Prep for Preserving

Fresh VegetablesThis year could be a great growing season. What are you planning  – cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans? While you are planting your garden this spring, take note of each type of vegetable. Do you plan to preserve the extra? If so, do you have the correct tools and ingredients needed to prep and preserve these vegetables? What shape are they in?

Pull out your canning equipment and check it out. Do you need to replace anything? Will you need pectin, cheesecloth, or spices?

Don't be caught with counters full of fresh produce waiting for a new canner or pectin to arrive. Get ready now.

Prepare your kitchen for the canning season – make sure all is ready with the newest and handiest tools.

Basic Equipment

  • Water Bath Canner - Is the canner solid on the bottom, or is it chipped, rusted or completely coated in lime deposit? Make sure it is in good working condition.

  • Pull out your canning rack and practice putting some jars in the sections. Is it sturdy? Will the added weight of canned produce be an issue when lifting out the rack? How rusty is it? Maybe it's time for a replacement?

  • Where is your jar lifter? When did you last use it? Don't be caught without one! This is a vital piece of equipment for lifting out heavy jars of produce. In fact, you might as well get out your funnel, tongs, and magnetic lid lifter. Can't find them? You need a new canning tool set. Get one - you'll be happy you did.

  • Will you be using your pressure canner? Check the gauges, gaskets and seals.

  • Go down to the basement or storage room and check out all your empty canning jars. Feel around the rims - make sure there are no chips or cracks in the jars. Are you low on the quart or pint size?. Get some now. Keep your jars stored in Jar Storage Boxes for protection.

  • Order your lids and rings for this year's season. Green beans and tomatoes get ripe quickly and they may not stay fresh long enough for you to hunt down rings and lids. You might want to try handy one piece lids for pickles and jams.

Speaking of jams - do you have all you need for all those wonderful jellies you're making?

  • Where is your jelly strainer - will the jelly strainer bags work for this year or do you need replacements? Do you use cheesecloth?

  • Get your pectin now. Have it in the cupboard when you start picking strawberries, cherries, and raspberries. From garden to jam in a day makes the best preserves.

  • Pitting cherries is a chore. Make sure your cherry pitter is working correctly. Check the blossoms on the tree this year, maybe you want to speed up the process with a deluxe cherry pitter that pits 5 cherries at a time.

  • How about a new deluxe jelly thermometer for cooking jelly this year - made of stainless steel for durability?

Last year were you in a pickle because you couldn't find pickling lime when your cucumbers were ready? This year be prepared for the pickles. Order your pickling lime, and pickling salt and we have new modern fermentation crocks that let you see what's happening.

Tomatoes can cause the same issues.  Process all those tomatoes with an Deluxe Electric Tomato Strainer that removes the peel and seeds leaving only the pulp. You'll save a lot of time.

 

Lid Sterilizer RackBoth beginner and "well seasoned" canners may want to consider a few new handy tools for this canning season.

Lid Sterilizer Rack (FP0180) – No longer will you scald your fingers while retrieving lids from the bottom of the pan. Simply insert lids into rack and lower into boiling water. The wooden handle on rack stays cool so you can remove the rack safely without scalding fingers. Rack holds 12 canning lids of any size.

Over the Sink Strainer Board (FP2832) - Slice, dice, and mince on this 22" tough surface cutting board. The board features a sturdy-grip on one end and a cutout handle on the other. A collapsible 2-1/2 quart silicone strainer fits into hole on one side of cutting board and is removable for easy clean-up. Collapse strainer to store.

Plastic Storage Jar Lids (PG0181) - These handy lids convert your canning jars to storage containers. After breaking the seal on your home preserves, reseal canned items for storage in the refrigerator with these plastic lids. Want to store dry products in your jars - these lids are perfect and won't rust! Remember - you can't use these for heat processing! Lids come in both regular and widemouth size!

Chinois Set (FP5292) - Removes skins and seeds from fruits and vetetables without peeling. Stainless steel sieve won't rust.

Stainless Steel Cabbage Shredder (FP3213) - Will last a lifetime and is more sanitary and easier to clean!

For all of these wonderful timesaving tools and essentials for canning, check out the Kitchen Krafts website under the category of canning. You can be ready and prepared for this season!!!!

One last thing - Don't forget the labels!

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