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Tips for canning, storing, freezing you summer veggies

August 5, 2018

This is the time of year when produce is ripening in gardens and people look for ways to preserve it all. While the internet is a valuable tool for gathering information, sometimes the tips you find online mess the recipe up. So here is a list of time-tested tips and tricks from people who preserve their garden produce year after year.

Drying fresh herbs:

Rinse fresh herbs under water and dry thoroughly.Bundle them together in whatever size bunch you prefer with twine. Begin at the bottom of the stems, leaving about a two-inch piece out, and wrap all the way around until you reach the bottom of the bunch.Tie off and a loop with the extra two inches for hanging. Hanging the herbs dries them best rather than storing them in a basket or jar.Store in a room that doesn’t have much moisture or sunlight, such as a corner in the kitchen or pantry. Sunlight can “cook out” the flavor and nutrients in the herbs.It may take several weeks for the herbs to dry out completely.Once they are dried, the herbs should be brittle to the touch, you can grind them or keep them whole.

— Ashley Kingham

Freezing fresh herbs:

Tear or chop fresh herbs and mince garlic.Place into clean ice cube trays — about half full unpacked — and top off with oil of choice.Place in the freezer until firm, usually a couple of hours.Pop them out and place in a freezer bag and store in the freezer.NOTE: You can do this with butter as well, but it keeps better in the refrigerator.

— Ashley Kingham

Water-bathing jars:

When water bathing jars that don’t fit into the standard basket, use bread ties to fasten four or five old jar bands together and place at the bottom of the kettle so you know longer have to use the basket.

— Elinor Richart

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Add vinegar to the water when using either a water bath or pressure cooker to keep the film off of the jars.

— Kendra Kyncl

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Place hot jars on a cloth towels to prevent slipping during packing.

— Heller Family Cookbook

Canning:

When canning wild game (deer/antelope) adding a chunk of beef tallow and a couple teaspoons strong beef broth to each jar will tame the wild flavor.

—Vickie Hrabanek

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Always wipe rims off with a clean, damp cloth. Food on the rim of the jar can prevent proper sealing.After canning process is complete, remove jars from canner and place on a towel and leave at least 1 inch of space between each jar to allow air circulation.

— Heller Family Cookbook

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Start with good produce, new lids each time and measure and weight everything.Check out nchfp.uga.edu/ online. This is my go-to site for home food prep. It contains all the safety safety guidelines. Safety and following recipes is the key to successful home canned goods

— The Rev. Jared Hartman

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If tomatoes aren’t ripening, sit them stem side down to speed up the process.

— Stephanie Bates

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If you have a flat top stove, you can water bath on your grill.

— Kendra Kyncl

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Never forget the valuable resource of grandma’s cookbook or mom’s know how. Spending a day in the kitchen with someone who cans is one of the best ways to pick up on the tips and tricks of a pro.

— Elizabeth Cornett

n Find friends who can and steal their stuff.

— Andrea Larson

Cleaning canner:

To take the black off of the inside of a canner, fill it with water, add cream of tartar and boil.

—Vickie Hrabanek

Freezing corn:

Invest in a corn cutter. It’s are worth every penny.

— Angela Henery

Storing vegetables:

Store potatoes in a dark, cool area.Dry out onions after picking prior to storing. Onion’s outer layer should be flaky.

— Stephanie Bates

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Wrap unripened tomatoes in newspaper and store in baskets.

—Denise Webbert

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