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Don't know much about canning

Farmer's Markets delight me, when I go. Which is not very often although there are quite a few in Phoenix and several not too far from my house. I don't know why I never make the effort since I'm all about the organic, locally grown movement in our city. There is one Farmer's Market that I do attend though, and last year I even had my own booth. It's the annual fundraiser sponsored by Gentiva's Rehab Without Walls and benefits both the Brain Injury Association and the Spinal Cord Injury Association. This November I and several of my colleagues will again team together to provide home-made products for sale at the event.

This year I don't have a large garden to supply the market with herbs or home-made pesto so I decided to try my hand at home canning. I want to make apple pie filling in anticipation of Thanksgiving just a week after the event. I also plan on baking pumpkin pies with a walnut and brown sugar topping. Along with the same hummus I made last year we should have lots of good, interesting products at our table. Except, I don't know how to can anything. Yet.

I began by looking up lots of home canning recipes for apples. I was surprised to see that you don't actually cook the apples, just stuff them in the jar with the syrup. I was also having a hard time finding out how many quarts of apple pie filling it takes to make one pie. As I was doing my research I got a little scared about the dangers of home canning and particularly the use of cornstarch, even though I saw it as an ingredient in a lot of recipes. I decided to skip any recipe that called for it. The best website I found for my needs was http://www.ourbestbites.com

I didn't have any canning jars but remembered I saw lots of them at Goodwill. As an experiment I bought two of the flip top type (made in Italy) to try them out. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the rubber rings for them. I went to a couple stores in my neighborhood for quart sized canning jars and found some at Ace Hardware. I picked up a jar lifter thingy too. When I got home, I dug out my stock pot and placed the jar in the pot to see if it would fit. It would not. Really? I now needed to buy a larger stock pot for the sole purpose of boiling jars. Not wanting to pay a fortune I tried to locate a large pot at one of the many thrift shops in my area. No go. A friend suggested I go to a Mexican Food Store so off I went, and sure enough, they had great pots lining the entire back wall in all sizes! I settled on a 20 quart model with a steam tray, for $19.00. Here's what I have so far:


Tomorrow, I will go hunt down something called "Ultra-Gel".

Comments (3)

I always heard this rumor, that if you don't do this right, the jars can explode in the pantry......how cool is that?

Inquiring minds want to know how the canning went...


Susie, Just posted the next installment! Thanks!

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