Sunday, October 27, 2013

# 482 - First-Time Canner Preparations

Personally, I've never canned.

I grew up with a mother who would make jars of home-made pickles. For YEARS AND YEARS I refused to call it "CANNING" because the preserves and such were in jars, so I called it "JARRING." My mother would get so frustrated, "My dear, it's not called jarring, it's called c-a-n-n-i-n-g."

Well, if canning involved actual cans, I would be happier with the term. Finally, in my late thirties, I relented and began calling it "canning."

I've never seen anyone go through the entire process of canning other than when I was about 17 years old and half-way observed my husband's grandmother slicing her peaches, getting them ready for canning. Oh how I wish I'd been wise enough to be glued to her kitchen while writing down her every step to PRESERVE HER RECIPE!

Grandma Ester with my husband on her lap.
His feet are still huge.
My husband's grandmother had a peach tree in her backyard, the best peaches in Texas, and she'd make a heavenly jam that the family reunion would include in their auctions, and those jars fetched premium bids.

Lord, I miss those peach preserves.

For years, I have wanted to learn how to can. I admit, the process seems daunting to me. It's foreign to me, but I yearn to give it a try.

In my thirties, before my mother passed away, she presented me with a gifts for canning --- the big pot, jars, and books.

This week, I purchased some Liquid Pectin and a set of canning tools. I could not find the metal grate that is supposed to go at the bottom of my large canning pot, so I had to buy another one. I don't know how to use any of it, but I've GOT IT ready!

Now, I must go into over-drive to make my lists of seasons for certain veggies and fruits, so I can know which foods will be at their prime for canning, depending on the month for our Southern state of Texas.

Right now, we are exiting October and heading into November, so I will have to check the local Farmer's Market to see what they are selling. Down the street from our residence, they have days of "pick your own berries" and I need to participate so we can have very fresh, grown on the vine fruit ready to be canned berries. We get enough blackberries on our own land, so I will be ready for summer 2014 to do my own blackberry preserves.

I suppose jars of strawberry or raspberry jam will be the gift I will be handing out to everyone at Christmas 2014, well, if they are edible.

Photo: Canning preparations are underway.

Since I don't have anyone in my family alive who is experienced in canning, I have been searching on-line for instruction and found this great site:

No pressure-cooker for me, not yet.

This week, I'll be exploring my options. Pretty soon, I will be a pro at jarring...I mean, canning.


A Primitive Homestead said...

Well it seems to me it would better being called jarring. I think I will start calling it that. I grew up seeing my Gram jar all kinds of fury t and veggies. In my 20's I started planting my garden with her. I worked and she did the jarring for us both then we headed to the underground cave to put up on shelves above our fresh grown tatters. I started jarring myself 3 years ago. I started with books my homegrown veggies and veggies from farmers markets. I have not yet gotten brave enough to use the pressure canned that is still in the box. I wished I had watched my Gram more often and closer. I will look forward to your jarring adventures. The jam jellies sound wonderful.

LindaG said...

Ah, Lana, I know how you feel. I can't count the number of times I wish I had paid more attention when I was at my Granny's house! (She did all the canning, sewing, quilting, crocheting, etc. Not my mother.)

I too will start out with water bath canning (so far all I have done is the disastrous pickles in N.C.); as the pressure cooker seems too daunting to me, too. (I remember the sound from my Granny's kitchen when I would visit though.)

Wish you all the best and wonderful success!
God bless. ♥

The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

Oh this is so much fun! Once you start, it almost becomes an obsession with how much you can put up ( as long as you have the room to store it ). I'm with you on the whole avoidance of the pressure canner, so we can mostly acidic items( fruits, tomato's etc ) So wonderfully delicious! Hope you can get a peach tree planted on your land, and reinvent your Gram's preserves. :)

LindaG said...

Hope you all survived the storm okay. Thinking of you. God bless! ♥