Tag Archives: holiday gifts

Tips for Gifting your Home-Canned Goodies

Giving home-preserved gifts adds a personal touch, but you do take on the added responsibility of vouching for the safety of the foods you give. As tempting as it may be to impress your recipients with a brand new, never-before-tasted canned creation, your first measure of safety is to use tested recommendations from reliable sources. Instead of experimenting with recipes, get creative with the way you package your home-preserved gifts.

If you use an attractive canning jar of a unique size (12 oz., for example) and you can’t find canning recommendations for that size jar, be sure to use the next biggest size jar that does have canning recommendations (so in the example of the 12 oz. jar, follow the process time listed for pint size jars). Otherwise the product might be under-processed and risk spoilage or causing sickness. Also, be aware that there are lovely jars out in the market place that are NOT recommended for canning. Some jars are intended for other uses, and even if they look like canning jars they may not be tempered to withstand the intense heat of canning or temperature changes that occur in taking jars in and out of canners. (These jars might work well to gift beautiful dried fruits, however!) Our canning recommendations are for use with Mason-type home-canning jars and two-piece lid systems.

Decorative labels are available from jar manufacturers and other companies. As you label your precious products, remember to include the creation date, and consider telling your recipient how long the product will stay “good” (usually one year for best quality with most home-canned foods). If you have room, also include the ingredients (especially if the product contains allergens) and storage instructions like “Store in a cool, dry place and refrigerate after opening.”

If you didn’t already do your canning for gift-giving, then here are a few festive ideas using seasonal ingredients:

Spiced Apple Rings, Apple Butter, Sweet Apple Relish

Citrus Marmalade

Chutneys

Cranberry Sauce, Cranberry Marmalade, Cranberry Conserve

Flavored Vinegars

There are also a few popular holiday gifts that are NOT recommended for home-canning. Don’t risk the health of your loved ones — try the alternative suggestions instead:

Herbed Oil Infusions (try Flavored Vinegar instead –you don’t even need to can it!)

Canned Breads (instead, package dry ingredients and make a tag with baking instructions)

Canned Chocolate/Fudge Sauce (make this Freezer Chocolate Fudge Sauce instead)

This entry was inspired by Resources for Home Food Preservation Gifts by Brian A. Nummer. For more canning-related gift ideas, see Looking for a Gift that Keeps Giving? Try a Dehydrator! and Holiday Gifts for the Home Food Preserver .

 

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A sweet spread for your sweetheart

Jelly jars

The spring and summer months allow a wealth of fresh canning possibilities. Tomatoes, corn and green beans from gardens can keep you canning or freezing until you wear out. But by winter, you may be ready to try some different types of preserves. Perhaps you’re also looking for ways to sweeten the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday with home-preserved gifts for your loved ones.

Elizabeth Andress is the Director of the National Center for Home Food Preservation, which is hosted by the College of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia. She said recipes available from the Center using juice concentrates and canned vegetables enable canners to preserve in winter. “There are recipes perfect for people yearning to can in the winter,” Andress said. “You don’t always have to can with fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of those preserves also make nice holiday gifts.”

Orange Jelly from Frozen Juice

This recipe calls for frozen concentrated juice and powdered pectin and creates a delightful, flavorful orange jelly for toast or biscuits on dreary winter mornings or late afternoons.

For five or six half-pint jars, you’ll need:

  • 12 ounces concentrated orange juice, thawed
  • 2½ cups water
  • 4½ cups sugar
  • 1 box powdered regular pectin

Begin by sterilizing your canning jars. To sterilize jars, boil empty, washed and rinsed jars for 10 minutes in water. The easiest way to do this is to stand empty jars upright on a rack in a boiling water canner filled with clean water. Keep jars hot until they are filled.

Measure sugar and set aside. Mix juice and water in a saucepan and stir in powdered pectin. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Once boiling, stir in all sugar. Stir and bring to a full boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.

Skimming foam (1)

Remove from heat; skim off foam quickly. Pour hot jelly immediately into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes (10 minutes if 1,000-6,000 ft. altitude; 15 minutes if over 6,000 ft.). Allow jelly to cool, undisturbed, for 12 to 24 hours and check seals. You can remove screw bands after the food has cooled if the lids are sealed.

This entry is an edited version of an article originally written by April Reese Sorrow and Elizabeth L. Andress.