Far from being a necessity anymore, preserving is now making a comeback as a lost art. Today we are rediscovering boutique canning.
With minimal equipment and “putting up” small amounts of fruits and vegetables you get the satisfaction of offering superb and good tasting food to family and friends.
The jewel-like jars are luxuries to share with the knowledge that each jar is truly a gift from the heart.Once you have mastered basic techniques the process will be open to your interpretation and creativity.
Although we are in the late harvest, there is still pears, apples cranberries, quince and, of course, citrus and tropical fruits throughout the winter.
Safety is key
• USDA guidelines for canned fruits and vegetables can be found at www.usda.gov. Click the “Food and Nutrition” button on the left to go to the “Food Preservation, Home Canning” article that offers step-by-step instructions.
• The Master Food Preserver & Safety Advisor program through the WSU Whatcom County Extension program teaches safety tips for all types of canning and freezing. Go to www.whatcom.wsu.edu and click the “Food Safety & Preservation” button on the left.
• For more information on home canning from Ball products, go to www.homecanning.com
• You can also find manufacturers instructions in the box of quart jars that you will purchase.
Hot water” method for canning peaches 1. Sterilize jars: Place jars in boiling water for 15 minutes
2. Prepare fruit: Blanch peaches in boiling water for 1 minute, submerge in icy water and remove skins
3. Prepare syrup: Heat 1 cup of water, add 1 cup sugar and stir to dissolve
4. Fill the jars: Cut peaches in half, remove pit and pack tightly into the clean jars. Pour syrup to fill the jars to within ½ inch from the top.
5. Sterilize the lids: Pour boiling water over the lids, wash the screw-top rings.
6. Clean the rims of the jars and place the lids on top; screw rings on the jar and lightly tighten.
7. Process in a hot water bath for 25 minutes.
8. Remove jars and place on a cooling rack.
9. When the jars are sealed they will make a vacuum popping sound. When tapped they will close tightly.
10. Store in a cool dark place. Preserves will last a year.