Summer’s last juicy pickings are still available and fall’s hearty harvest is on the horizon. Stumped about what to do with all this abundant produce?
Thanks to Country Woman magazine, you can now celebrate this bounty and enjoy it year-round by throwing your own Home Canning Party! Preserving is all the rage today and it’s something that you can do in the comfort of your own home. So go beyond that same-old cocktail soiree, grab some good friends and follow this simple advice:
- Pick out your produce and canning recipes. When you combine prep work and processing time, a canning recipe can take an hour or more to complete. Limit your party to three canning recipes. Plan to make a full batch, but don’t double it. Altering a recipe’s quantities and times may affect the quality and safety of the final product.
- Gather your tools. Have these basics on hand (or assign guests to bring them): jars, lids and rings; heavy-bottomed cooking pots; a roomy stockpot to use as a water-bath canner; sharp knives and a grater; stirring spoons and ladles; measuring cups and spoons; jar grabbers; a funnel; clean towels; and hot pads.
- Send invitations. Mail invitations to guests about three weeks ahead. Include how much and what type of produce, other ingredients or canning supplies to bring. Also tuck in the recipes you’ll use as a preview.
- Plan some snacks. Give home canning party guests something to nibble and sip. Incorporate fruits you’ll be using into beverages, and pick up breads, meats and cheeses to serve.
- Set up stations. Clear off counters and tabletops to make ample room for work stations to sanitize equipment, prep produce, fill jars and seal, boil and cool your finished batch. Assign guests to each station and have only one canning recipe going at a time.
- Jam out! Karaoke with your canning? Sure! Stir some of these tunes into a party playlist: Cherry, Cherry (Neil Diamond), Blueberry Hill (Chubby Checker), I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye) and Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles).
- Label your labors. “Mystery jars” collect dust in the pantry, so clearly label your goods with contents and canning date. With printed labels, pens, decorative ribbons and fabric on hand, guests can create personalized wrappings for cooled jars.
For more on how to plan your next home canning get-together, visit Country Woman Magazine.
(Disclosure: Post and text-free image courtesy of Country Woman magazine. I was not compensating for posting this but I am sharing because I loved the idea.)