Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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Save flavors of nature

If you bought too many strawberries, put in too many tomato plants, or harvested more in your garden than you expected, you can preserve the bounty for the coming months.

For information on preserving and canning, consider these events.

Canning and Preserving Week, Aug. 15-19 at Historic Sauder Village in Archbold, is devoted to showing historical processes involved in preserving food for the long winter months.

Six common ways of preserving fruits, vegetables, and meats were cold storage, drying, sweetmeats, pickling, canning, and freezing. Using produce from village gardens, the staff will spend the week putting up supplies just like farm families did throughout the fall months.

Demonstrations during the week will include canning beef, drying and pickling corn, and making applesauce, cheese, and sauerkraut. There will be demonstrations in yeast and jelly making.

How food preservation changed from 1834 to 1910 will be shown in the 1870s Mennonite Home, where pickles are made in a crock, and in the 1910 Homestead where more "modern" canning methods are shown.

Sauder Village is located on State Rt. 2, an hour west of Toledo. Admission is $9.50 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, $4.75 for students ages 6-16, and free for children under 6.

Those who are looking for up-to-date methods of canning and preserving can find some of the best resources through the Ohio State University Extension.

"All extension offices are available to do pressure-canning lid testing to determine if the gauges are accurate," said Carol Meidt, home extension agent for family and consumer sciences in Lucas County with Susan Zies.

Those interested in the free service should call 213-4254 and arrange for a time to drop off the canner lid and then to pick it up.

"The home study course Let's Preserve and Serve is designed for those with little or no skills in home preservation as well as for those who want to update their skills," said Ms. Zies. It is $6 to cover the cost of mailing and printing.

Fact sheets on canning and preserving are available by calling Ohio State University Extension, Lucas County office at 213-4254.

In Fulton County, home extension agent Cheryl Barber will have a program on canning and preserving from 7 to 7:45 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Swanton Library at 305 Chestnut. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. and following the free program, she will test pressure canners. For more information, call 419-337-9210.

Canning and preserving cookbooks are obvious resources, but don't be surprised to find preserving tips in some of the newer cookbooks written by chefs whose specialty may be regional foods.

For example, Salsas That Cook by Rick Bayless (Fireside, $18) includes recipes that can be bottled and jarred. The author, who does not use much vinegar in his recipes, advises that the salsas should be used within a month. As for freezing salsas, "don't leave the salsa there for more than three or four months and be ready for a different texture when defrosted," writes the author.

In addition to the housewares departments of local stores, canning equipment such as canning funnels, magnetic lid wands, jar lifters, jelly strainers, and stoneware crocks may be ordered from Home Essentials catalog featuring Ball and Kerr home canning products from Alltrista Consumer Products Co. To order, call 800-392-2575. For questions about home preservation or recipe requests, call the Home Canners' Help Line at 800-240-3340.

Kathie Smith is The Blade's food editor.

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