Growing up my grandmother, Nanny, would spend numerous sweltering days canning. We lived in Miami with no air conditioning. Can you imaging that? Thankfully, we had an in-ground pool that would cool us off. Nanny loved to garden and could basically grow anything. Except there was a banana tree that would only produce one banana per year. She would laugh and then eat the banana without sharing. Talk about enjoying the fruits of your labor!!
A couple of years back, I decided to learn how to can because I never had an interest in it before. I wish now that I could rewind time and sit with Nanny and watch what she did. She canned green beans, new potatoes, tomatoes, okra, corn, just to name a few! We got the benefit of her canning all year long.
All this got me to thinking about how times have really changed and people do not garden or can like they used to. I feel like it is a lost art that I long to regain the skills for canning. Yes, I mess up recipes, and yes I have to scrap those and start all over. You will never know how many apple butter batches have gone to wayside. Fortunately I can be very stubborn (it is a plus sometimes, LOL) and I will continue until I get the recipe correct. I have also dropped a whole entire case of jars once after they were cool. Side tip: if you ever drop a glass jar on carpet, bread will help pick up the pieces of glass.
Canning seems like a scary experiment that can go wrong, however, it really is not as overwhelming as you may think. How many of us have heard stories of a pressure cooker exploding all over the kitchen? Can you imagine the sound? Thankfully, I have never had that happen. Below are just a few benefits of canning:
- Prepare for economic hardships
- You will know exactly what you put into your process
- Quality taste
- Better for the environment
I enjoy making apple butter in the crock pot and that was my first canning project. It was successful and let me tell you the house will smell wonderful while it is cooking. Find that recipe here: https://heartyourlifestyle.com/2019/05/31/crock-pot-apple-butter/
Below is the first canning book that I purchased. Ball products are an excellent way to go and with easy to understand directions you cannot go wrong.
I will post a video later this summer on canning green beans. Stay tuned!!
Do you can anything? Even if you don’t garden you can always go to the farmer’s market and get some fresh veggies. I try to stay as organic as possible and will often can if something didn’t work out garden wise.
Until next time,