‘Tis the season to be canning,
Fa la la la la, La la, la, la!
This is what my kitchen table has looked like every day, all summer long! (And you wonder why my blog gets neglected sometimes!) Yes, it's a blessing! But it's also a lot of work! Some of the produce goes to our farm members and the people on our waiting list, but I've been canning a lot of it so that our family will have it to eat this winter! Did I mention that getting through 2 or 3 piles of vegetables this size every week has been a lot of work? I have been up until the wee hours of the morning canning, canning, canning!
Starting today I'm kicking off a series of blog posts about preserving the harvest! I'll be showing you how to make really healthy spaghetti sauce, salsa and pickles and even show you how to preserve a few things that you might not have thought of. Cherry tomatoes? Cantaloupe? Yes, you can preserve both those things and I'll show you how! If you haven't subscribed to us via email, our RSS feed or are following along on Facebook or Twitter, make sure you sign up now so you don't miss a thing!
But I want to start our series with a Giveaway! Because what better way to celebrate a bountiful harvest than with a canning giveaway!
Have you heard of Reusable Canning Lids by a company called Tattler? I think this company is brilliant! It drives me crazy that the metal canning lids that come with the jars are not reusable! I've often thought, “It's 2012! We put a man on the moon 60 years ago! Can't someone invent a reusable canning lid?” I mean, how long does it take a metal canning lid to biodegrade in a landfill site, anyway? Exactly. Not to mention, that with my metal canning lids, I can never tell which lids have been used and which haven't. I bought a lot of my jars at garage sales and many of my lids have never been sealed, but I can never tell what is what.
Well, it turns out that Tattler has been making reusable canning lids since the 1970's. They sent me two dozen sample lids to review. One dozen regular size lids and one dozen wide-mouth lids.
These are so cool! They've pretty much changed my canning world! Let me show you how they work:
Each lid comes in two parts: A plastic lid and a rubber gasket. The plastic lids are guaranteed for life and in 30 years they've never had a single request to have one replaced. Impressive. The rubber gasket is the part that seals the jar. Eventually, these gaskets may become damaged and they can be purchased separately if they need to be replaced.
Ok, so you scald the lids and the rubber rings in hot water just like you do your traditional disposable canning lid. When they're hot you use a small pair of tongs to pull them out of the water. Place the rubber gasket on the plastic lid and then place the whole lid on your jar. Secure the canning ring (purchased separately… but you probably already have a bunch of those!) over the lid, just like you would… but… and this is very important… only secure it so that it is finger-tight. The lid needs to be able to vent in order to get a good seal. Then put all the jars into the water and process your jars the way you normally would.
One of these jars is not like the others!
When the jars are done, take them out and immediately tighten the ring so it is very tight. This will cause it to seal as it cools.
You let the jars cool for 12-24 hours. When everything has cooled off you simply remove the band, and lift the jar by the lid to make sure the seal is secure. Now, I didn't have any lids that didn't seal, but you might want to be careful with this step because if you pick a jar up with an unsealed lid, I imagine you could have quite a mess on your hands!
Now I will tell you, these plastic lids don't make that lovely popping sound that we canners love, but I think that's a small sacrifice for the money I will save in the long term by having reusable canning lids! I'm planning to switch over to reusable lids now that I've gotten to try them! And I want to give you the chance to try these, too! So, Tattler is offering a giveaway! Use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter! You could win two sets of 12 reusable canning lids (one set of regular size lids and one set of wide-mouth lids)
A big thank you to Tattler Canning Lidsfor providing two sets of lids for the review and two more sets for the Giveaway prize!