Stay-at-home directives have more people learning canning skills

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 5:13 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Reno Resident Cynthia Ryan is in her kitchen making Afro-Caribbean Pepper Sauce.

It could be used for tonight’s dinner, or later. She has a choice.

That’s because Ryan has grown up with canning.

“I grew up in a culture that valued this kind of skill,” says Ryan. “And all my female relatives did I,” she says.

She says she cans all year long depending upon the availability of fruits or vegetables. And this year she says friends and friends of friends are coming to her to learn how to can. Ryan says, “Times are uncertain, and we are all trying to find ways we can kind of make ourselves feel a little more secure. And this is one of those ways.”

While it isn’t brain surgery she says, it does require preparation and an understanding of sterilization so the food inside the jars is free of contamination.

But there’s a problem she says- a shortage of canning jars.

“Just always running out to the store to get more,” Ryan says." I walked in there the other day, and I was dumbfounded. There was nothing empty shelves," she says.

Those who unscrupulously want to make a quick buck are placing jars and lids for sale on the internet. But they don’t pass muster.

The USDA says canners should follow some simple guidelines to prevent being taken, or better yet prevent getting sick.

“What is recommended by the USDA, the two piece lid, is a one-time use,” says Jeannine Gaillardetz, a registered dietitan with UNR Cooperative Extension.

Gaillardetz says jars should be examined for breaks or scratches. Lids that arrive damaged or have rust or stains on them should be thrown own. Make sure the compound around the inside of the seal is uniform with no breaks.

Cindy says taking the time to learn the skill of canning can save time on the other end. The skill is money saver. And a dinner can be prepared with a canned sauce or soup in about 20 minutes.

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