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DeAnna Catron Goen

My mom did a bit of jam in the bread machine while I was growing up, but not anything else. Last summer I dove head-first into water=bath canning! I made 14 pints of dill pickles, about 10 pints of salsa, about 12 jars of jam/jelly (blueberry, strawberry, watermelon), and 2 jars of blueberry syrup. I told my mom that I enjoyed doing it, but I am *SO* glad that I don't HAVE to do it to survive! LOL I'm looking forward to more salsa and jam this summer.

Thanks for the chance to win!

deannascreations at gmail dot com

Libby Wiers

My grandmother did a lot of canning, but I don't remember my mother having time for much of that. She froze things. The year I got married, we still had one more year of college to finish and a very limited budget, so I spent the summer helping (a little) with the garden and canned all sorts of things to have during that year - corn, beans, tomatoes, fiddleheads, pickles (which it turned out neither of us liked much...). Then when we had a young family we did do quite a bit of 'putting by', veggies, fruits, jam, tomato sauce - both canned and frozen - even dried shell beans. Now it is mostly tomato sauce that we can, and my husband and elder son do most of it; Matt, our son, experimented with several kinds of pickles last fall. The jars all look so nice lined up on the shelves - and the violet jelly I did one year was especially pretty.

Jody Hardaker

I have canned over the last few years with my grandmother. She taught me how to make and can brown pickles - or as we call them - tongue pickles. They are SOOO yummy! I have canned green beans, bread and butter pickles, and tomatoes with her. We have made jam and jelly together as well. I have lots of pickling pictures to scrapbook some day!

Jnccreel

When it comes to canning I used to be the queen of canning :-). From 1972 until the late '90's I canned literally everything possible. I averaged over 800 quarts a summer. We had a whole storage room dedicated to storing the jars of food. My daughter was born in 1970 and from infancy had food allergy issues. Some of them the doctors and I managed to figure out, but lots of things made her sick when she wasn't allergic to them. So it was easy to figure it was a spice or chemical added to the canned veggies and fruits, but they did not have ingredient labels back then. I was so glad I had learned to can, not from my farmer's wife grandmother but from my city dwelling bakers wife Irish grandmother who learned in Ireland. For over two decades they was not a store bought can in my pantry.

My biggest challenge was getting all the foods I needed to be able to can. We live in the Seattle area which has such as short growing period compared to other parts of the country. Every summer my husband would take a day of vacation so we had a 3 day weekend to go to Eastern Washington and pick tomatoes, green peppers, onions, okra etc. We picked tomatoes from light red to green..all shades. When we got home the whole carport was set up with sheets of plywood..old doors etc laying on whatever held them up off the ground and the 200-500 lbs of tomatoes were laid out flat by color. I started canning the ripe reds and over the next 3 weeks worked my way across as they all ripened. I did tomatoes, tomato sauce, a little tomato paste, spaghetti sauces-Marinara and meat, chili, tomato soup, vegetable soup, okra and tomatoes, chili sauce and salsa.
By the time all this was done the local veggies were ripening in our garden and at local farmers so then I did every veggie you can imagine. Then made pickles..dill, kosher garlic, bread and butter. Sweet relish and dill relish. Then it was fall and another 3 day weekend back to eastern WA to pick apples, peaches, apricots, pears etc to can fruits, applesauce and make jelly and jams. I canned even potatoes.

Thank God I loved canning and I actually really miss it now. The reason I stopped was simply I can no longer lift a pressure cooker full of jars nor a water bath pan. I have had arthritis for 45 years and about year 35 my body said enough was enough. It was really hard to get used to eating "store bought" let me tell you :-)

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