Seasonal Topics

winter food preservation tips Winter

With the weather getting cooler, you might want to see our directions for canning or freezing soups. Not all types of homemade soups can be successfully preserved for long-term storage.

Jelly didn't set up? Try using it as a pancake or ice cream syrup! If you want to try again, here's what we have to offer.

If it is sadly time to put away your canner until next season, see our reminders for how to care for your pressure canner properly.

Looking for a last minute gift idea for the home food preserver? See our suggestions to stir your thinking!

spring food preservation tips Spring

If you are a home canner, this is the time of year to plan ahead and prepare. Get your equipment and supplies out and inspect them so you are ready when the crops are.

Many quick pickle recipes call for small, pickling varieties of cucumbers. If these interest you, be prepared by looking ahead to know what kind of cucumbers are needed for your favorite.

Ready to tackle your food cupboards during spring cleaning? Consult a food storage chart to see when it might be time to throw out some staples and start fresh.

If you are planning on canning this summer, plan now to make sure you have proper equipment in good condition. A pressure canner is needed to ensure safe low-acid canned foods.

Strawberries are the first fruits of spring in many locations. Frozen as whole or halved berries without sugar using the tray pack, individual berries can be removed from the freezer as needed. Sweet spreads are another favorite use and strawberries mix well with tart rhubarb in jam.

Can't wait for the garden before starting to put some goodies on the shelf? Use the grocery store or farm markets now to find ingredients for some relishes and sauces, such as Tangy Tomatillo Relish, Spicy Jicama Relish, or Easy Hot Sauce.

summer food preservation tips Summer

Cranberries are the fruit of the season; read more about the fruit and suggestions for preserved foods containing this bright red gem. Some of our favorites are cranberry salsa, cranberry-orange chutney and cranberry conserve. For a last-minute bright and pretty gift idea, cranberry sauce takes only sugar as the other ingredient!

To prevent botulism, follow directions for canning vegetables and meat, poultry and seafood in a pressure canner.

When pickling peppers, be sure to use recipes with enough vinegar if you process in a boiling water canner. Do not add oils unless you know you have a scientifically tested procedure to follow.

For best quality frozen foods, select and use appropriate packaging materials and methods.

Gardens are starting to produce those lovely, fresh vegetables. A pressure canner is needed to ensure safe low-acid canned foods. There are no safe boiling water canning options for vegetables, meats and seafood, soups and some other mixtures of foods.

Quality in frozen vegetables is maintained longer by blanching them before packaging and freezing. Proper packaging materials protect flavor, color, moisture content and nutritive value in frozen foods.

The amount of acid in a pickled product can make a difference in whether it can safely be canned in a boiling water canner. Check out our tested "How do I…Pickle" recipes for safe canning of pickled cucumbers and other vegetables and relishes.

fall food preservation tips Fall

It's apple season in much of the country! We can offer several ways to preserve your apple bounty. Our Seasonal Tip for apples lists many links of interest.

With the weather getting cooler, interest has seemingly turned to making and preserving soups. See our directions for canning or freezing soups. Not all types of homemade soups can be successfully preserved for long-term storage; we cannot offer you options for canning soups thickened with flours or cornstarches, or containing rice, pasta or cream.

Salsas are on everyone's mind and a great option for spicing up meals, whether they be tomato-based or fruit relishes. Look at our canned salsas listing for the recipes we can recommend for canning. Many vegetable relishes use end-of-season produce and make good salsa options, too!

What to do with all your tomatoes? Can them, or try them pickled.