Sunday, August 9, 2009

Limewater and Canning Jars

It's canning time, and a great time to find canning supplies in your local store even if they don't normally carry them! I've been looking for pickling lime for some time. I saw it online last winter, but never justified paying the shipping to buy a $3.29 quart jar of calcium hydroxide. Now, I could have bought a whole case, I suppose, but one quart will actually last me a very long time, probably at least until next summer when my grocery carries it again. That is, unless we decide to actually use it for pickling, in which case, we might need to buy another package, but I would prefer to buy it here to encourage them to stock it again next year!

Now, why pickling lime? I've also considered several times buying a bag of slake lime from the feed and grain store--yes, there is still actually one in existence in a neighboring town; at least, there was a couple years ago when I last enquired about slake lime. I would have to buy, like a 25 lb. bag there, and it is not food grade, as this is. And, I would prefer it be food grade for my purposes.

What are my purposes? Tee Hee! I'm not trying to be cagey...It's just coming out that way!
I want to make limewater to use for medicinal and supplemental purposes. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv, so I the claims you may infer from this post are not approved by any medical establishment, yadda, yadda. I make lime water by adding one teaspoon of pickling lime to one quart jar of filtered water. Distilled might be even better. I shake it up and let it sit until the powder settles to the bottom. Then, one could pour the clear liquid off into a new jar, leaving the powder in the bottom of the old one, or if lazy like me, just leave it there, and pour a small amount off as needed from the jar gently to avoid stirring up the lime. Who taught me how to do this? My dad. He learned it from a friend very well-versed in nutrition (who is also not a doctor).
I use a little bit (like a teaspoon-tablespoon; otherwise, it will impart a funky flavor) in beverages as a calcium supplement. I say use, but I haven't done it in YEARS, not since I was, say, a junior in college. At that time, I mixed my limewater in a handy Rubbermaid container with a flip-top lid. Now, being much more leery of plastic, I am mixing my limewater in a quart sized Ball jar with a plastic lid found in the canning supply section of the grocery, hardware, or department store. And, while I'm jabbering, I should mention that we use canning jars for all sorts of purposes aside from the obvious--leftover food storage (to avoid plastics mentioned above), drinking, storing dry goods, you name it. They come in a wonderful variety of sizes (I can get them in 1/2 pint--that's a cup, son--to half gallon at my hardware store, and I think gallon sizes are available online) and now in a couple of shapes--those are a little more expensive, but terribly cool. The plastic lids are, obviously, plastic, but way handier to deal with than the two-piece canning lids for daily use and not prone to rust. And, if you think you might want to use them in your household, now's a great time to buy them since many places don't carry them except this time of year. They can likely be had year round via online sources, and I can special order them from Ace Hardware, but if you want to be able to see them in person, now's the time.

Now, I want to share a few links with you about limewater, which is apparently handy for all sorts of purposes, not to mention making corn to hominy and tortillas!
DrEddy Alkaline Diet Blog Hmm..I haven't read this thoroughly, nor can I vouch for it's credibility, but interesting, nonetheless.
CellSalts I'll say it again. Just collecting sites for your review. I hope to get a better look at these later, and I may revise this post as I review the info.

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