Monday, August 4, 2008

Yes, I CAN!

Our canning heritage starts way back--O.K. at least as far as our Grandma J. who always had a huge garden in Idaho Falls when we were little. They grew the best raspberries, among other things. She taught our mother how to can garden items and we in turn have learned over the years.

I'm sure that most of us haven't ever really done much canning until we each got married. We probably helped peel peaches, snap beans, or snitch raspberries during the canning process when we were younger and living at home. I guarantee we've all enjoyed eating the fruits of those labors. So a big thanks to Grandma J. and our mom for passing along those values and skills about home food storage and canning. 'Cuz if you've never eaten a home canned peach you are soooooooo missing out. (Even the most expensive best canned peaches in the store can't beat ones you can yourself.)

If you've ever thought about canning yourself then you need to get a couple resource books: The Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving (this is THE canning Bible) or their larger volume Ball Complete Guide to Home Preserving. These are MUST HAVES if you are going to do any home canning.

August gets to be a busy month for my canning as my reserves are getting low and the gardens and Farmer's markets are loaded up with their produce. So here are a couple things that I've canned in the past 2 weeks. And I'm just getting started as peaches and pears will be ready here in the next week or so and I'm out of salsa and tomatoes.
Chili, recipe from the Blue Book--just add your own home canned beans (or store bought) and heat up. You are ready to eat on a nice cold winter day and it will taste like you've been slaving all day. This is probably my family's favorite chili recipe that I've ever made.Maple Syrup--I use the recipe off the back of the box of Mapleine Imitation Maple Flavoring.

Vegetable Soup, recipe also out of the Blue Book. My kids are not as keen about this recipe, but it is one of my personal favorites. You can also add cooked chicken chunks or browned hamburger to this if you don't want to be vegetarian. It is really good either way.

I just love how all the colorful jars look downstairs in my food storage area, lined up on the shelves. It also makes me feel a little better that if something disasterous were to happen to our family that we could "make it" for a bit.


  1. These look yummi! I'm curious about the storage though... does it have to be a cold place? or can you store it in your kitchen? I would love to make some of that soup (and syrup), but apartmentlife doesn't allow for a food storage area outside the kitchen :-(

  2. I just store mine in the basement. It just needs to be a dry, not hot place.

  3. I'm feeling guilty now...we've had SO much company this month that I haven't even given canning a thought! Maybe when school starts on the 20th I can get down to business!

  4. Looks divine! I also haven't had a spare moment this summer - I'm trying not to cry about my garden. Never again will I allow a summer like this one. AAARGH!



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