Food, Community And All Things Sustainable

July 4, 2011

Canning - A Way of Life

The truth be told, I cannot remember when I stared canning. What I do remember is that home canned food sure tasted good. In our multi-generational home, Grandma canned enough for us to eat all winter and then some. As 6- and 7-year olds we were stationed at wash tubs to clean cucumbers, tomatoes, beets and more. Swathed in an apron, standing on a little wooden stool, armed with a vegetable brush and a square of muslin we worked away at our task. It was a big deal to be promoted to jar stuffer as a 9- or 10-year old. Teenagers managed the loading and unloading of the hug copper boilers loaded down with 20 or more jars of pure goodness.

We were never without food, could feed unexpected company by opening a few jars, and had plenty of fancy canned things for gifting. Grandma categorized relishes, chutneys, certain jams and jellies and her famous pickled beets as fancy canned - not everyday fair, intended for gifts or eating on special days.

My dream is to start a canning school, to teach a skill I learned as a child, and from which I have benefited my entire life.


Courtney said...

If you teach a class, I'd sign up! I just started canning recently and would LOVE to learn more about it! I've only tackled jams so far, but would like to delve into more useful things like tomatoes, pickles, etc.

maria said...

Why, thank you, Courtney. No face-to-face classes planned at the moment.

But you can get some good canning info at I'll bet you've been there already!

Tomatoes and pickles will be covered in the Sustainable Dakota Digest canning series.