Home Canning Guide

Discover the basics of the boiling water bath method and the pressure canner method in this home canning guide.

| March 2013

  • Canning
    Unlike during the era of "The Farmer’s Wife" magazine, it is recommended that all canned foods be processed after packing in jars to eliminate any risk of contamination with molds and bacteria.
    Photo By Fotolia/olgavolodina
  • The Farmers Wife Cover
    “The Farmer’s Wife Canning and Preserving Cookbook”, edited by Lela Nargi, is a great resource for the farm wife, the new mother, the suburban transplant; it’s brimming with the magazine shared recipes that made the kitchen sing and the family sigh with contentment.
    Cover Courtesy Voyageur Press

  • Canning
  • The Farmers Wife Cover

The spiced peaches and icebox pickles, dilly beans and tomatoes in every shape and form, the blackberry jam and hot pepper jelly—it’s summer, and a whole world of summers past, in a jar. Pack the pantry the way Grandma did, and put away the sweetest fruits and preserves, the most tender savory vegetables, the taste of the sunny day and the scent of the crisp harvest air, with more than 250 blue-ribbon canning and preserving recipes culled from The Farmer’s Wife magazine. Along with instructions for canning and preserving fruits and vegetables from your garden or the farmer’s market, The Farmer’s Wife Canning and Preserving Cookbook (Voyageur Press, 2009), like an old family friend, offers recipes for using the tomato sauce, raspberry jam, peaches, and other tasty fruits and vegetables that you’ve “put by.” The following excerpt, from the section “Read This First: How to Get Started,” covers the basics of home canning. 

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: The Farmer’s Wife Canning and Preserving Cookbook.

More from The Farmer’s Wife Canning and Preserving Cookbook:

Kansas Preserves with Sorghum Syrup Recipe
Tomato Marmalade Recipe
Corn Soufflé Recipe  

Some 250 recipes and procedures for preserving a variety of fruits and vegetables, in a whole host of ways, appear in The Farmer’s Wife: Canning and Preserving Cookbook. To ensure success and safety in preserving them, it is important to understand a bit about how preserving works and why.

Some of the preserved foods in this book, such as jams, jellies, and other sweet spreads, lend themselves to preservation because they are made up of high-acid foods (fruits) cooked with high concentrations of sugar. Some of them, such as chutneys and certain pickles, are combinations of high-acid and low-acid foods (which include meats, all vegetables, and sometimes tomatoes) that are preserved by precise additions of sugar, salt, and/or vinegar. Still others—fruits and vegetables canned without sugar, salt, or vinegar—are rendered free of potential toxins and therefore safe to eat by processing for prescribed periods of time at high temperatures.

In fact, these days, unlike during the era of The Farmer’s Wife, it is recommended that all canned foods be processed after packing in jars to eliminate any risk of contamination with molds and bacteria. There are two ways to do this, and nowadays, they are the only ways recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and food safety experts:

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