If you are a seasoned canner/preserver then this information may be obvious, but if not, read on. While some people label everything, I am not one of them. Some things need labels though & home-preserved food is high on that list! What do you put on the label? Well, for starters what is in the jar or container & the date you put it up. Now you know what you are about to eat & if it is safe. What else is there? I use batch numbers. This takes up very little room, isn’t much work & can be invaluable.
For example, lets say you put up a few small batches of jam, and one batch, while tasting fine, was a little jiggly (sorry for the technical jargon LOL). With batch numbers you can avoid giving out this jam as gifts. Don’t give your canning away? Another example…you have canned lots of pickles & all turned out well. In a few months you notice a few lids were now ‘unpopped’. If you are worried & have the batch # you can toss just what you need to & nothing more. Make salsa? My hubby gets a little liberal with the spices as we go, so having a batch number lets me know if I can serve a jar to guests, or if I will send them running from the house!
Labeling doesn’t need to be a lot of work. I just put up some corn for the freezer. The labels say corn-3 9/09. I will notate in my canning notebook that batch 3 was a litte starchier. Now when I want to make a casserole or soup I will grab that corn. Try it & I’ll bet you find it easy & helpful.