I had run low on my supply of barbecue sauce and ‘sup!, and the summer was barely over, so I set about making a large-ish batch with an eye towards canning and sharing some of my efforts.
The best laid plans…
When I pulled my empty jars out of the water bath to can that tasty, tasty sauce, they were all covered, inside and out, with this milky film, which would not wash, or rub, or really even scrub, off.
QuickLikeABunny, I popped the sauce into large containers and stashed ’em in the fridge – we can easily go through and/or locally share this amount of sauce – and set about trying to find out what, exactly, was happening to my canning jars?!?
It turns out that our water, the same Lake Michigan water I’ve been canning with for years, has been getting filled with more and more minerals – does that make it harder? I think so – irregardless (yes, I know that’s not a word), thanks to the Extension Service of Mississippi and da Google, I have a solution:
Plain, white vinegar, to be precise.
Add a cupful to each batch of processing water to prevent the filmy mineral build up on your jars and, if it’s already happened and your jars look ruined?
Soak your cloudy jars in a mixture of vinegar and warm water (mebbe a cup of vinegar per quart of water?) for fifteen minutes or so, then remove, rinse well, and dry. Your jars have now been saved.
Well… I thought it was.