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Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

Posted by Midland Hardware on 11/17/2017 to Celebration & Holiday Parties
Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

Prepare Your Home for Guests this Holiday Season

The holidays are a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate all the parts of life that make us happy and grateful. With that in mind, you're likely planning a trip to visit loved ones, or maybe your home is the destination this year.

Holiday guests can bring a lot of happiness to your home, but of course, there's a lot of work involved as well — preparing your home! It doesn't have to be a huge task, though, if you know where to start. This article will provide you with the resources you need to create a fun, welcoming environment for your holiday guests.

Tips for an Awesome Halloween

Posted by Midland Hardware on 10/12/2017 to Celebration & Holiday Parties
Tips for an Awesome Halloween

Tips for an Awesome Halloween from Midland Hardware

Halloween is right around the corner, and it's time to get your house and yard ready for the spookiest day of the year! Whether you want to throw a great Halloween party for all your friends, scare up your yard to attract trick-or-treaters, or just do a little fun decorating to bring that October spirit into your home, Midland Hardware has some great ideas for you.

Canning Methods and Supplies

Posted by Midland Hardware on 9/14/2017 to Kitchen
Canning Methods and Supplies

Canning Methods and Supplies

Canning has been a favorite way to preserve food since the process was first invented in the late 1700s. The techniques have evolved somewhat, but are still based on tried-and-true methods from the early days of canning, only with better technology on our side. Canning is still popular today for all kinds of reasons— some people love to make jam from fruit in their own backyard, others want to preserve food to use throughout the year, and some have the goal of long-term food storage in case of a disaster.

The main purpose of canning is to prevent food spoilage by containing the food in an airtight container and destroying the microorganisms that cause decomposition. This can be accomplished in two different ways, your choice of which depending on the type of food you want to preserve.

 

Water Bath Canning

Water bath canning is for high-acid foods like fruits, salsa, pickles, vinegars, and chutneys. This process involves heating your filled jars in boiling water and basically cooking the whole sealed jar with the food inside. How long you heat the jars depends on the recipe for the specific food you want to preserve.

Here's what you need to perform water bath canning safely:

·         Recipes and complete instructions

·         Canning jars and lids (if your jars didn't come with their own lids)

·         A canning jar lifter to protect your hands from the boiling water

·         Any other canning accessories required for the recipe you want to use

The specifics will change depending on your recipe, but the basic steps of water bath canning are the same.

1.       First, boil your empty jars to sterilize them and prepare the seal on your lids by gently simmering them in hot water.

2.       Fill the clean jars with the food to be preserved (it needs to be hot), making sure there's none on the rims of the jars and leaving space inside dependent on the recipe, and close them tightly with their lids and rings.

3.       Lower them into boiling water for the required amount of time, starting from when the water returns to a boil after you put the jars in.

4.       When the time is up, put them on a towel on the counter to cool. You'll start hearing small "pinging" sounds from the lids as the vacuum seal forms.

5.       Once they've cooled, remove the rings and the tightly-sealed jars are ready for storage.

As mentioned, this is a basic outline of the steps involved, and before you start canning you need to have recipes to tell you the exact ingredients, boiling times, and other variables that you'll need to use. But if these steps sound like something you can follow, then you're ready to start water bath canning.

If any of your jars don't seal, just put them in the refrigerator and use them in the near future.

 

Pressure Canning

Pressure canning is for lower-acid foods and foods that need to be brought to a higher temperature to preserve them safely. These foods include meat, dairy products, vegetables, seafood, and poultry among others. Your recipe will tell you more.

The reason these foods need to be brought to a higher temperature is because that's the only way to kill the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which cause foodborne botulism. Your target temperature is at least 240° F, which can only be done with pressure canning.

Pressure canning is the only canning method that gets rid of these bacteria in low-acid food. High-acid foods can be preserved by water bath canning because the environment is too acidic for the bacteria to survive, but for low-acid food, you need to compensate with temperature

To get started pressure canning, you need all the same supplies as mentioned earlier with the addition of a canning pressure cooker. The pressure cooker will raise the temperature enough to form a vacuum and kill any bacteria that are present.

 

How to Start Canning

Now that you have an idea of what canning involves and the methods you'll need to use for certain types of foods, you're ready to start collecting recipes. You can create your home canning kit by collecting the items mentioned in this article and check Midland Hardware's Canning and Freezing Supplies for more inspiration. There are also tons of great tutorials and YouTube videos to be found online. Get your supplies, spend some time looking around, and before you know it you'll be a canning master.

As Autumn Approaches, Get Ready for Camping!

Posted by Mike Rotter on 8/21/2017 to Outdoor Living
As Autumn Approaches, Get Ready for Camping!

As Autumn Approaches, Get Ready for Camping!

There's nothing like a long, hot summer to make people dream of being outdoors in beautiful, cool weather. Especially if you love being outside and you're sick of being cooped up! At last, autumn is on the way and you can start planning to take advantage of the lower temperatures. What better way to celebrate your freedom from being stuck inside next to your air conditioner than with a camping trip?

You still have some time to prepare, but if you have kids, you might want to tighten your deadline so you can take them camping for a last-minute trip before the start of the school year. School has already begun in several areas, but kids elsewhere still have time for one last hurrah before their vacations end, so that's something to consider!

Here's what you need to go over to make sure you're ready.

How to Design Your Front Yard for Maximum Curb Appeal

Posted by Mike Rotter on 7/12/2017 to Decorating Ideas
How to Design Your Front Yard for Maximum Curb Appeal

How to Design Your Front Yard for Maximum Curb Appeal      

What is "curb appeal?" Curb appeal refers to how nice your home looks from the street— the curb. The appearance of your home can be very important, besides the effect it has on your neighborhood. For example, if you're trying to sell your house, curb appeal becomes a factor in how attractive your property is to potential buyers. But even if you're not selling, who doesn't love coming home to a beautiful house and front yard? Here are some budget-friendly ways to improve the curb appeal of your home.


Preparing for the Perfect Summertime Grilling Party

Posted by Mike Rotter on 6/15/2017 to Celebration & Holiday Parties
Preparing for the Perfect Summertime Grilling Party

Prep for the most patriotic 4th of July celebration.

Summer is almost here, and it's no surprise if your mind is full of anticipation and ideas for a truly awesome summer grilling party. You're probably thinking of blue skies, cold drinks, a relaxing breeze, and the mouthwatering aroma of steaks sizzling over the coals. You might find this idea even more irresistible if you live in an area known for lousy weather all the way through spring. In that case, it's definitely time to celebrate summer with an outdoor party and wake the grill from its long, cold-weather hibernation. Here's a guide to make sure you have what you need and don't leave anything out!


4 Home Improvement Projects to Beat the Summer Heat

Posted by Mike Rotter on 5/19/2017
4 Home Improvement Projects to Beat the Summer Heat

4 Home Improvement Projects to Beat the Summer Heat

June 21st is the first day of summer in 2017, and it will roll around before you know it. Now is a great time to knock out a few home improvement projects that will help you (and your home) to beat the heat and look good doing it.


Great Ideas for Spring and Summer Yard Design

Posted by Michael Rotter on 4/20/2017
Great Ideas for Spring and Summer Yard Design

Great Ideas for Spring and Summer Yard Design

As snow clears and weather becomes more favorable, many of us are looking forward to spending more time outdoors. One of the best ways to enjoy your yard is to put time into designing your space for your favorite outdoor activities. Even if the weather outside is still frightful, it's never too early to start planning! Here are some yard design ideas to get your summertime juices flowing.


Preparing your Lawn and Garden for Spring | Midland Hardware

Posted by Michael Rotter on 3/21/2017
Preparing your Lawn and Garden for Spring | Midland Hardware

Preparing your Lawn and Garden for Spring

Spring began on March 20th this year, and soon it will be time to break out the yard tools and get your lawn and garden back in shape. Here are a few tasks you should make sure to take care of early in the season.


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