We LOVE to can food at our house! It's a rare and wonderful treat to be able to pull items from our seasonal harvest off the shelf to find them tasting as fresh as the day they came off the vine. It fills us with pride and joy to give out Yule gifts of our berry and fruit jams or to serve guests sauce we put up over the summer using nothing but vegetables and spices grown in our own garden. Best of all, canning is easy to do and costs very little to get started!
This seems to me to be an obvious point to make now, but there was a time when this hadn't occurred to me, so I figured I'd toss this to cyberspace in case it helps someone else out (and maybe make them look oh-so-kewl in the process).
Have you ever needed a piece of equipment and not had it on hand, but the improvised solution turned out to be superior to what you thought you needed?! This nifty little method is the result of one such occasion. I was making baklava and realized that the pastry brush I was using to apply butter to the pans and philo was shedding fibers. You can imagine my horror! I picked out the fibers as best I could and then cast around the kitchen (and then the house) for another solution. Nothing conventional presented itself, so... "necessity is the mother of invention," as they say, and I haven't purchased another pastry brush since.