Weekend Reading: Helpful Canning Links & Resources

We’re just getting warmed up in our Canning 101 series; next week is jam-packed (sorry, couldn’t resist) with canning inspiration for you.

In the meantime, here is a brief compilation of useful links and websites to peruse before we officially get the water boiling:

Canning 101: The Basics

So, you’ve planted seeds or seedlings and then watered and weeded all summer. Now it’s time to harvest, and while much of your garden’s bounty ends up on your dinner plates, baked into goodies and eaten fresh as your pick it, there is generally an excess of fruits and vegetables. After all, you can only eat cucumbers at every meal for so many days in a row before you start to feel like you are, in fact, a cucumber.

This is where food preservation and canning comes in. Canning is a wonderful way to store your fruits and vegetables from the garden or the farmer’s market while they are in season and make the harvest last through winter when local and seasonal foods are scarce.

Canning in both water baths and pressure cooking heats the food, killing any microorganisms that may grow, and also creates a vacuum seal in the jar. The vacuum seal will prevent any air from coming in contact with the preserved food that could encourage cell growth and cause the food to spoil. [Read more…]

Q & A: Why Do You Can?

We’re about to kick-start our summer canning series on Simple Bites and I can’t tell you how excited I am about it! I’ve actually been canning in my sleep, if that gives you any idea.

Coming up we have nine solid days of Canning 101 with recipes, how-to’s, helpful links and discussions. I don’t yet consider myself an ‘expert’ canner, so for this series I’ve enlisted the input of several canning-savvy and very capable ladies.

You’ll see posts from experts such as this one — but I’m don’t want to give too much away. It’s going to be awesome!

Today, however, I want to do something a little different. I want to hear from YOU. Especially those of you who can, preserve and pickle all summer long with the enthusiasm of the lady in our ‘Canning 101’ button.

More specifically, I want to hear WHY you do what you do, year after year, for we don’t all can for the same reasons. Agreed?

Here are just a few reasons one might find us sweating over the stove on an August afternoon: [Read more…]

A Campfire Breakfast: Tools & Ideas for Your Next Outing

Written by Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity.

Eating breakfast around a campfire is one of my favorite ways to start a summer day. Nothing tastes quite as good as food cooked over an open flame. Any of your favorite breakfast meals can be made over a campfire; all you need is the right tools and a little innovation.

Campfire Tools and Breakfast Ideas

Pie Irons

These useful tools like this Coleman Camp Cooker are not just for hobo pies. Anything you can dream up to sandwich between bread can be cooked up and devoured. For breakfast try ham and grilled cheese sandwiches, french toast slices filled with cream cheese and jam or how about grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. [Read more…]

Five Steps Toward a Greener Kitchen

Today I’m guest posting over at Simple Mom on Five Steps Toward a Greener Kitchen, plus giving out our much-loved recipe for ‘Happy Planet Cookies’.

From the post:

“Environmentally friendly practices are a dime a dozen, but implementing them in the home doesn’t happen overnight. Like any lifestyle change, they are best put into practice gradually; little actions that can be realistically maintained.

It’s important to take those steps to being eco-aware, even if it is just giving up bottled water this summer. Multiple small changes add up to big changes and there is less chance of you having a ‘green burnout’ if you start small…

Here is a list to get you started on your kitchen ‘Greenover’, or, if you are already a conscious cook, inspire you to reach even further towards a low-carbon lifestyle.”….(click here to continue reading on Simple Mom.)

See you in the comments over at Simple Mom!