It’s that time of year — home gardeners and canners everywhere are getting down to it in the kitchen, preserving the food they’ve grown this season.
When people were working at home during the height of the pandemic, La Crosse County Extension Specialist Heather Quackenboss says more folks got into home gardening and canning. In 2022, that trend is staying mostly steady. And it sounds like jar and lid suppliers have finally caught up. Quackenboss says the shortages of essential canning supplies experienced in 2020 and 2021 have subsided.
However, if you’ve been stocking up on lids to avoid potential shortages, be sure to examine them. If the seal is cracked, or in Quackenboss’ words, looks like an old pencil eraser, it is not safe to use. In addition, make sure your pressure canner gauge is correct. La Crosse County Extension Office can help you with that.
When it comes to canning safely, it’s not just about your jars or canner. It’s also about acidity, ingredients and methods. While perusing for recipes online, Quackenboss says she’s run into more and more recipes that could make you sick. Beware of recipes you see online, on Facebook, or on TikTok — “dry canning” or “upside down canning” can cause food poisoning or botulism.
If you’re looking for the tried and true canning recipes and methods, Quackenboss recommends the National Center for Home Food Preservation. They are online at nchfp.uga.edu.