We all want to learn ways to save money, be more self sustaining and preserve our traditions and heritage. Home canning is an ideal way to save money and be more self sustaining. Here at the BackyardRanch kitchen, learn how to make condiments, can,
freeze or dehydrate produce.
Being self-sustaining in the kitchen depends on how the food is handled. Getting the most use of your food for the money that you spend. The art of preserving food is a tradition and part of our heritage. Home canning and freezing are a lost art in the immediate satisfaction society that we live in. See our How To pages for more information on home canning, freezing and storing.
Home Canning From The BackyardRanch Kitchen
Home canning produce preserves the vitamins and nutrients in the food. Food stored in these tightly sealed glass jars can last for at least a year in a dark, cool environment. A basement, a cellar, a cool closet or pantry and etc.
Glass jars, flats (the flat discs under the rings that screw on the top) that seal the jars and the rings that keep the flats in place can all be found at your farm and home store or at your local hardware store. Glass jars come in pints or quarts. Wide mouth jars are the easiest to use when placing the food in them.
Flats cannot be re-used. New flats should be purchased each time you use the jars. Jars must be washed and thoroughly rinsed before use.
Home canned fruits and canned vegetables can be set back for emergency and also for daily use all year around. It is a real treat to have fresh produce in the winter months and it tastes like it was just picked. See our root cellar page for more information.
Freezing From The BackyardRanch Kitchen
Freezing produce also preserves the vitamins and nutrients in the food for later consumption. Frozen food only lasts about a year or so without getting freezer burned. Frozen food should be kept frozen until ready to use.
Good quality freezer bags should be used or the heat sealed bags, if you have a vacuum seal machine. Some foods can be frozen after washing like small berries, or cut up like apples or strawberries, some will need to be blanched like corn, tomatoes and green beans before they are canned or frozen. There are also really neat freezer jars for jams and all kinds of things.
Use freezer labels or write directly on the bag with a permanent marker. Make sure to put the date it was bagged and what the contents are in the bag. It will be hard to tell later through the bag what it is without the label.
Getting The Produce For Home Canning And Food Preservation
When the produce that you want is in season, that is the perfect time to buy and get started home canning, dehydrating or freezing. They key to saving money in doing this is to get it when it is on season and on sale. Do not get more than you can preserve and make sure that
you can preserve it before it goes bad. Otherwise, you are just throwing your money away along with the food.
You can get fruit and vegetables at a farmers market, local grocery store, produce farm or your own garden. It’s all timing and preparedness. You may have to sacrifice some time here and there when the food is ready for home canning and preservation.