I've canned extensively for probably around the 40 yr mark. Back in the day of the dinosaur we lived on fish we caught and as electricity often went out most of us opted to can the fish vs freeze it. MANY back in the day used to can their salmon via water bath. I had a pressure canner and so always canned my fish (few hundred pounds worth in pint sized jars) under pressure.

    Truck would bring in peaches and it was nothing to can 100 pounds to over winter. I grew my own pears and IF I could find green grapes I'd make fruit cocktail (peaches, pears and grapes) and can that.

    Tomatoes were always home grown but each quart jar had salt and lemon juice added to it to make sure the tomatoes were acidic enough to can via a water bath.

    In any given year I'd can a hundred quarts of tomatoes, 80 or so quarts of dills, more peaches, pears and fruit cocktail than I could count and the different relishes, chutneys, jams, jellies, pickled beets and onions were endless. THEN I'd start on the veggies - beans, carrots, beets etc.

    It was a phenomenal amount of work but the pantry always looked phenomenal when I was done AND we knew we'd eat all winter and well into spring too.

    The MOST work was keeping track of ALL the canning jars. I probably had in excess of a thousand but they were SO valuable way back when. I even got jars as an inheritance from an Aunt who passed.

    Those WERE the days!
     



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  6. 2ofus

    2ofus Hardy Maple

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    I started out just making jam or canning fruit. The first canning book I bought said 'boil the jars, lids, and rings OR if you had a dishwasher with a heat dry cycle you could use that instead. I bought a dishwasher. I still wash the jars by hand and then put them in the dishwasher. The lids and rings I boil. I didn't really get into canning until our son developed a problem caused by all the chemicals used to grow and preserve store bought food. Then I started raising everything our little 7 acre farm could grow and canning or freezing it. Lots of work but, It not only helped our son, I think it helped all the family. I found a 28 cubit foot chest freezer, used (cheap!) and already had an upright freezer. By fall both of them were full and around 800 pint and quart jars in the pantry. I'm still organic as far as the vegetables are concerned but now I use mainly pints for just the '2ofus'.
     
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  7. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Islandlife, when we moved to Texas I had to leave behind all my beloved canning jars (just too expensive to move, and the movers were not happy about all that glass).
    The second year we lived here on the farm, and I was freezing everything I could, our plumber's mom was cleaning out her mom's shed, and called to ask if I could use some canning jars. Well, yes! I had expected two, maybe three dozen jars. She showed up with a pick-up bed filled with boxes of jars!:smt041

    They were pretty dirty, but that is why God invented dish washers. I did three full loads of jars and I was ready to can! I picked out what I needed and offered the rest to a friend who cans. Between us we had pints, quarts, and a couple of dozen gallon jars, all in great shape after a thorough cleaning. We wrote a big thank-you note to the plumber's grandmother, and sent a few jars of each of our canning results to her, with the caveat that the jars be returned!
     
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  8. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    @marlingardener - WOW!!! Interesting story.

    Way back when I would have DIED if I had to give up my jars. They were acquired via out and out purchase of new ones, trades and beg, borrowing and stealing (well not steal but you get what I mean) and they have BIG value.

    That was definitely a lucky lucky lucky for you as in 'somebody somewhere' was watching over you moment :) :) :)
     
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