Friday, July 23, 2010

We’re Canning and So Can You

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Over the past few years, people have been inspired by the trend of growing their own food to save money and to eat fresh, healthy food. Along with edible gardening, the art of home canning is hot once again with renewed appreciation for local and homegrown food. We have entered the harvest season and it’s time to take those summer crops and preserve food to last you through winter. Lowe’s has all of the resources you need to get started canning for the first time or just the products for those who have canned for years.

For those just beginning, it may seem like a daunting task but it really can be a simple Sunday afternoon with the right tools and these garden tips. Preparation and information are the keys to successful home canning. Make sure you have the right tools, the best ingredients, and the best step-by-step guide for the recipe you're canning, and you're set!

Step one: Gather and wash your garden-fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden or local farmers market. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries will make delicious jams, while tomatoes are great for salsa or spaghetti sauces. One reminder is to make pickles; you need to begin with ripe cucumbers.

Step two: Gather all of the necessary tools you will need to prepare your food. Many of the small items you will already have in your home: a funnel, tongs, pot holders, measuring spoons and utensils. The main kitchen item you will also need is a stock or boiling pot and a canning rack. Lowe’s carries an affordable, easy all-in-one Ball® Home Canning Discovery Kit (#331448, approx. $11) for the beginner, which includes a canning rack with integrated jar lifter, three Ball pint jars with lids and bands, and a simple three-step guide to canning using delicious recipes.

Step three: A good recipe book and guide to preserving will take you a long way and kick start you with some delicious new recipes. One of the best books containing a guide to preserving food, recipes and tips for all canners is the 100th Edition Ball Blue Book® Guide to Preserving.

Step four: After you have prepared all of your food, your last step is to store it in a pint or quart jar. Be sure to use airtight bands and lids to ensure your jars are properly sealed to store your food through winter. Use a jar with a design and wrap with a pretty bow to create a perfect gift during the holidays. Label your jars with the date and type of food to ensure they are incorporated into seasonal recipes throughout the winter.

And don’t forget after you’ve eaten all your food in the winter season, you’ll need a Rubbermaid storage container for your empty jars once they are washed and sterilized, so you’re ready to start again next summer!

Visit any Lowe’s store nationwide for all of your canning needs: from the glass jars and lids sold separately for the expert, to the Ball® Home Canning Discovery Kit for the beginner. For more information on Canning 101 and some delicious recipes, visit www.lowescreativeideas.com/Extras.

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