Crystal Godfrey helps with a pre-canning checklist and plans for a canning party.
How to save money with canning:
1. Plan what you are planting in your garden for what you would like to can. i.e. if you want to can salsa; plant tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, green peppers, etc. (Now’s the perfect time to start thinking about planting since it will be time to get gardens ready in March).
2. Re-use previously purchased bottles and rings but NOT lids.
3. Stock up on canning goods when they are on sale. (Example: If you know you want to or do can jam then stock up on sugar over the holidays when it’s on sale for holiday baking, Canning supplies will go on sale in the Fall, etc.)
4. If you don’t have the canning gear due to money or space in your house, don’t feel like you need to go out and buy it all at once–ask around and borrow or work with someone who does.
Canning can be “a piece of you”:
1. Get creative with decorating and make it look like you!
2. Don’t be afraid to brag a little that it’s homemade by you-because it will be more delicious than anything store bought.
3. Pair it with something else homemade-i.e. homemade jam goes perfect with homemade bread or give it with your favorite recipe of how to use the item.
4. Make sure to give it to someone you love because they will remember the gift far longer than any other gift you could give them.
How to throw a “canning party”:
1. Join the “Canvolution” This is a new trend sponsored by Canning Across America, a nationwide collective of cooks, gardeners and food lovers committed to the revival of the lost art of “putting up” food. It is the topic of a lot of blogs and has been featured in Parade magazine.
2. Send out invitations. Whether you just need help or need ingredients and canning items-list what you need and make it a party.
3. Have fun! Turn up the music, put in a good movie, and have a great time!
Crystal has many ideas on canning and food storage. You can learn more at her website http://everydayfoodstorage.net/..