Making your own canned food is regaining its popularity due to several good reasons. First, you can customise all the recipes and get something much more interesting than just canned pickles. Second, you are the one choosing all the product and ingredients and know exactly what’s in the jars and bottles for your winter meals. Third, nothing can impress your dinner guests than serving them genuine homemade food. And at last, but not least, canning is fun, especially if you share the experience with close friends, relatives, or your culinary class group.
The first days of autumn are the perfect time to throw a canning party at home. This can be a bit tiring and messy if you don’t know a trick or two. So before going to the market, to buy tons of vegetables and fruits, check how to host the perfect canning party at home!
Read also: How to Deal with Stubborn Food Stains.
Designate the Cooking and Preparation Area
You need to understand this – the more food you’re canning, the more people you’re inviting to join – the more space you will need. There is a big chance your kitchen won’t be enough for all cutting, mincing, slicing, mixing, spicing and poring in. This is why it’s good idea to clear up one or two extra working areas. Remove all rugs, cover the upholstered furnishings with nylon bags, and put away all precious, breakable items. Place tables and chairs and cover them with oilcloths – there are always spills, canning can be a messy. Speaking of spills and stains – wear something old, clothes and shoes that you won’t miss if they got cut, burnt or stained. Remind your guests to do the same.
Check also: How to Clean and Tidy up Your Home in 30 Minutes.
Prepare the Tools and Canning Containers in Advance
After you are done with clearing up your work area, you will need to clean and prepare all cutlery, pots and containers. Everything should be clean before you start, and all jars and bottles should be sterilised. Every cook will need a sharp knife, a cutting board and big container (like plastic basin, or a bucket) to put all the fruits or vegetables. You may need colanders, graters, blenders, check your recipe and make sure that everything is clean and ready to use. The same applies to vegetables, fruits, spices and other ingredients you will be using should be on the tables and counters, easy to find and reach.
Hunger and Tension Are Your Enemies!
Preparing delicious food together with your friends – what could possibly go wrong? Everything! Depending on the recipe and the amount you want to prepare, canning can take quite long – from a few hours, to a whole day! Even if you start in perfect mood, after 2-3 hours of work things can take ugly turn. This is why you need to think not only for the cooking and preparations, but also for the mood of your guests. Prepare a playlist of nice music, or play the radio. Another thing you should think about is serving some food.
When delicious fruits and vegetables cover every surface, and the whole place smell like savory spices it’s normal for you and your guests to feel hungry. You can either prepare some light meal in advance or simply order a pizza. Make a break, let your guest satisfy their hunger and have a beer– after it everything will go smoothly.
Discuss all the Tasks in Advance
If you want to reduce the tension, the mess and increase the productiveness of your canning event you should make sure everyone has a specific task. Get familiar with your recipes, discuss which you will be making, meet in advance and decide who is doing what. This way you will avoid confusion, overlapping tasks and unnecessary pauses – which can be equally demotivating for all the participants.
Cleaning After a Canning Party at Home
As we said – canning is a fun, but messy job, so it is a good idea to do it before the big autumn cleaning at home. After you are done, there will be a lot of pots to clean, clothes to wash and trash to throw away. Ask your friends, or your family to give you a hand with collecting all the dirty dishes and bringing them to the kitchen. Put all the chairs and tables you brought on their places. Remove all the nylons and oilcloths and inspect for spills and splashes – if there are some treat them as fast as possible to prevent them from becoming stubborn stains. Wipe down all the tables and countertops.
Read also: How to Remove Stubborn Berry Stains.
If you don’t want to deal with cleaning afterwards you can always call professionals to do it for you. Search for a service that offers one-off cleaning in your area.
After you are done – sit down, relax and open a beer – you deserve it! And don’t forget to invite everybody that helped over a dinner – to try the outcome of your hard work and rejoice over the great memory you’ve created together!