canning-a-fied

last friday when i mentioned how i’d be experimenting in sauce and salsa jarring this past weekend… wowz, can i look back now and admit how naive i was or what!!

the bona fide researcher in me thought it could be as simple as following the directions on the back of the Ball mason jar box – HEH! who was i kidding?!

one thorough hands on lesson by Farmer T later and i think i can now say i feel a lot better about the whole process, and even more sure that i’m not creating a recipe for disaster months down the road when i decide to eat from these jars

i stuck to just making and jarring tomato sauce, instead of the sauce and two versions of salsa that i had planned on… there are more tomatoes a’growin away in the garden as we speak and always another weekend to get my creations just right.

so… how’d we do it?!

well, i highly suggest picking yourself up one of these kits if you are even thinking about canning/jarring
its got all of the picker-uppers, funnels, magnet thingies and whatnot that you need to keep your process sanitary and complete

thankfully T had a set on hand to bring over… what was i thinking when i thought i could use my kitchen tongs to pull scalding hot jars out of the pots?! yeah… i dont know either :0)

anyways… so the next step was to sanitize the jars and the lids/bands that would be used

then you carefully use the jar tongs to place them on a cookie sheet with the rack in it – this helps from getting your counter-top a sloshy mess and – again – everything sanitary

use the handy dandy funnel to carefully fill ’em up

wipe the rims off so the seal can be created correctly

use the even cooler magnet stick to pick up the lids and bands from the vat of hot water to – againverrry carefully place on the tops, btw having a partner to do this totally helps!

screw on the bands – just finger tight – you can’t fully tighten them until 12 hours after they’ve been processed

use the jar tongs to place them back into the water bath… and yes, you can see, i had to improvise to create a make-shift grate for the bottom, who knew you can’t place glass right on the bottom of the pan?! ya learn something new every day! so one power drill, a broken drill bit and a scrapped cake pan later – viola:

i checked a couple of sauce recipes online to figure out these needed to be boiling for 35 minutes in order to be fully processed… so we watched the boiling pot and waited for these to complete

and when they say a watched pot never boils, they ARE NOT kidding! it felt like it took for-ev-errrrr!

T left after the jars went into the water bath for the processing and told me to ‘wait until they dink and you’ll know they’re good to go’ – 6 out of the 8 ‘dinked’ and i stuck the other two in the freezer knowing i’d be putting them to good use soon enough in a recipe.

i think all in all my first canning/jarring experience was a wonderful afternoon of learning and the next day i ordered myself one of these
to use on my salsa experiment – hopefully next weekend!

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Susan on 2011/08/24 at 15:44

    Nanny Kolesar would be so happy to see you all canning!

    Reply

  2. […] refuge in our hilltop casa… salsa making and jarring/canning is in the forecast now that my new canning kit came in the mail this week – check back next week for a recipe and results! Share […]

    Reply

  3. […] now have 12 jars of this goodness… yuuuuup – they ALL ‘dinked‘!!!  i think i’m really getting the hang of this whole canning thing now – and […]

    Reply

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