In case you face canning–or freezing or drying–with more dread than cheer, here are some tips that will brighten your day and lighten your load:
1. Greens can be washed in the washing machine. Do not overload it, use the gentle cycle, cold water, NO SOAP. They will tear a little, but we’re going to cook and chew them, right? you needn’t spin them; they float. And the sand sinks. Yea!
2. To keep fruit from darkening, try using a Vitamin C tablet crushed into the holding water instead of expensive fruit preserving preparations from the store. One 500 mg tablet is enough for one gallon of water. It keeps pears, apples, peaches, etc., just as pale and fresh as the moment they were first sliced. For hours.
3. When cutting the core from quartered fruit, start at the bottom end of the slice (blossom end) and cut toward the top. You will have significantly fewer broken quarters.
4. To separate halves of drupes (plums, peaches, etc.) slice to the pit along the naturally occurring crease all the way around the fruit. Then twist the two halves in opposite directions. Voila!
5. Chop fruit for jam in the blender. Briefly. It is so much faster.
6. For quicker sun-drying, place fruit between two framed screens and set on top of the luggage rack of your car, parked in the hot, hot sun.
Tomorrow: Six MORE Tricks!