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Trolling for people who can soup...I came across this post. I have a questions I am hoping someone can answer.
I made potato and ham soup, put it in mason jars. They all "sealed". How long will they store for? Out of 7 jars, I only have 2 left - they are in the fridge - but for future reference?
No pressure cooker, no cold water bath, nothing special with this batch. Just used the jars for storage and I realized they sealed themselves.
Minnesippi, not a good plan. Anything that is put into a container while warm will "seal" as it cools down, even in plastic containers, but not enough for storage. Please don't try to can anything at all without a water bath, and even then just acidic items like tomatoes and some fruits. For the soup you've made, I wouldn't keep it in the fridge for more than a week; however long you'd leave ham in the fridge on it's own.
Explain cold water bath please. I was going to say there is no cold water bath in canning, but a thought just went through my head. Are you following the directions for canning in metal cans? If I remember the instructions right you dump the pressure on the canner and put the cans in cold water. That is NOT how you do glass jars. I'd be surprised if ANY jars survive that treatment.
:/ I knew I was doing it wrong. :( Luckily we go through everything so fast that it hasnt mattered. It has been only salsa thus far. I actually only had 2 jars break on me - which wasnt too bad considering how many I did.
The jams & pickles I did went on the stove in the canner...so Im pretty sure those were done correctly.
I must have been a man in a former life :) - I wasnt following any directions...just listening to what others have said and I guess I misinterpreted something somewhere. Better get my canning books from the library...before I start growing this years crop.
Thank you for clearing it up for me. That would have been awful come this fall when I harvest.
Minnesippi, don't fret a bit! We've all done things a little "unique" a time or two ;)
If you get only one book on canning, get the Ball Blue Book on Canning. Your local USDA Extension Office will also have lots of FREE literature about canning. Your tax monies pay for it, so be sure to use it! Drop me a D-Mail if you ever have questions!
My Ball book shipped from B&N today :) I ordered it last night...thought I'd better :/ :)
Grandma never taught me and Mom never did it...so I didnt have a very good "start". I WILL "learn" my kids - and my hubby :)
Best of luck Minnesippi! Once you get the canning bug and realize how much produce you can put up from your gardens or farmers markets, you will be hooked. As with the others, please do pay close attention to USDA recommendations (your Ball book will follow those well) as this is directly related to food safety. You might also check with your local County Extension office to see if they offer a canning class. I went through a 'master canner program' about 30 years ago when I was just beginning and learned TONS. The course was free, with the caveat that students provide X hours (I forget how many) in return to the community. I did this by managing my local community fair canned goods section.
One thing to keep in mind is that older Ball recipes in their earlier books have been revised for more safety. If you are not sure you have the latest versions, just type "USDA canning" in a Search Engine.
In addition to canning, I also make a LOT of lacto-fermented veggies in the Fall once it's cooler out in my root cellar for storage... certainly a very different process from canning, and offers healthier foods as a result of the lactobacillus actions on the veggies.
You might remember sauerkraut and garlic dills made by your grandmother, or great-grandmother, in a crock with salt but no vinegar vinegar. That's lacto-fermenting, finally starting to make a come-back because they are so healthy.