Friday, May 1, 2015

If All Else Fails...

read the instructions.

When canning any food, I take the jars from the pressure canner and set them on a towel on my kitchen table.  There they stay overnight, giving jars and food plenty of time to cool.  In the morning I remove the metal bands and wash the jars in hot soapy water to remove any residue, label them with the contents and date, and stack them on my shelves.

This morning while removing the bands from the pints of hamburger I discovered to my absolute horror that over half of the lids had not sealed.  I had used the Tattler lids on these jars.  And that's where the reading the instructions part comes in.

When using Tattler lids, the metal bands that hold the lids in place need to be tightened and then backed off about a quarter inch before canning.  I did that.

Often times while processing, the metal bands will loosen.  So when the jars are removed from the canner, the bands need to be tightened down immediately.  I did not do that.

I forgot.

Read.  The.  Instructions.  Especially if you have a memory like a sieve as mine is.

I wiped down the rim of each jar that hadn't sealed with vinegar on a paper towel to remove any grease or food particles that would keep the jars from sealing.  Back into the canner they went for another go-around.

I used all metal lids on the jars of bacon, and they all sealed just fine.  But then, they don't require any special handling.  Used to be that metal lids needed to be simmered in hot water to soften the rubber part that adheres itself to the rim of the jar, but that isn't even required any more.

Sometimes I think my mind is just slowly turning into Jello.

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