One of my favorite subjects in highschool was home economics. I loved every aspect of that course because it focused on teaching you skills for real life like how to ice a cake or mend a dress. Home Ec. just touched on the very basics of taking care of a home, but it sparked a desire in me to always learn as much as I can about domestic living to continually take better care of my family.
One aspect of home ec. that I really wished that they had taught us was how to can or preserve fresh food. I find the entire process fascinating and would love to one day have a cupboard full of my own canned and preserved foods. But I have to admit, when doing any sort of research on food preservation the skill of canning appears a lot more complicated than one would suspect. All of the information can be a bit overwhelming, even a little intimidating. When I was approached by Ball Canning about checking out their new book, The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving, I knew it was something that would help me learn more about canning. The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving features over 350 canned, jammed, pickled, and preserved recipes. It is the perfect beginners guide to canning as it features step by step tutorials on equipment to use, step-by-step process on different canning methods, plus easy to follow recipes.
Wide mouth mason jars are my absolute favorite kitchen products in the entire world. Ball also provided these beautiful Collection Elite Wide Mouth Pint Jars along with the book to help me get started on attempting my first canning recipe. Not only are they the perfect size but they are available in a gorgeous blue color. We have replaced all of our glassware with mason jars in various sizes, I’m excited to use these new blue collection elite wide mouth pint jars not only for everyday use like sipping on southern sweet tea but also to use as I attempt to learn how to can and preserve food for my family.
With the help of The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving and the provided Collection Elite Wide Mouth Pint Jars sent by Ball, I tried canning something for the very first time in my life. Granted I don’t have all of the equipment that I need, so I had to make due with the tools that I did have. I decided to can some strawberries we had in the fridge that were about to spoil. I followed the Canning Guidelines for Fruit (pg.114) and then followed the water bath canning procedures after all of my strawberries were prepped (pg.26-27). I would say that my first canning experience was a success. Of course, I couldn’t wait very long to “open the jar” to see if it actually worked. I must say that the end results is pretty delicious. I can’t wait to add my canned strawberries to sweet treat like ice cream or on top of my favorite yogurt for breakfast. My advice would be if you are just starting out with canning is to start with the basics, simple recipes & techniques, learn them very well, and then move on to more complicated recipes the more comfortable with canning you become.
Did you know that today was the 6th annual International Can-It-Forward Day? All day today on Ball’s Facebook page they have been sharing tips and tricks for fresh preserving via Facebook Live. Don’t worry if you missed it as you can rewatch the broadcasts via their page. If you are interested in learning about canning and preserving your favorite foods The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving is a great place to start. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Ball’s Facebook page to learn new and interesting tips and tricks for canning and preserving everyday.