Canning Made Easy
Six Steps to Canning Success
Step 1: Fit a stockpot with a canning rack and fill the pot 2/3 full with water. Submerge clean jars in the pot and bring to a boil for 10 minutes (longer at high altitude). Keep jars in hot water until ready to fill. While jars heat, place new lids in a medium bowl. Cover with simmering water and let sit. Jars and rings are reusable, but you must use new lids each time.
Step 2: With canning tongs, remove jars from water and place them on a clean kitchen towel. Reserve water in pot.
Step 3: Fill jars using a wide-mouth funnel.
Step 4: Before applying the lid, wipe the rim of the jar with a dampened clean cloth or paper towel. Apply rings snugly, but don't force them. Air needs to escape during processing.
Step 5: Carefully lower the filled jars back into the pot of hot water. Jars must remain upright and be covered by at least 1 inch of water. Return water to a boil and process as specified in the recipe. Remove jars and let them cool.
Step 6: At least 12 hours later, test the seal on each jar by removing the ring, grasping the edge of the lid, and gently lifting the jar. If the lid stays firmly attached, the seal is good. Sealed jars will keep in your pantry for up to a year. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within three days.
Sweet Corn and Tomato Relish
Delicious on burgers (either meat or veggie varieties) and hot dogs, and perfect for scooping with tortilla chips.
These pickled green beans are great for snack time or can be chopped and tossed in tuna or chicken salad.
Peach Jam With Cinnamon
Peach season is fleeting, but this jam keeps all year long -- and kids will love to help mash the cooked fruit.
Sweet Cherry Butter
This spread is delicious slathered on peanut-butter toast or stirred into plain yogurt. Bonus: It contains far less sugar than commercial jams and jellies.
Plum-Tomato Halves Packed in Tomato Juice
Flavor-filled tomatoes are a pantry staple. Hugely flexible, they can be used in soups, stews, pasta sauces, and casseroles.
Originally published in the August 2013 issue of Parents magazine.
Safety Note: Improperly preserved food carries
a risk of botulism, so be sure to follow recipe steps
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