It’s Canning and Preserving Season

July 9, 2013 by
Filed under: Grocery 

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With strawberries in full season, we’re at the beginning of canning season.  Just thought I’d give you some quick tips and tricks if you’ve never done it and have considered it.  It can save you a lot of money if you do it right.  (Only one of the many benefits of canning your own food, but a big one!)

First, if you’ve never canned or preserved your own food, don’t be afraid.    Making jams is usually the first and easiest of all items to preserve.    My mother always made jam and just used the instructions that came with the box of pectin.   That’s how she taught me.  Once you get the hang of making basic jams, you can try fancier recipes, then start work on vegetables that require a water bath.  Then work on ones that use a pressure canner.

Other items to consider:

  • Borrow items for canning before you spend money.  I borrowed everything for two summers before I decided that  canning and preserving was something I was going to continue doing.  I headed to the local library and read everything I could find on the subject to fill in the gaps as to what my mother didn’t tell me.
  • Ask others for empty canning jars and other supplies you might need.  I collected pieces and parts for several water bath and pressure canners. If you have to buy new, Fleet Farm or Woodmans are the places to go if you need new supplies.

Here are some resources to make canning easier for you; many of the books mentioned can be found through the Brown County Library:

When I was growing up, canning and preserving was a way of life.  One quarter of our city lot was a vegetable garden filled with cucumbers, tomatoes, pickles, rhubarb and more.  The north side of the garden were blueberry bushes. The east lot line of the garden was a mixture of yellow and black raspberries.

We had rhubarb, currants, gooseberries and I even recall grapes, pears and plum trees too.   We found tons of wild blackberries and asparagus in what is now a parking lot for a church and an elementary school.  We went to Door County every year and picked mass quantities of cherries, visited my Grandparents’ houses in northern Michigan and combed the woods for wild blueberries.

What happened to all that bounty? Besides eating that food shortly after it was picked, my mother also canned every summer and still does.  Teaching me how to do it is one of the many gifts she’s given me.

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One Comment on It’s Canning and Preserving Season

  1. Sharon Powless on Tue, 9th Jul 2013 4:50 pm
  2. I haven’t done any canning for several years now, but decided I am going to do some again this year. Since I have a back that doesn’t always agree with what the rest of me wants todo, I am trying something different. I went strawberry picking one day, and bought some the next day. I puréed the berries and froze them in 4 cup measures. This fall i will make my jam. Iam also growing three tomato plants. I will blanch and freeze tomatoes because it will be easier than dealing with larger amounts. We also have rhubarb and I vacuum freeze that in 5 cup containers. I will also be freezing some two cup measures so I can make strawberry-rhubarb jam too. If we can, I would like to get some Door County cherries to freeze in 5. Cup pie measures too!

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