Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Putting Pasta By...

Did you know that if you vacuum seal pasta into canning jars they last a LOT longer than if kept in their original boxes??

Why yes...yes they do!

In fact, this little trick works on nuts, crackers, oatmeal, popcorn, sugar, and cake mix too. If it's in a box or a bag and it's dry, it qualifies as "dry pack canning".

Cake mixes are the best because they fit perfectly into a quart size jar. I simply remove the bag from the box, cut a small hole in the top to let out the air, stuff the entire bag into the jar and seal it.

The box with all the instructions gets opened flat, trimmed to 6" x 12", and taped on the open side into a tube that then fits perfectly around the jar.

BTW...a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese fits perfectly into a pint size jar.

One benefit of using glass canning jars is that... they are re-usable. Your initial investment is the jars themselves which can be procured used at Yard Sales and Thrift Shops. Wal Mart has dozens of these see-thru goodies seasonally for sale at a fairly low price. For my local friends -- Check out Griggs in Pasco for nice values on jars.

I personally do not re-use the lids, but I know others who do. When I'm ready to "can" I buy the "lids only" which costs much less than the "lids and the rings".

There are vacuum sealers available for home use that pay for themselves in a relatively short period of time. The two I know about are the Food Saver and the Seal a Meal.

I purchased a Food Saver from Costco quite a number of years ago. Besides sealing in bags large quantities of cheese and ribs, it also has an attachment with a jar sealer. Genius really.

Some contend "dry pack" canning is really... not canning... and to them I politely reply..."Okay then... try serving your lovely green beans as a birthday cake."

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