5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
You say you want a can-volution? Well, you need to know Sean Timberlake.
Timberlake is a professional writer and author of the blog Hedonia. He's also the founder of Punk Domestics, a Web site devoted to all things do-it-yourself food - from pickles and jams to goodies in cans.
When it comes to preservation, Timberlake admits even learned people and accomplished home cooks are oftentimes stymied by the fear of poisoning their loved ones with a tainted jar of fig jam (Mmm...botulism!).
While there are real risks, follow a few rules and Sean assures you'll be safely jamming in no time.
Five Myths About Canning: Sean Timberlake
In fact, properly canned foods are about the safest things you can eat. But a modicum of attention must be paid to a few fundamentals to ensure that all the bugaboos that can get you are tamed."
2. My grandmother canned in the oven/used paraffin wax/turned jars upside-down while canning, and no one died, so it’s safe.
3. The lids on my jars sealed, so the contents are safely canned.
Most fruits are high in acid, which makes them excellent candidates for preserves that can be canned using the water bath method. But unpickled vegetables, meats and many soups and sauces are not, and require pressure canning to destroy the botulinum bacteria.
How can you tell the pH of your recipe? Unless you’re a chemist, you can’t, so make sure you’re using a tested recipe from a reliable source. If you don’t know your recipe is safe for water bath canning, store it in the refrigerator or freezer (or in your belly) instead."
4. Canning is for people in big houses in the country, not me in my tiny urban kitchen.
Other than a pot large enough to submerge your jars in boiling water, the other equipment required will fit in a drawer. Working in small batches ensures you don’t end up with mountains of jars all over your house."
5. Canning is hard.
It’s also an excellent activity to do with friends and family; after all, many hands make light work. And when you hear those lids popping as they cool, your heart will swell with pride and you’ll already start planning your next trip to the farmers market for another round of canning."
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