Monday, September 27, 2010

Put 'em up

What a beautiful sight. This has been a great year for home canning.
My pretties from left to right are:
Tomatoes from our garden, pears from the supermarket, peaches from our trees, cherries from the grower, orange-honey marmalade from our tree, salsa with tomatoes, cilantro, and peppers from our garden, currant jelly from a friend's bushes, cucumber dills from our garden, and apricot jam from a friend's tree. These bottles were all processed in a steam canner (same processing times as water bath canners.)
Did you know canning is making a comeback in popularity? Several national home and family magazines (the ones found in Drs offices -that's where I get my quality magazine reading time) featured canning articles this summer, and canning supplies were to be found in many big box stores. I think its great that a newer generation is being introduced to this fun and rewarding work. I didn't learn how to home-can until after I was married, so I don't want to hear any whining that "my mom never taught me how." Find some supplies, some good instructions, and give it a try! If you find you like canning, keep your eye out for used canning bottles. They can often be found at yard sales or in the homes of little old ladies. While you're at it, talk to the little old ladies about their experiences in home canning. Did the kids or husband help? Did she grow her own food? What are her favorite recipes? Then make sure to check current guidelines for food processing safety. Just in case. I think jam is the easiest place to start, and I may as well recommend my favorite pectin, Pomona's Universal Pectin because the recipes use less sugar and the instructions encourage you to experiment with your own recipes. The only thing I haven't put up this year yet is applesauce. We usually buy apples from the grocery store or farmer's market, but they just haven't had a good enough sale yet which means the season is not quite at its peak. BTW, I like the new updated satin nickel finish on the canning lids and rings, but it does clash with the old brassy gold colored ones when I have to mix and match. Happy canning! What do you like to home can? What would you like to learn how to can? Who was your canning teacher? This post is linked to Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday.


chanelle said...

I LOVE canning! I didn't learn until I was married either. Now I just have to get better at the gardening thing so I can use some home grown produce! This year, I've done tons of applesauce from a ward members tree, cherry jam and pie filling, strawberry jam, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce and tomato soup.

chanelle said...

hey, just a thought-- this would be a good post to share on --she does real food wednesday every week and you could link up.

City Share said...

Those are some beautiful jars of food. I have only canned some salsa. We are getting ready to move into a bigger apartment, and I'm hoping to try to do some canning next year (we'll actually have a place to store them).

Thanks for the comment.

TM CLAN said...

My mom canned. We helped. I remember it being a stressful time. The hot stove. The hissing. The timing of it all.

I am completely intimidated by it and haven't been motivated enough to try it as an adult. How's that for an excuse?