Friday, September 9, 2011
For Canning Supplies, Check Out Kendall Hardware in Clarksville
I have a shelf of items that I put away in a recent mania brought about by cheap tomatoes and a dread of winter. But it is a strange experience because I have no idea if anything tastes good at all. I saved a little tomato and basil jam in a plastic container, but all the pickles, sauce and roasted tomatoes are set aside for winter use.
To date, my real discovery has been that Kendall Hardware in Clarksville is the local place to outfit yourself if you're an old hand or on a new jag like me. Target, Larriland Farm and some supermarkets had a few items. But only Kendall had a half-aisle of Ball jars -- everything from quart to half-pint and an array of wide and regular mouths. Great selection. Good prices too.
Personally, I'm going with small jars. I see myself canning a few quarts of sauce. But mostly, I'm looking to cook small batches of pickles and other ingredients that I can set aside in eight- and 12-ounce jars and break open when I need good food in little time. So I loved the jelly jars and the wide-mouth half-pints. They also sell the tools - like a jar lifter, a funnel, etc. -- in both Ball brand and some cheaper, generic options.
Right now, the Kendall folks have a special display of Ball jars in the middle of the store. They said they're a year-round product. If they don't have what you need, they can order special.
I still need to buy the giant pot that people use to process their jars. I'm planning to buy one from Amazon because I just need the pot. Ball seems to sell a package with a canner and a bunch of supplies, but the price seems inflated. Better to buy the canner on Amazon and all the other supplies at Kendall Hardware.
(Update: I bought the Columbian Home 33-Quart Jar canner from Amazon. Seemed large and not that expensive.)