The Backyard

The Backyard

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Preparing for Canning Season

Cold winter days are invites to cleaning out and getting organized. We lugged our over-sized, energy-inefficient, non-working upright freezer out of our basement and it was time for me to replace the space with canning supplies. I'm blessed with many generations of canning experts; thus, I inherited most of my jars and rings, some coming in a a very cool, 1960's Savannah Girl Scout cookie box. When I started opening the boxes, I had forgotten all the things I had. Jelly jars, wax, glass jars in every imaginable size, and lids and rings were everywhere -- mostly mixed up. So I took the time to separate the wide-mouth from the regular, the jelly from the vege/fruit jars, etc. I wondered why the wide-mouth vs. the regular jar top. Thinking back to my country fair days and managing the canned goods department, I recall the expert canners using bunches of wide-mouth jars. They claimed it was much easier to position the food in the jar for display. And oh those jars were beautiful -- perfectly placed string beans the full length of the jar, evenly sized dried "cow" (black and white) beans -- those gals were my canning idols, and still are. You can learn a lot from experienced canners. Since I'm not planning to display any of my jars, the regular-mouth jars should suffice for things like corn, peas, and dried beans. In the end, I now have a "jelly cupboard" and a "vege cupboard" and separated rings/lids. It was a feel-good, organizing kinda weekend.


Anonymous said...

I am just starting on the canning journey and am already struck by how satisfying it can be and the pride that comes with each "thwak" when it seals. Question for you - I think I learned that one is not supposed to reuse the rings/lids - am I mistaken?

Chili said...

You can't reuse the lids because once sealed, they will not seal the 2nd time -- but the rings are ok to reuse because they simply protect the lid and keep it tight. Good question!