Recently, I’ve had a chance to explore a new hobby that will decrease my dependence on grocery stores and other people, and will allow me to take advantage of awesome sales at grocery stores as well as farmers market (and increase the yield of my to-be-created garden). As you could guess from the title, I’m talking about canning.
After reading this post at get rich slowly, I thought that canning looked like fun and that I should take a swing at it. I headed out to get the supplies (a beginners canning kit for $6, a box of jars and the canning bible) and got ingredients for the carrots. I headed home amped to start canning, but unfortunately I was shot down – I didnt have anything to keep the jars from touching the bottom of the pan. After a few quick searches of the internets I found my solution. This is just 5 jar rings from mason jars I wasnt using at the time, held together by bread bag ties. This fit perfectly inside the bottom of my canning pot. Word of warning though, Consider placing a towel or rag below this, as the constant movement could scratch the enamel off of your pot. I’m not positive that this happened to me, but it looks like that’s the case.
Once I’d successfully made the carrots, I decided that it was time to take a swing at some of the other things in the canning bible. I didnt have that many requirements, other than the recipe look tasty and be something that I actually would eat. After a bit of searching, I selected the apples. Here’s what you need to do to make them (I assume no liability for you jacking this up. Read directions before you start and use your head):
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 2 c water
- 1 1/2 c vinegar
- 2/3 c light corn syrup
First, you’ll need to wash, core, peel and cut the apples. I cut my apples into eighths, but I’d assume quarters would probably work as well. This took me quite a bit of time, and while you’re peeling some, have some lemon juice (or something else) handy to
treat the cut apples from turing brown while you cut the rest of them. Combine everything but the apples in a large (bigger than 3.5 quarts) pot and bring to a boil. Put apple wedges into the syrup and simmer for 4 minutes. Pack hot apples into the jars, leaving about half an inch headspace (headspace is the amount of space between the top of your goodies and the lid of the jar, and my little kit came with a handy measuring tool). Pour the syrup into the jars, leaving half inch of headspace here as well. Run a knife around the inside edge of the jar to remove air bubbles, and put the lids on. Place in your boiling water canner for 15 minutes.
Note: This time is only for those of you at sea level or lower than 1,000 feet. As altitude increases, so will boiling time, and you’ll need to account for that. Most boxes of jars have a table on them to guide you.
Once you are ready to take them out, set them on a towel and leave them sit for 24 hours. You’ll be able to hear the jars sealing (a pop noise) but leave them there for at least 24 hours. Then you can take the rings off (so you can see if a seal has gone bad from the time you canned to the time you want to eat) and enjoy!