Sandy Smith presented the program,”Home Canning Techniques,” at the recent meeting of the Heart-N-Hands Extension Homemakers Club. The meeting was held at the Centennial Fellowship Church at White Hall.


Smith stated that one must use only up-to-date recipes that have been scientifically tested to be sure that all harmful microorganisms will be destroyed during the canning process. Microorganisms are found naturally on fresh foods, according to the presentation.


Many microorganisms cause foods to spoil, but some cause foodborne illnesses. When canning high-acid foods such as fruits, pickles, jellies and jams, a person can process them in a boiling coater bath canner, according to the presentation.


Low-acid vegatables such as corn and beans as well as meats, fish, and poultry must be processed in a pressure canner. Botulism, a deadly form of foodborne illnesses, can grow in improperly canned low-acid foods, according to the presentation.


Smith discussed testing jars to make sure that they are sealed correctly. Let jars cool for 12 to 24 hours. Remove the screw bands and test seals. Press the middle of the lid with a finger. If the lid springs up when one releases their finger, the lid is not sealed, she said.


Or tap the lid with the bottom of a teaspoon, and if it makes a dull sound, the lid is not sealed. Hold the jar at eye level and look across the lid. If the lid is concave, it is sealed; but if it is either flat or bulging, it is not sealed.


Smith discussed measuring headspace from the inside of the lid to the top of the food or liquid. Typical headspace measurements are 1/4 inch for jams, jellies, juices, and fruit purees; 1/2 inch for fruits, pickles, and tomatoes; 1 to 1 1/2 inch for vegetables and mixed products; 1 to 1 1/4 inch for meats.


For Show and Tell, Cathy Lewis, club president, showed a String Art Project she completed.


Delores Kelley, community service chairwoman, reported that the club had collected 180 food items toward the club’s goal of 2,200.


Nancy Rosen, community service project chairwoman, reported that she and Margaret Thomas would take items for bingo prizes to the Villages of General Baptist Health Care West after the meeting.


Rosen, Walk Across Arkansas chairwoman, announced that the fall 2019 session began Sept. 29 and continues through Nov. 23. She also asked for names of members who wished to participate.


Lewis thanked members for participating in club and county activities. A Scarecrow Wine Bottle Workshop was taught by Brenda Robinson. Those attending were: Lewis, Joyce Johnson, Barbra Freeman, Carolyn Harness, Linda Murray, Smith, Kelley, Lynda Toler, Kaye Richardson, Jody Stout, Patsy Brown, Sarah Payton, Connie Herrin, Debbie James, Donna McGowan, Doris Turbeville, Dot Hart, Brenda Hendrix, and Krisha Turbeville (sister-in-law) of member Donna Mc Gowan.


James taught a 3 Snowmen Workshop for the Jefferson County EHC. Those attending from Heart-N-Hands were Lewis, Vivian Gerlach, Patsy Brown, Richardson, Rosen, Harness, Brenda Dixon, Freeman, Murray, Toler, Hart, Kelley, and Peyton King, Robinson, and Payton.


Upcoming events include the Delta District Rally at the Grand Prairie Center at Stuttgart Tuesday, Oct. 22.


Guests at the meeting were Felma Evans, a member of Lunch Bunch, and Donna Stephenson, a member of Willing Workers of White Hall.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.