Great care must be taken in canning to avoid spoilage. Non-acid foods require special care to avoid deadly botulism and require pressure cooking not just a boiling water bath.
Check the elasticity of the sealing rubbers and discard cracked ones.
Do not re-use old ones. Wash them in soap and hot water, rinse and place in a pan covering them with boiling water. Leave them soaking in the hot water until used.
Check the jars for cracks and chips. Test the jars by filling with water and inverting; watch for leaks. Sterilize for 15 minutes in boiling water.
Can only fresh, unblemished produce. Wash well to remove all dirt.
Many foods require blanching to partially cook them and kill enzymes.
Immerse in boiling water for 5 minutes, then plunge into cold water to arrest cooking. Tomatoes, berries and soft fruit do not need blanching. Meats should be ⅔ cooked by simmering or roasting.
Add salt in the ratio of 1 tsp per quart for meats and vegetables. Use a sugar syrup for fruits and add lemon juice or ascorbic acid to avoid discoloration. See "About Jams, jellies and preserves" Pack jars tightly to ½" from the top but do not crush the contents.
Exception: peas, lima beans and corn need more room to expand; fill to 1" from the top and add boiling water to the ½" mark.
Stir the contents to release trapped air bubbles before sealing the jars. Wet the rubber before using.
Follow the manufacture's instructions that come with the pressure canner and add ½ lb pressure per 1000' in high altitudes. Use a boiling water bath only for tomatoes, acid fruits and brined vegetables. Use a rack to keep the jars off the bottom where they can overheat and crack. The water should be at least an inch over the jars at all times. Add 1 minute per 1000' feet for high altitudes.
Store the finished product in a cool dark pantry or cellar.
Berries, cherries and currants: Pack jars with washed, stemmed fruit and fill the jars with boiling medium syrup [3 cups sugar to 4 cups water brought slowly to a boil while stirring]. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. [Cherries should either be pitted OR have their skins pierced with a pin if canned whole].
Peaches: Scald to loosen skins. Peel and half, removing pits. Use medium syrup and process 20 min. in boiling water bath.
Tomatoes: Scald and dip in cold water before skinning. Cut out cores but leave whole. Pack and fill jars with boiling water. Process 45 min.in a boiling water bath.
Submitted By JIM WELLER On 11-26-95