Canning workshop focuses on preserving peachesBy Emily Etheredge Published 6:04pm Wednesday, July 24, 2013
If it is true about things getting better with age, Chilton County peaches preserved in a jar should provide months of tasty options.
Janice Hall, Regional Extension Agent for Food Safety, Preservation and Preparation in Autauga County, led a group of 12 women Wednesday morning at the Chilton County Extension Office in downtown Clanton on different canning techniques.
Using Chilton County peaches as the subject for her tutorial, Hall demonstrated step-by-step instructions on how to properly make peach jam.
“It is important to know proper canning techniques so you can become more knowledgeable about the right and wrong ways of canning,” Hall said.
This is the second canning workshop for Hall to teach in Clanton this month after teaching the first workshop on July 18.
Hall showed the women different tools on the market for helping in canning including a magnetized lid lifter and jar lifter.
“I brought different types of products on the market to make canning life easier for everyone,” Hall said.
After a discussion period at the beginning of the class, Hall asked for volunteers to help in making a batch of seven pints of peach jam.
Several women volunteered to peel, stir and place the fruit in the canning jars as Hall shared various techniques for a canning success.
Hall also discussed the definition of pectin, a substance found naturally in the fruit.
Hall said adding pectin to the jam helps to ensure the jam gels.
In her tutorial, the women were able to help make the jam in less than one hour.
“We are speeding everything up a bit to be able to make this in the allotted time,” Hall said.
One woman attending the class asked how long a jar of homemade jam should be allowed to stay on the shelf.
Hall said typically, a standard shelf life for homemade jam is one year.
“Anything you make this year should be good to eat this time next year,” Hall said.
Everyone who attended the workshop was provided with a homemade jar of peach jam and a Food Preservation Recipe Packet.