What we learned from canning.

My mother and I are learning to can our fresh produce. We’ve had two canning sessions so far–the first time we canned salsa and yesterday we canned pickles, pickled carrots and grapes. Yesterday was quite the learning experience. ; )

Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

1.) The FIRST thing we need to do is to put our water bath on to boil – it takes a long time for that big pot to get hot enough!!

2.) That REALLY BIG POT can only get so hot without the lid on. Put the lid on – that thing will BOIL.

3.) My mom’s new stove makes the kitchen REALLY HOT. But it works well. =)

4.) Overestimate the amount of time we think it will take, it probably will take longer – at least until we get more comfortable with it.

5.) Even though the directions say to pack the jars loosely, judging by the amount of empty space after our jars were processed.. I don’t think they meant *that* loosely.

6.) Even when you think you’ve packed a jar full but not too tightly, you’ll be surprised at how much it all shifts and floats the to the top and how much empty space is left afterward.

7.) Don’t splash the boiling water on your leg. (Ask my mom.)

8.) We need to add vinegar to our water bath next time, we’ve been told that will reduce the hard water residue on the jars.

9.) Read the directions beforehand. “Oh, this recipe says to let the cucumbers marinate in the seasoning overnight. Guess we won’t be using THAT one.”

10.) We need to brush up on our units of measure – how many cups in a pint? Oh yeah. Two.

Our final count from yesterday: 1 quart pickled baby carrots, 7 quarts + 8.5 pints of pickles in various cuts & seasonings, 4.25 pints of grapes. The numbers are a little funny because I accidentally bought some jars that hold a cup and a half… don’t think I’ll be doing THAT again… Make that the 11th thing we learned. 😉

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Your Mommie
Your Mommie
June 16, 2011 12:39 pm

and I learned to REALLY appreciate the work of our fore-mothers who did it without central air conditioning, today’s modern appliances and conveniences, and the internet for that last minute gosh-we-need-to-find-out-how….

CHristine M
CHristine M
June 16, 2011 2:14 pm

Too funny. Really enjoyed reading this. I want to learn how to can (one day) so I know this will come in handy.

Amber
Amber
June 16, 2011 2:33 pm
Reply to  CHristine M

Christine – I actually made my very first jelly ever and canned for the first time ever last year. I made a small batch of grape jelly from some wild grapes and my grandmother came over and talked me through making it and canning it. I was just “getting my feet wet” so to speak. This year we’re just canning stuff we have extra of, or random things we want to try. Hopefully next year we’ll both have gardens and we’ll have plenty of stuff we NEED to can. By then we’ll have a better idea what we’re doing. I… Read more »

Amber
Amber
June 16, 2011 2:31 pm

Mom – No joke! =)

Groovewoman
Groovewoman
July 9, 2011 1:44 pm

Alright Girl, I want canning lessons, stat!!!
Let’s make it happen!

Amber
Amber
July 10, 2011 8:35 pm
Reply to  Groovewoman

LOL! I’m still a newbie!! My mom and I are learning together (And she’s quickly passing me up, I think!) Start with strawberry jam. It’s easy and you’ll feel confident and ready to tackle something else. =)
This one has step by step and pictures, too! http://www.pickyourown.org/jam.htm

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