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Canning tips
These are canning tips from my Aunt Judy Rachal. Good luck!

- Use canning jars only (not mayonnaise jars or anything else)
- Rings are reusable, seals are not
- You'll need: disposable gloves, canning jars & supplies, including the jar gripper, canning pot and rack, magnet and handle for picking up hot rings and seals, canning funnels
- Use the ripest tomatoes or vegetables
- 1 quart jar will hold 3 pounds of tomatoes
- Sterilize jars in the dishwasher with heat cycle
- Sterilize rings and seals in simmering water
- To peel tomatoes: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil tomatoes for 2-3 minutes, then plunge them in ice water to stop the cooking process. peels will peel right off. Use a knife to remove the core.
- Add a teaspoon of lemon juice per quart jar to ward off bacteria
- Push the tomatoes through the funnel into sterilized jar
- Place seal carefully on top then secure ring tightly
- Sterilize filled jar by placing in simmering water in canner (Follow instructions for your particular equipment)

Fill the kettle with the appropriate amount of hot water and begin heating it on the range. The water bath canner requires 1 to 2 inches of water above the tops of jars.

Place jars on rack immediately after packing. Lower filled rack into canner. Jars should be covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. Add additional boiling water if needed. If you add more water, pour between jars and not directly on them (this is where the extra pot of heated water comes in handy). Cover pot with lid. When the water comes to a rolling boil, start to count the processing time. Reduce heat slightly and boil gently for the time recommended for the food being processed. When the cooking time is up, remove jars at once and place on a rack or on towels away from heat and away from any draft. Keep jars separated to allow for air space.

After jars have cooled, test for seal. To do this press down on the center of the lid. The lid should be con-caved and not move when pressed. Another method is to tap the lid with the bottom of a teaspoon. If the jar is sealed correctly, it will make a high-pitched sound. If it makes a dull sound it means the lid is not sealed or possibly that food is in contact with the underside of the lid.

When completely cool, the screw bands may be removed if desired but not necessary. Be sure to label canned jars with content and processing date. Store jars in a cool dark, dry place. If there is a possibility of freezing temperatures during storage, cover with a blanket or heavy cloth. Jars may also be placed in a box and stuffed with newspaper.

For more info on canning: www.canning-food-recipes.com