Thursday, August 13, 2009


Any canners out there? I've wanted to try to can for the past two summers but found myself ridiculously intimidated by the entire process. I excitedly bought the canner and all of the accompanying equipment last spring and Tim gave me two beautiful books on canning for my birthday last summer. I poured over the books, reading the hows, whats, and the do nots but couldn't gather the courage to actually do it. There's a woman with a stand at our local farm market who always had the best zucchini relish in the world, but she stopped selling it last year. She was kind enough to give me her recipe, but there was still a big case of nerves in my way. I finally pushed them aside and made a batch of relish this past Saturday. It turned out beautifully! And now I'm hooked!
I'm officially a canner! Kelsey had all four impacted wisdom teeth out on Monday and I stayed home with her for the day. Spent the afternoon making strawberry/rhubarb jam while she dozed under Vicodin's lazy, hazy spell. Again, success!
Now I'm digging through my canning books like a mad woman, looking for recipes that my family will enjoy and that, just as importantly (to me), will look gorgeous in the jars when finished! I've decided that my next venture will be a three berry jam with strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, all picked by our own hands earlier this summer and frozen. After that, some pickled corn for Tim. I've never tried it but he claims to like it so I'll give it a shot. Did I mention that the zucchini and green peppers for the relish and the rhubarb for the jam were from our very own garden? What a wonderful sense of accomplishment! Sorry to ramble, but I get almost giddy just thinking about it!
Until my next batch of jam this weekend, I'll be baking more plain zucchini bread, blueberry zucchini bread and pineapple zucchini bread. I'm feeling very much the domestic goddess right now. Do you like to bake? Cook? Can? Did you grow up in a "canning" home? I remember my mother canning green beans and tomato juice every summer. We didn't have air conditioning and she would get up in the middle of the night so the house would be a little cooler. One Christmas after I was married, my mother gave me a case of green beans that she had canned as my gift from her - I enjoyed the heck out of every single quart! Are you as impressed as I am by the gorgeous ribbon-winning canned goods at your county fair?
Do any of you garden? We put out a few things this year - lettuce, peppers (green, purple and hot), carrots, onions, tomatoes (red, pink and "Tommy Toes"), and zucchini. The rhubarb has been growing in the front flower bed for a few years now. I have to be honest though and admit that I'm not such a good gardener. Tim gets the dirt ready and I plant the seeds and the seedlings, but once there's above-ground vegetation, there's also spiders, bugs, slugs, and other assorted critters for whom those stalks and leaves are the 'hood - I refuse to stick my hands in amongst them!
Hope you're all having a great week!


flchen1 said...

Ooh, yay for you! I'm not much with canning or growing stuff, but I totally admire you! What delicious rewards! :)

April said...

I am working on a post about canning when I decided to take a break and check you out--and you too are writing about it!! How great is that? I grew up with it, was away from it for a long time, then started again last year. The canning season is about to begin in this household....

Judy F said...

you are a goddess.

Nope never canned, I think my grandma may have but I am not sure. I barely cook anymore with it just being me.

Hugs to Kelsey

Anonymous said...

I love rhubarb pie! And I always look for strawberry-bhubarb jelly in my travels to the farmstands and when we hit specialty shops while away.

Pat L.

Anonymous said...

I just remembered - my mom is 89 and my parents had taken rhubarb from my Dad's house as a kid - they had a huge garden in East Meadow - grew everything - and when they moved, they brought the rhubarb with them. I would say the rhubarb was probably close to 100 years old - and the last few years it just wasnt growing. So it lived a good long life.

My mom canned and made jellies and I vaguely remember her doing so.

Pat L.

Jane said...

My cousin's friend makes strawberry and peach jams.

CrystalGB said...

I can green beans and tomatoes. I want to try making jams and salsa next.

Karin said...

Sounds like you're having a great time with all your canning. My mom and dad do a lot of gardening and I used to enjoy helping them. However, with my allergies now I can't really go out there without getting hives.

My mom doesn't really do any canning, but we have a great raspberry bush that gives us tons of raspberries every year that she uses to make freezer jam. She also makes some fantastic zucchini bread in a bunch of different variations - including chocolate chip zucchini bread and raspberry zucchini bread.

Karin* said...

i love canning. haven't done it in awhile tho. mostly i do fruit preserves. i need to try veggies.

Karin Tabke