I gave one of the nurses at my office a about 40 lbs. of tomatoes this year, since she wanted to make salsa. We had an abundance and I was glad to get rid of them. She said she got other tomatoes, too, and canned 60 jars of salsa. She gave me a jar earlier this week, and it was all I could do to smile and thank her when she handed it to me. Once I got up to my floor, I flushed it down the toilet.
Perhaps I am overly cautious, but I would never can and process anything in a used Hormel ham hock jar using the original cap. She hadn’t even removed the ham hock label. I know that salsa has lots of acid in it from the vinegar, and that her salsa will probably be fine, but, still, this person is a nurse and there are some basic rules of hygienic food preservation that you just never violate. There was a story in the Fargo Forum a few years back about some well meaning woman in the eastern part of the state who invited people for Sunday dinner, fed them home canned peas, and killed half of the guests with botulism. Those stories stick with a person who does any home canning.
Tell about some gifts you would have rather not received. Got any canning or food preservation disasters or horror stories? Am I being alarmist?