Canning Jars – Spring Has Sprung?

Canning Jars

Up north here the days are getting longer and the trees are slowly beginning to bloom and the tulip are about 6 or 7 inches tall. Spring must be just around the corner!

It is definitely time to find reasonably priced canning jars and to plan for canning, freezing and drying food for next winter. We really like our fruit canned and frozen without sugar. We enjoy the fruit flavor, not the sugar flavor. So we don’t have to remember to have sugar on hand.

Shopping for jars has been interesting this year. The wide mouth jars are always a little more expensive than the regular. Most of my new jars will be wide mouth for no other reason than I like them. Oh… well… they are easier to put whole fruit into or pieces of chicken or meat. Maybe the biggest reason is because I can easily get my hand into the jar to clean it! But the choice is yours.

Of course, if I buy more jars, and I am, the garage needs to be rearranged for storage. We are fortunate our temperature seldom go above 75 degrees so we can store in the garage. Since it really cools at night the garage doesn’t heat up.  If it was hot like on the desert, the canned goods would be kept in an air conditioned store room.

A little inquiring about jar prices can save.  We bought jars yesterday for $9.87 a dozen. The same jar is $2 more in our local hardware store and I have seen them for about $16 to $17 a dozen on line.  Last year during canning season all the reasonably local stores were out of jars.

We already have plenty of wax paper to cover the cookie sheets for freezing slices of fruit and berries. Of course, I set the sheets of wax paper aside and when dry  they can be reused. If you need extra cookie sheets cut down a cardboard box so there are only 3/4″  to 1 inch sides.

A good supply of large plastic zip lock type bags are handy to store frozen fruit or vegetables.  Our supply is from the blueberries we  buy locally each year. They berries are picked, cleaned, bagged and frozen. They are nice heavy weight bags and last well! They are so good. It is a trip worth waiting for!

If you have not canned before read about canning between now and the season. You can get information and possibly classes from your local county farm extension office. Keep checking around to out where you can buy your produce. A road side stand, a co-op store, your local Mormon Church, your local county fair, county extension office, farmers markets and ask, ask, ask anyone and everyone. Check with people who are selling fruit from their tree(s). If you see a tree that is loaded with fruit, stop and ask if they are planning to use all of the fruit. Maybe you can help them can or freeze what they can use and you can have the rest. Perhaps you can pick for them in exchange for yours….

If you find someone who is canning ask if you may watch them so you learn. Work with someone!

Your filled canning jars will provide some good eating next winter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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