Now is the season for canning, preserving, pickling, and freezing the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are available to us now in NC. This week I'm dedicating my blog to food preservation tips.
First, you need the right equipment. For fruits and tomatoes you'll need a water-bath canner with a rack. A pressure canner and rack should work well with other vegetables. Other necessities include a jar lifter, funnel, narrow rubber spatula, and timer.
Remember to use only standard canning jars and lids. Even though it's cool to recycle, it's not safe to use leftover glass jars from store-bought items like mayonnaise, nacho cheese, etc. Jar lids cannot be reused either because they only seal once. You can, however, reuse metal bands as long as they aren't rusted or dented. Inspect jars carefully and discard those with scratches, cracks, or chips.
Tomorrow, my mom's recipe for pickle relish, a favorite with her customers.