Seed catalogs are arriving at my house daily. It may seem a bit early to be thinking this much about gardening, but it sure makes spring seem closer when I do. As I look at options for planting crops in my garden, I also think about what kind of food I would like to have on hand next winter. If I want lots of home preserved tomatoes or pickles, I know that I will need to be planting several varieties of tomatoes and cucumbers. This preparation extends to preparing my canner and even more important, looking at the source of my recipes to ensure that they are safe and tested recipes.
It can be tempting to want to replicate foods we remember mom or other relatives preserved when we were young. It is SO important to use only recipes that were scientifically tested to ensure a safe product. This is a great time of year to look over old family recipes and tested recipes to see if you can find a tested recipe that will replicate that taste from long ago.
We have some great resources for tested recipes. Here are a few of our resources.
- The National Center for Home Food Preservation. This resource from the University of Georgia actually tests recipes and produces both a cookbook (So Easy to Preserve) and a website. Everything you see in either resource is guaranteed to be safe—and delicious.
- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has Preserve the Taste of Summer publications. We also teach canning classes and have an on-line class for beginning canners.
- University of Minnesota. Both tested recipes and on-line instruction are available on their website.
- South Dakota State University. This information is also available on their website.
- Ball Blue Book and Complete Book of Home Preserving. Both recipe books are available at stores that carry canning supplies. Both versions were updated in 2016. They also have recipes available on their webpage.
Call us at AnswerLine or email us if you have a recipe that is hard to find and we will check to see if we can find a tested recipe that is similar to your old family recipe. Enjoy dreaming of spring; we are doing that at AnswerLine.