Canning has always caused shudders amongst home cooks. There's always the fear of making the bad batch of preserves or pickles. However don't be afraid. Canning is actually one of the easiest kitchen procedures. Better yet is the result- yummy jams and sides you can enjoy all year round.
Easy canning and its' suggestions were the topic of an article in today's New York Times Dining section. Cathy Barrow explored this subject and even offered suggestions. It's not that scary. As long as the seal is air tight and no bacteria gets under the seal,the preserves and eventually the eater is fine. Another problem is getting the right utensils. Not so. Regular tongs girded by a rubber band can act as the pincers that lift the jars out of the water. You don't need any special pots. A stock or lobster pot can do the job nicely.
There is the fear of botulism and that is an ever present concern when it comes to canning. As with any cooking procedure, just use common sense and be careful. Keep in mind that the sugar and vinegar always used are natural preservatives and inhibit any bacterial growth.. Check your seals as well to make sure they're sturdy and unbroken after canning. As for sterilizing the jars,a quick run through the dishwasher should do it.. Also get into the habit of labeling and dating preserves and pickles. This way you can tell when you made them and if you have to throw them out after a year.
Canning is a fun and actually safe way to preserve your favorite fruits and veggies. The procedure is easy and safe.Try it to enjoy homemade treats you can have all year round.