TIPS AND TRICKS
1. A comprehensive beginner guide to canning can be downloaded for free from the National Center for Home Food Preservations website: nchfp .uga.edu/publications/ publications_usda.html.
2. With the resurgence in popularity of canning over the past several years, there are numerous updated cookbooks available on the subject. Several take a modern approach to flavors and ingredients, and many have smallbatch recipes, perfect for the cruising cook. Type “preserving cookbook” into Google, and you’ll be busy for hours.
3. To better grip the hot bottles when using tongs, and to avoid accidental injury, wrap the ends with rubber bands. I recently bought myself a proper jar lifter, and it has made the whole job much easier and, frankly, less painful. If you regularly make preserves, it is worth the small investment.
4. There are also magnetic lid lifters available, which are a bit of a gadget, but it makes fishing the flat lids off the bottom of the pot of hot water just a wee bit less dangerous.