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Yes We Can

September 16, 2009

Has there been a buzz about canning around the internets, or am I just searching it out?  Early in June I took on my first ever canning project–strawberry jam.  And y’know, it wasn’t too tough.  Easier than most recipes–although a bit messier and a bit more time involved.  But not as crazy hard as I thought it was going to be.

Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce

The jam was well received (I’m eating it for breakfast almost every day now, and Christer’s known to eat half a jar and half a loaf of bread as a “snack”), and I was hooked.  Our basement now holds:


Berries in Brandy. So good on ice-cream.

Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Sweet & Sour Sauce, Garlic Mustard, Spaghetti Sauce (lots of that!), Raspberry Jam, Chocolate-Raspberry Jam, Dilly Beans, Mint Jelly, Blueberry Pie Filling, Canned Peaches, and Blackberries in Brandy.


Mint Jelly. Can't imagine what I'm going to do with it all.

It’s been fun following the seasons as local harvests have come and gone.  Although I’ll admit that the Sweet & Sour and Mustard have absolutely nothing local in them–they were just experiments to keep me busy early in the summer before there was much in our CSA basket.  And I’m doubtful of the nutritional value of canning (Raspberry Jam contains 5 cups berries and 7 cups sugar–which begs the question of whether we’re preserving berries in sugar or sugar in berries).  The mint jelly pictured above was made from CSA mint–but the color is quite unatural (but pretty!).  I could probably make a case for the money savings–except that I’m not sure we’ve eatten 3 jars of jam in the last year, let alone the 3 dozen we’ve now got in storate.  So I’m not going to argue that putting local produce to work this way is healthy, economical, or otherwise a good use of my time.


Peaches in Syrup

Ah, but I’m loving the craft of it.  It’s like knitting that you can eat, right?  Following patterns, making a few changes as you go along (always being careful to keep things that effect the acidity the same, but you knew that, right?), watching the colored jars pile up, enjoying the cleverness of the tricks of the trade.  And feeling a connectedness to the product that only comes from knowing all the steps–and having mistepped a few times as well.


Blueberry Pie Filling, of course

All of this to say that yesterday I opened my first can of pickles–dilly beans actually, the one jar that didn’t seal and has been waiting and pickling in the fridge.  And now it is nearly gone, and I am eagerly anticipating its 6 cousins in the basement.  And although I had promised myself no more pickles, because only one of three in our house eats them, I think I am going to need to make some more.

Dilly Beans

Dilly Beans

I feel the beginnings of a stash…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 17, 2009 12:26 am

    R’s mom is selling a bunch of her antiques, and remarked recently that people were buying canning stuff she had to actually use, not just for decoration. She was surprised, and said that this was the first time she had sold something to be used. I dream of canning one day as well….

  2. September 17, 2009 12:27 am

    PS: I just read the title of this post. Imagine me hitting you for that terrible pun.

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