The Rocky Mountain Ace Stores are approximately 150 Ace Hardware stores throughout Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico that work together to enhance their helpful service and community involvement.

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Have a Ball with Canning!

canning jars

Hi, this is Pete Moss here with a garden harvesting tip for you: Can your veggies. Yes, put them up in glass jars, but call it canning. Well, it’s actually appropriate, even though it sounds odd.

When canning first started, around 225 years ago, food was placed in glass bottles and preserved using heat. Eventually the process went on to commercial success using steel cans. The same basic cans that you’ll see by the thousands in your local grocery store today. The basic process is still used today by many home canners using glass jars, the familiar Ball jars that can always be found at your local Ace Hardware store.

There are many new and fun canning jar products out there, and your local Ace Hardware store has many to choose from. One of my favorites are the new smooth side jars. For, well, ever, Ball jars have had their name embossed on the side. Now this is certainly an iconic look, but what if you want to create a fun label of your own and stick it on your canned food to make a unique gift? Kind of difficult to get that label to stick smoothly, until now. The smooth sides are perfect for labeling, painting, anything where those pesky raised letters got in the way. These new jars are also great for crafts with no embossing to get in the way of your fun stuff inside.

You’ll also find new Ball jar accessories such as soap pumps, sipping straws & flower holders. One of my favorites is always the drinking jar. Nothing like sitting on the porch with a glass of iced tea in a Ball jar glass!

Never done any canning? Try it. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to get started. First you’ll need to get Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving. (No, it’s not blue) This has everything you’ll need as far as information and recipes and safety tips for preserving food in jars. Grab some jars and a canner and you’re set to go. Canners can be simple water bath pots or fancier pressure canners. There are also kits that have all the tools you’ll need to make canning safer and easier. Come in and ask the helpful hardware folks for tips on what to do and how to become a master canner, jarrer, food put-er-up-er.  

So, putting up food by canning is done in jars with a blue book that isn’t blue. No, this doesn’t make much sense to me either, but who am I to question it? I do hope you’ve put up with me. Thanks for reading and have a ball with canning!