Food – Home Canning

“Nature’s abundant supply of fruits, nuts, and grains is ample, and year by year the products of all lands are more generally distributed to all … . As a result, many articles of food which a few years ago were regarded as expensive luxuries, are now within the reach of all as foods for everyday use. This is especially the case with dried and canned fruits.” Testimony Studies on Diet and Foods, 124.

For some reason, canning, as a method of very long-term food storage, fell into disuse. Maybe it’s the hurry/rush syndrome many folks have become addicted to, necessitating “instant” foods, microwave ovens, and mixes for everything from pancakes to casseroles. But for people of a self-reliant inclination—raising a good portion of their own wholesome, chemical-free food and establishing a storage method that is easy and results in tasty food, even years down the road—home canning is the way to go.

And remember, no power outage or mechanical failure will cause your pantry full of home canned food to go bad, as can happen with frozen food. Besides, where food only stays good for a year, max, in the freezer, it stays great tasting for years on the pantry shelf neatly packaged in shining glass jars. Home canning allows a family to eat chemical-free, delectable fruits, vegetables, nutmeats, pickles, preserves, jams, and jellies just waiting for a meal.

It is possible to can year-round, making up such things as chili, stews, dry beans (like pintos for refried beans), spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, relish, etc. Whatever the season, there’s always something special to can for later meals. Nearly anything you can find on a store shelf can be canned easily at home.

Canning is very easy. If you can boil water and tell time, you can home can. Begin canning with a water bath canner. Jars do not have to be purchased new. Any jar that a canning jar lid and ring will fit on—and is chip and crack free—will work. Rings are reusable for years and years, serving only to hold the flexible metal lid down on the jar rim during the canning process. Lids need to be bought new for each use, for if the lid has been bent it will not reseal, and the rubber is usually only good for a one-time use. A good, fairly recent canning book is a “must,” as it contains time tables, specific directions for many, many different foods, as well as a lot of recipes for home canned goodies.