Toiling over the ground; tilling until it is just right. Mixing fertilizer until your hands are stained black and neat little rows are prepared, equal distances apart, to ensure the best end results. Laying down the seeds with care, making sure they are properly spaced and judging the depth of each different variety by your well-trained measuring utensil, otherwise known as your pointer finger.
Tending to the seedlings you watch them sprout and grow up into magnificent plants. It is now August – harvest time – and while you may have the proper tools to harvest your prized crops, there are some other gardening supplies and accessories that you may not have considered to help you keep and store your hard work for later use.
Or maybe you went down to the local produce stand and bought the toils of their hard labor this year. Either way the food is fresh and organic and you want to store it for the winter.
Remember the story of the ant and the cricket? The ant worked hard to make sure there was food for the winter while the cricket had fun. Being prepared for the winter makes living a lot easier and tastier as well. Some of the tools you will need to can for the winter is a boiling water canner and a pressure canner, jars, lids, rings and of course, hard work gathering the things you want to can.
While these items will help you, there are some other things you may want to consider such as recipes, a temperature and pressure guide for canning. Don’t for the most important and final part, family and a few friends to share your delights with.
While it is always great to can 100 jars of your favorite strawberry preserve, it might help out to have a place to put them all. Make sure you have enough room to store all of your canned goods. The way to store your jars is in a cool room that does not get direct sunlight. This will keep the cans under pressure so they hold the seal. Remember, the heating then cooling off is what created the seal in the first place; getting them hot again will only loosen the seal and cause the goods to spoil.
Make sure you have enough of each item to be canned. This way you can make it through the winter. A little prior planning can go a long way and can really make the difference in the winter dishes. Imagine having freshly canned green beans in your casserole during the holidays, instead of having to use poor quality ones found in the grocery stores during that time.
Pick and can more of the items you know you and your family will use, after all, they can be used at a later date and it is better to have more than less. The canned goods can also be used to give away as presents or special gifts to those who are dear to your heart. This is what I’m especially looking forward to this year. Giving away some great canned food to some special people in our life.
Canning for the winter is all about preparation. Making sure you have the right supplies, the right amount of storage space and enough ingredients to get you through. This is a great way to make the cold winter months much more enjoyable.
Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.
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