It may be winter, but we food preservers are still thinking about canning, drying, and freezing next summer’s garden harvest. And like any other hobbyist, we desire the latest gadgets of our avocation. Here are some great ideas for the food preserver on your list – or maybe for yourself!
Fancy Canning Jars: Yes, we still love our Ball and Kerr canning jars, but are always looking for something a little different. Most fancy canning jars come from Europe, and the price reflects the boat trip. These aren’t the jars we’ll use to put up a case of bread and butter pickles, but are perfect for smaller batches. I love these little tulip jars by Weck. They are perfect for sharing lemon or orange curd with loved ones.
And can’t you just see these Bormioli Rocco Stagioni jars filled with rose petal or elderberry jam?
Diamond shaped Leifhiet jars would be perfect for your pickled peppers or homemade giardiniera.
If you are purchasing jars for someone else, don’t feel that you have to fill them with something first. To you, a box of empty jars may seem like a strange gift, but we canners know and appreciate unusual and hard-to-find jars. Don’t worry – we’ll fill them ourselves next summer.
Electric Water Bath Canner: Here is something for someone you really love. Today’s glass top stoves are not recommended for canning. Apparently the heat gets trapped under the canner and can lead to a shattered glass ranged top. A dangerous situation for anyone in the vicinity. Usually I recommend using a three – legged propane camp stove and canning outside, but that isn’t the answer for everyone either. An electric water bath canner is the answer. It works just like a good, old-fashioned canner, only you set it on the counter instead of the stove top and plug it in. Someday I am going to own one of these.
Food Saver System: A food saver system is perfect for the food preserver who freezes large amounts of anything. Removing the air from the item first, saves room in the freezer and helps keep food fresh longer. The food saver system also works for dried goods like dried fruit or dried beans. I’ve even used it to keep cookies fresh when mailing them across the country to my grandparents.
Food Dehydrator: Food dehydrators come in all shapes and sizes. There are small inexpensive versions and large commercial grade versions. Unless your gift recipient dries tons of fruit or vegetables, a smaller dehydrator will be perfect. Really, all brands work well. Just be sure that the dehydrator has a thermometer attached.
So Easy to Preserve: This book, written by the experts at the University of Georgia, answers almost every question you could ever ask about canning, dehydrating, and freezing food. There are hundreds of recipes, charts, and suggestions. I own several food preservation books, but this classic, is the basic I always reach for first.
Note: These gift ideas are my own. No person or company paid for my opinion nor supplied me with free samples of these products.