Dream of Spring …

I can’t believe it’s a new year….and I hope you are all doing well. With the new year I thought about gardening and food preservation – thinking about the colorful plants and produce helps take the dreariness out of my mind!

Now is a good time to go through your store of home preserved foods and check all of the jars for visible spoilage and leaking. Also check the dates and if they seem “old” you can empty the jars and wash them to get them ready for a new year.

If you don‘t get seed catalogs in the mail already, you can go online and request them from the various seed companies. Before long it will be time to start some of the seeds for spring planting so you want to be ready.

When choosing seeds for the garden, make sure the variety is good for preserving. For example, some green beans are better for freezing than others. Also some plants are more disease resistant than others. If this is a new venture for you maybe you will want to plant a “salsa” garden – tomatoes, onions, chili peppers (anaheims and jalapenos are great), cilantro, garlic, and any other herb you like in your salsa.

Also make sure you have an up to date canning book that contains USDA tested recipes. If it’s time for a new canner, buy one that will work with your range. Keep in mind that smooth top ranges usually do not recommend using their burners for canning.

Also if you are tempted by the new electric pressure cookers, these are not suitable for pressure canning. At the current time, there are no electric pressure canners available – only electric canners for high acid foods that require water bath canning. Meats and low acid foods are not safe when canned in this type of canner. If you have questions about the safety of foods, send me a question.

Stay safe out there! Dream of spring.

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