New Jersey Farm Women are getting ready to “put up” fruits and vegetables for winter eating – many women freeze fruits and vegetables, but a growing number are going back to canning methods especially for tomatoes, spaghetti sauces and preserves.
Several new canning methods have developed over the years and we need to be aware of safety and health issues when canning fruits and vegetables.
One name that is well known is Mason jars. According to a recent article in the New York Times, these jars were invented in 1858 by John Landis Mason of New Jersey. He gave away his patent and died a pauper.
Many years of canning and preserving have passed and the use of Mason jars remains strong. New uses surface all the time for these jars, beyond the canning shelf. I often use them to store small items or put flowers or candles in them.
Mason jars can make fun beverage glasses for picnic or theme parties. My granddaughter Machaella decided to decorate pint jars for her country and western themed graduation party. It was a fun way to enjoy beverages at her party. We often see dessert or cookie ingredients in a jar as a gift item.
One of the new fall decorating magazines featured several new ways to use jars as part of light fixtures and centerpieces for a fun country look.
Mason and Ball canning jars are often sold at yard sales, but can now be found on most store shelves.
There is great satisfaction when you have all your jars filled, processed, and the dome lids have “sealed!” The other satisfying time is when you can open a jar of summertime goodness in the middle of winter for your family or guests to enjoy!
Putting Jersey Fresh in a jar!