Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Another Step in Becoming a Domestic Goddess

In an effort to eat locally for longer than the growing season, I've decided to take up canning. On a whim, I bought a few extra pounds of asparagus at the Farmer's Market with the intentions of pickling it. It would have been wise of me to actually read up on how to can before I bought the asparagus. I knew I needed mason jars and lids, but a special rack to put in the pot? Huh? So anyways, I decided to work with what I had in my cupboards which meant putting the jars on their sides during the hot water bath because my largest pot was not tall enough. For those of you that have canned before, you probably know what happened. Out of the 4 jars, only one didn't leak brine. I'm thinking it's no big deal. However...

When I cook, I often eye measurements of dried ingredients. I read today that it's a big no-no when it comes to canning. You need to have the proper ratio of sugar/acid/etc to avoid botulism. Oops. It looks like we're going to be eating a lot of pickled asparagus in the next week.

Now I'm on the lookout for the proper equipment to do hot bath canning. I'm hoping to pick it up second-hand. I'm also going to pick up a book on food preservation because I also want to learn how to properly freeze greens & fruits so they last a long time. I'll freeze soup and occasionally fruit right now in a food storage container, but the fruit gets consumed pretty quickly. I'm looking to keep fruit in the freezer so I can enjoy plums in the middle of winter without feeling guilty that they've been transported from a far-away place.

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