Canning is a forgotten art of preserving food for your homestead. Let us help you learn how and get started!
We’ve decided to start bringing you some of the forgotten skills of yesteryear.
We’re starting a new series called Self Sufficient Off Grid Homestead Ideas & Skills Basics because we want to help YOU become self sufficient.
Our first one is on water bath canning.
Canning is the act, process, or business of preserving cooked food by sealing in cans or jars.
It involves applying heat to food in a closed, glass canning jar to stop natural spoilage from bacteria by creating a seal by removing the air. People have been doing this since the 1800’s.
Water bath canning is for high acidity foods such as jellies, jams, salsa’s, condiments, & pickles. With it’s easier process, this is usually the first choice of beginner home canners.
First you will need a good recipe for preserving. I find that most reputable canning companies have great recipes online. You can also get this recipe book with some great easy recipes.
I’m going to share my favorite recipe for you, just as a reference to what steps you take after I show you how to sterilize your jars.
Sterilizing your jars is not needed if your recipe calls for 10 minutes or more processing time. But either way you may need to sterilize them one day or will just feel more comfortable sterilizing them, so I’m going to show you.
Items You Need:
- Large Stockpot With Rack In The Bottom Or Canner
- Mason Jars & Lids
- Jar Lifter
- Magnetic Lid Lifter
To sterilize your jars, you will need to place your empty jars right side up on the rack in your canner or stock pot. Next place lids in. Fill the pot and jars with hot water (but not boiling) up to one inch above the top of the jars. Bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes. Carefully remove them using a jar lifter and the magnetic lid lifter. (These can be found here). Leave the water in your pot for processing your filled jars.
Muscadine Jelly Recipe
Now on to the recipe! My mouth waters just thinking about this jelly. Yum! Muscadine jelly tastes a lot like grape jelly but has more tartness. It’s also fun to make!
Items you will need:
- Another large stockpot (in addition to the one used for sterilizing the jars) or canner
- Twelve 8 ounce Mason jars with lids and rings or 6 pint size jars with lids & rings
- Mesh strainer
- Potato masher
- Jar lifter
- Canning funnel
- About 5 cups muscadine juice (about 5lbs muscadines)
- 1 Box of pectin
- 6 cups of sugar
- First of all, you need to wash your muscadine thoroughly. Go through them and remove any bad ones.
- Place in a stockpot and cover with water.
- Place on cooktop
- While the muscadines are simmering, use the potato mash to mash the muscadines.
- Mash off and on for 15 minutes while they are cooking.
- Pour the mashed up muscadines through the strainer.
- Pour the juice into another large pot and bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Then simmer.
- Add pectin and stir until dissolved.
- Add sugar once the juice reaches another boil after adding pectin.
- After sugar is added, allow a hard boil for about 1 minute, stirring to prevent burning.
- Test juice to see if it’s jellied. If it doesn’t look like jelly, add a bit more pectin, stirring constantly or it will lump.
- Carefully using the canning funnel, add the jelly to the warm jars and skim top to get rid of film on top.
- Place lids on top and place them back into the warm water in the stockpot you used to sterilize the jars.
- Allow to boil for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove them using the jar lifter.
- Wipe off excess water and allow to cool.
- After cooling check to make sure the middle part of the lid is down and won’t mash in with your thumb. If not, then it’s sealed and you are done!
- If it does mash down, then place back in water and reboil again for another 15 minutes.
Please note sometimes the jars break as you can. This is due to the change in temperatures. Also as they are cooling you may hear a pop or some other noises; this is normal. It is part of the sealing process.
Canning is a skill that is forgotten this day and age, but it’s a great skill for homesteaders and anybody who wants to save money and eat more naturally.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with didn’t sauces and condiments. You’ll soon find it fun and wondering what took you so long to learn canning! Good luck!