This has been such an interesting thread. I posted the statistics for food born illness from home canned food in the comments section but I will just add (for those that don’t read the comments) most botulism is infant botulism coming from feeding babies foods that adults can tolerate but are not good for babies (honey is one example). The second cause if wound infection as botulism occurs naturally. Take good care of even small injuries. The incidence of food born botulism is very small with only 21 cases being reported last year. You are far more likely to get ill from eating commercial spinach than from my home canned tomatoes. Here are the take home points. Use up-to-date recipes from approved sources, proper equipment and excellent hygiene and you will be fine. Do not can anything with gravy. Make the gravy later-it only takes a minute. Don’t can dense things like pureed pumpkin or squash as the interior may not get hot enough. Don’t can in 1/2 gallon jars. Add acid to tomato products. Boil canned vegetables for 10 minutes before eating. I know. The idea of canned green beans being boiled for ten minutes is pretty unappealing which is why I freeze or dehydrate my vegetables. Don’t can milk products in a water bath as they are low acid and not safe.
I assembled all of my canning equipment in the kitchen last night to get ready for my canning class today. It is an amazing amount of stuff as I have no idea how well-equipped the kitchen I’m using is. I’m canning raspberry jelly and tiny new potatoes. I juiced the raspberries last night so I’m good to go. My Daughter, Karen, and my DIL, Maggie, are coming with me. Karen is my go-fer and Maggie is the IT girl and is going to film the class for my first posted video on the new web site. We are extracting honey next week and making creamed honey so both of those videos will be posted too. Maggie has worked really hard on this and it’s coming together.
I’m just about ready to pull the pea plants. This hot weather has been really hard on them. I’m putting in more cukes as soon as there is room. I ran out of pickles this spring and we are all feeling pickle deprived. I’m out of fruit leather too but I fortunately have lots of applesauce left. I’m using the leftover berry juice to flavor the applesauce and I will make fruit leather tonight. Applesauce is so versatile. I use it for fruit leather base, to replace 1/2 the oil in most recipes and as my main meal extender. It makes me very happy to see the 18 apples on my little apple tree. It’s the first year with an actual harvest, tiny though it is. It gives me hope for the future.