Sunday, October 3, 2010

A New Endeavor

Something I've been thinking about lately is home canning. I have never canned before but I know people who have and I've watched people do it. I remember as a teenager thinking they were nuts spending what seemed like endless hours in a steamy kitchen making food (salsa, chutney, jam, pickles, etc) and submerging jars in boiling pots of water and possibly being completely unsuccessful and therefore wasting a perfectly good afternoon. I mean, they sell all that stuff at the store. Hello.

But alas, my new perspective is: if I can grow it or can it myself (and therefore know exactly what is going into my food) ... why not?? Why not save a lot of money and enjoy the fulfillment of having a hand in the process of feeding myself and my family, beyond picking items off a shelf?

I certainly don't pretend to be a holist or naturalist or addicted to Organic foods; I don't buy Organic, I eat refined sugar sometimes and I certainly don't have a complete garden in my backyard. Yes, I shop at WalMart. But I think anyone can start taking small steps toward healthier, smarter living and I'm going to try doing that by canning a few things for my pantry.

I don't have the ingredients gathered yet but I have forced myself to purchase all the equipment so I have it in the house to stare back at me and pressure me into canning. Sometimes I have to force myself into something, even if it's something I know I want to do. I really want to try new things and this is one of them. I'll keep you posted!

Do any of you can and love it? Or did you have a really bad canning experience I can learn from? I am open to canning tips and advice, favorite recipes, etc. =)

Canning supplies! Pint jars, 1/2 pin jars, and a starter kit with Canning Rack


  1. I used to can hundreds of jars of....everything every year.  Worst experience? was probably when I was putting up Trail Apples which are about the size of a golf ball and very sweet and juicy.  They get stuffed whole into quart jars, stem and all, and covered with a syrup made of one part sugar and one part water. The hot syrup gets poured into the jars till the neck, closed tightly and set into a water bath canner for an hour. When the jars come out they're freakishly hot and need to be tightened one more time before being set on a towel to cool and hopefully seal.

    I often joke about how it's not easy being left-handed but  not totally kidding, you see, I often forget which way to turn things to loosen or tighten.... I forgot while tightening a jar that had just come out of the canner. The hot syrup, which was boiling in the jar found a way out ... right over my hand and wrist. I had third degree burns. So my advice to you is, don't be left-handed. 
    Have fun. :0)

  2. whoa! that sounds intense. hopefully being right handed will come in ... well, handy ... when I start canning. ;)



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