Getting creative with canning can be costly.

Creative CookWho doesn’t like being creative in the kitchen?

Whether it’s decorating, adding a little something special to a dish, making your spouse wear that wacky apron from your mother-in-law. Yeah, it’s all good fun until someone gets hurt.

That’s why we don’t go overboard when we’re canning.

A reader sent in a question the other day that asks a pretty straight-forward question about changing canning methods, times and ingredients.

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“Am I doing this right?”

iStock_000015579694LargeCanning isn’t the fastest or easiest thing to do in the kitchen – and it’s important to go through all the steps, follow the rules and not poison the family. So it’s natural to wonder if there are any shortcuts or, like one of our Facebook friends wrote earlier this week, if everything is taking longer than it should.

It’s a valid question.

So here’s her inquiry and my response. It’s worth the time and the effort, believe me. There’s nothing like the fresh flavor of canned goodies in the middle of the winter.

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Using Home-Canned Tomatoes in Salsa

iStock_000004897970MediumA blog reader wrote in to the website a few days ago and asked a question about using home-preserved, stewed tomatoes with the Mrs. Wages Salsa Mixes. Adding your home-grown tomatoes makes for a delicious salsa, so we thought we’d share the information with all of you.

Q: “I have some stewed tomatoes that I have canned.  Would it work if I used them to make some salsa with Mrs Wages salsa package ?  If so how should I go about measuring for one batch ?  I was thinking I would have to drain them but wasn’t sure how many cups would go into a batch.” – Becky

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Preserving Chowder? Don’t Can It!

ChowderWe all love a warm, hearty soup or chowder on a blustery winter’s day. But one reader wrote in earlier this week asking about canning some chowder for later.

Q: “I have two questions: Can I pressure can a chowder recipe using evaporated milk? How do I pressure can Lemon Curd made with eggs?”

A: Unfortunately, neither food is safe for pressure canning.  You can freeze chowder – but don’t can it.

If you’re interested in preserving lemon curd, you’ll find recipes for it on the National Center for Home Food Preservation – but be sure to follow the directions for ingredients and boils water bath canning to the letter. Here’s a link to a .pdf providing instructions for preparing and preserving lemon curd.