Canning and Preserving for Beginners
Rocky and Bullwinkle

So, you planted a garden for the first time, and got way more produce than you can use. The neighbors had their own gardens, so you couldn't even give the stuff away. What to do with all that delicious bounty?

Preserve it, of course! Why let your hard work in the garden go to waste simply because you can't consume it all fresh? Canning and preserving foods is an excellent way of making full use of all that you have, and most likely in a variety of ways.

Yes, canning can be labor-intensive. Yes, it's hot work, often on hot summer afternoons. But the jewel-colored jars gleaming from your pantry shelves in the winter will make it worth it, as will the exclamations should you decide to share some of your efforts as gifts. It doesn't take a lot of equipment or great skill to preserve foods. What it does require is time, care, and attention to detail.

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The basics

Starting simple: Dehydrating foods

Canning: Preparation makes it easy

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And that's it! Simple, easy canning that will provide you a wide variety of yummy treats, from tomato sauce to veggie spaghetti sauce, from apple jelly and applesauce to homemade canned pumpkin for completely home-made pies. For us, seeing the fruits of our garden turn into beautiful jars of preserves, sauces, salsas, and jellies is a reward unlike any other -- effortful, yes, but much more delicious than any store-bought jar could be.

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