We’ve collected some great ideas for canning and Mason Jar treats, plus we’ve created a little something to make your next kitchen creation into an edible gift: free Home & Happiness Mason Jar Label printables!
A French confectioner and brewer named Nicholas Appert pioneered canning long before “Mason” and “Ball” became its two most recognizable names. But ever since the ubiquitous jars made their debut in 1858, canners throughout history have brought an art to this science – creating mouth-watering creations that hold tight the bright, bold colors of the harvest inside shiny glass vessels.
Canning is part of the Holy Trinity of home food preservation, along with dehydrating and good-old freezing. Using either pressure or steam, it applies heat to food in a closed jar to halt spoiling that occurs naturally, and removes air from the jar to create a seal.
Those looking to take up canning full force may consider an array of foods and techniques; it’s safest to can low-acid foods including vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood with a pressure canner, for instance, while high-acid foods such as jams, jellies, salsas, relishes, and chutneys may be canned using the water bath or steam method, for which either a special boiling-water canner or simply a deep saucepot may be used.
If that still seems like too much, consider ‘canning light.’ The Mason Jar has inspired many a recipe since the 1800s, and not all require a hermetic seal. A fermented vegetable recipe, such as zesty homemade sauerkraut or Korean kimchi, will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. Marinated vegetables from the garden (also called refrigerator pickles) including cucumbers, peppers, carrots, and beans can be prepared in a simple vinegar and water brine for a fresh addition to the week’s meals, or as a nicely packaged side-dish for a pot luck. Add salt, sugar, dill, or any other favorite herbs to add a little zing.
There are even options for the cook who hopes to avoid all types of canning contraptions and precarious liquids… try an overnight oatmeal recipe with old-fashioned oats and Greek yogurt, whip up homemade barbeque sauce right in the jar, or break out single-serving freezer pies made ahead to impress dinner guests in no time.
Are you a Canning Queen or a Mason Jar Maven? Please share your favorite recipes (and crafts!) with us, and give our free printable jar labels a try for your next creation!