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Preserving Foods

What better way to bring the taste of summer to the dead of winter than capturing its bounty in a can, jar or plastic bag. Food preservation can mean a shorter grocery list and better tasting produce on cold, snowy days. September is Canned Food Month. Join in the celebration by canning some of your own produce or that of your local farmer's market.

When preserving foods, freezer burn, spoilage and botulism are very real concerns. It pays to learn the proper techniques. Let the following sites be your guide:

  • Home Canning Online
    This very informative and well-organized site features an eclectic database of canning recipes. Love Apple Jelly and Marinated Pickles Peppers are just two examples. You'll find tons of home canning tips organized into subject areas like "jam cooking techniques," "pre-cooking"and "proper utensils." The Magazine section includes articles like "Freeze Now, Preserve Later" and "Lids, Not Wax."

  • Preserving Food Safety
    This one's a must for anyone preserving food. The full-text database on canning, freezing and drying food is based on the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning and features easy-to-follow directions. One interesting idea: Slice zucchini, soak the chips in barbecue or soy sauce and dry for 6 to 10 hours.




  • Better Homes & Gardens: Canning, Preserving & Freezing
    The experts at the BH&G "Cooking School" have pulled together recipes for jams, corn relish, apple butter and more, in addition to basic tips for sterilizing jars and buying the right equipment.

  • Mississippi State University Extension Service: Food Preservation
    Answers frequently asked questions like "Is it safe to can fruits without sugar?" and "How long will canned food keep?" Regarding the sugar issue, this site notes that fruits may be canned without sugar. Sugar merely improves flavor and retains the shape and color of the fruit. MSU advises that properly canned food will keep for as long as one year.

 
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