I haven't been canning long, really only one season. (Last year I didn't get much canning done, but the year before that I canned a fair amount.) Even so, I find it is very rewarding. There is a sense of accomplishment when you pull those jars out of the canner - seeing the produce that you grew and knowing that it will be available to enjoy throughout the year.
Because of this, I like to SEE what is in those jars! Here are two different jars of canned tomatoes. They are both in identical Ball jars with the name facing out. The one on the left, however, has quite a bit of lime deposited on the outside of the jar. The jar on the right is shiny and clear.
The difference? About a tablespoon of vinegar in the canning water to help keep mineral deposits from forming on the outside of the jar during the canning process.
I am anxious to plant my garden this year, but I am also excited to do some canning!