Local/State

Canning your own favorite food

Thursday, July 12, 2012

If you appreciate the region's bounty of fresh, seasonal produce, there's a simple way you can enjoy your favorites year-round.

Chances are your parents or grandparents used to "can" food this time of year, and eat homemade products from jars for months

All it takes is the right pot, some jars, and a little know-how. And you can get that in the new book, "Food in Jars", from Center City cookbook author Marisa McClellan.

It tells you everything you need to know to begin canning your own favorite foods. Basically, you cook the foods you love, put them into clean jars, screw on the two-piece lids, and then let the jars sit in a boiling water bath until they seal. When you hear the distinctive "pop", your food is ready to store...no refrigeration needed.

McClellan's book is designed to make home canning user-friendly. Once upon a time, families would put up 40 or 50 jars of something used regularly. But with the convenience of today's supermarkets and produce centers, you're less likely to need so much.

McClellan recommends making just a few jars at a time of something you really love...perhaps a fruit jam with a seasoning you add to make it uniquely your own.

Small-batch canning lets you enjoy a personal project in 60-90 minutes, rather than having to spend a day or more in the kitchen doing a year's supply of something.

"Food in Jars" is available at major book retailers and online. If you enjoy McClellan's food philosophy, check out her blog at Food in Jars.

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