Think Twice Before You “Tweak”

0512 Homepage Photo - Shirley CampNo, that headline isn’t advice to over-enthusiastic youngsters when they hit the dance floor – it’s just a little common sense to the home canner who is wondering if they can just add an extra ingredient to their next batch when they’re canning in the kitchen.

The short answer is “no” – the longer answer is “know when it’s time to add your creativity and still keep the food safe for consumption.”

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Preserving Parsnips

Parsnips isolated on white background

Honestly, I don’t get a lot of questions about parsnips, but Susan wrote in the other day with a good question in search of an answer:

What is your favorite way of preserving parsnips?
I do can them but do not really like the results.  They taste good in soups and mashed potatoes but I would like to do more with them.

So the question is, should you can or freeze parsnips? Continue reading

Jar size does matter.

Pickles-in-7-easy-steps-(cropped)The other day, I received a good question about substituting one sized jar for another. I love sharing my experiences with readers and fellow canners, so feel free to shoot more questions over to me via my website or by posting them on my Facebook page.

The safest way to can is to make sure you’ve got the right equipment and the knowledge you need to do the job consistently and efficiently.

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Stirring Things Up After Letting Things Sit

Jam-and-Jelly-Preserving-Pectins-101A long-time canner and blog reader, Ramona, wrote in the other day with a good question about why jams tend to separate – meaning the fruit goes to the top of the jam rather than being evenly distributed through the jell.

Here’s her question:

I noticed on the mixed berry and rhubarb jam recipe you suggested letting the jam set before putting into jars and the water bath canner. You said this will help keep the fruit mixed. Does this help with other jam recipes?  I have done canning for years, I am 76 years old and started canning with my Grandmother when I was a child. I have had several different jams to separate after the canning process. Would it help to let it set a few minutes before putting into jars? Pepper jelly especially separates.

Here’s something to consider … Continue reading