Canning takes some time at harvest but the results prove to be time well spent. If you have never canned before, don't plan to can the whole garden in one day. Harvest of very much takes some time. There is time needed to prepare the food. How many things do you really want to wash, peel, and chop?
The first day of canning, don't plan much. Plan to learn to use the equipment and learn the steps of canning. It isn't hard but it does take time. If you are new to canning, remember there will be lots of boiling water and figure a safe place for the children. First you need a list for the necessary items.
Canner: If you are canning low acid foods, you need a pressure canner. If you are canning high acid foods, you need a big water bath canner. You can use a big stockpot but I would recommend, if you are going to can a lot of food and for a number of years, you get the real canner with the rack and lid it needs. *For apricots, you need the warm water canner.
Accessories: You can find a set of four items in a package at a kitchen store or on the internet which has a pair of tongs, a lid lifter, a wide mouth funnel, and a long non-metal measure for headspace and to cut through your food to break up any air bubbles.
Jars: You need the canning jars. Either Ball or Kerr are proven brands. You will also need the lids and rings to seal your food.
Towel: For the final step, you want a thick towel to fold and put on the counter or table for the jars as they come out of the hot water.
Notes: Canning jars have been around forever. You might find some in an attic or a basement. Make sure the jars don't belong to your great, great grandma. In 1989 there were some new rules and materials that became a part of the mason jar to make for less breakage and safer canning. Also, if you do find old Mason jars, you might want to check e-bay or an antique store, I understand that old Mason jars are going for enough that one should get you a new case of jars.)
Wash the jars in very hot, soapy water. Rinse well and keep warm. If you have a dishwasher, they can be placed in there on a heated cycle until you are ready to fill them. Fill the canner so the water will be 1 inch over the top of the jars. Bring the water to a boil as you prepare apricots.
Note: Apricots are good fruit for dieters. They have a sweetness that takes an edge off hunger.
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