Canning for Survival

The time was 1937. Canning foods was the norm back then. There were no Kroger stores or Walmarts or Publix. Some foods were sold in cans on the store shelves but, most people canned their own foods. Those tried and true methods are still around today. Not a lot has changed other than the style of jars and, in some cases, the ease of canning.

Today, probably more so than back then, people should look at the art of canning again. During the pandemic, store shelves were short on everything from flour to canned vegetables and meat. People were struggling to put a full meal on the table, not necessarily because they couldn't afford it, but, because there was a food shortage in the stores. Because of this, many have turned to the age old methods of canning their food.

Canning doesn't require a lot of equipment. The first thing you will need is canning jars. There are a lot of jars out there to use. Your canning jars will need lids. Some lids are one piece while others have a band/lid option. Just make sure they're the right size for the jars you are using.

Other tools/equipment you will need are a plastic or stainless steel canning funnel, a stainless steel ladle, canning jar lifter with rubber grips, a good pair of kitchen tongs and a magnetic lid lifter and bubble remover. You can buy them individually or in kits.

Canning can be done in any large pot with the addition of a canning rack. However, it's better to just use a canner made specifically for home canning. Canners come in all sizes and with or without canning racks. You can even buy them as kits with all the tools needed for canning included.

Water bath canners are good for beginners because they are relatively cheap. Pressure canners are excellent for more advanced canning and can be used as pressure cookers. Also, try to get one that's made of stainless steel instead of aluminum. It's more expensive but it can be used for more projects.

The miscellaneous things you will need are good kitchen towels for things like setting the hot jars on the counter to cool and to wipe the rims of the jars before sealing. Another thing is a good home canning book. A food strainer also might come in handy.

With these things in hand, you are ready to begin canning. Next time the stores are short on stock or you just need a great side or even a fresh fruit for desert, you will only have to go as far as your pantry.

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