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Generic Canning Tips & Tricks

9 years ago

If this type of thread has been done before, I haven't found it yet. So, what little things do you do to make your prep or canning go easier? Obviously, mise en place (or getting everything measured and set out) is a big one, especially for me with jams. Then, if I'm ready to jar and still have a little bowl in front of me, I know I missed a step.

I bring this up because two weeks ago I picked up 6 boxes of ripe peaches from an orchard, so had my work cut out for me in getting them processed in a timely manner (and ultimately only lost 4 peaches to rot). The week before, I seriously cut one of my fingertips, and though it was healing nicely, I knew that it would not stand up to the level of water immersion involved with peeling all those peaches (not to mention the hand and dishwashing that accompanies, or the food safety concerns with an open cut). To remedy this, I discovered an unopened package of dishwashing gloves that I had purchased for oven cleaning that I'm still procrastinating on. So, for the entire week, while in the kitchen I wore a glove on my left hand, and it worked wonderfully. I was able to do all my processing without worrying about cuts, bandaids, etc...and I found the side perk that it was really really nice when doing hot pack with hot jars! I could hold the jars firmly, and not worry about burning myself if I accidentally splashed a little syrup. I think my glove is now going in my tote of canning tools--it allowed me to safely handle the hot jars for filling and putting rings on, and gripped wet jars very well. Also was nice when removing the canning jars--I could use the glove to handle the hot, wet jars. I do have a lifter, but my 3 year old thinks it's the greatest toy (along with the magnet lid thingy), and tends to run off with it just when I need it.

Another tip that I have is to make sure I mark all the lids that I've used already for processing. Jar junkie that I am, they're used all over my kitchen for storage and so forth, so that way I know not to reprocess an old lid, but I do use them for dry-storage or fridge stuff. If I don't mark a full date on them (for jams, I use a side label with the date), then I just put a small sharpie "X".

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