Canning food

posted by mark
Jul 12

I’m learning a new trick, canning, not to be confused with pressure canning.

Pickles

Pickles

Canning allows you to store shelf stable foods with fairly high acidic content for long term, up to a year.  Pressure canning requires much higher temperature and pressures to allow you to store less acidic foods in shelf stable form.  I would like to get into pressure canning some day I think, but for now I’m good with this.

Every summer we get tons of fresh garden output from our friends.  We don’t grow things well, Mama Bear has some sort of high acidity in her skin, so somehow she kills everything green she touches…  And me, well I can raise weeds in the yard, but I can barely keep the grass green sometimes it seems.  LOL

We freeze most of what we can’t eat, although sometimes we seem to end up running out of things to do with them, or hoping nothing gets freezer burned before it can get used.  In spite of vacuum packing, you can still end up with freezer burn and throwing away something like that just hurts the soul.

But we try to do other things for the neighbors since we can’t grow things, such as helping with computer problems and giving them some of the sausage or bacon, or when Mama Bear makes Salsa (out of the fresh garden veggies).  It is what neighbors have done for hundreds if not thousands of years and we believe in being good neighbors.

This last weekend I took my first shot at canning.  My buddy across the street brought us a couple pounds of cucumbers last week.  Now Mama Bear loves cucumbers, on sandwiches, in salads, but I can’t stand them.  However, I absolutely love pickles, Dill pickles, Bread and Butter pickles, sweet Gherkins, you name a pickle and I probably like them.

I’ve been making refrigerator pickles for a year or two now.  Refrigerator pickles are safe to keep in the fridge for a month or two, but they cannot be stored long term safely, and anyone who knows me, knows I am a stickler when it comes to food safety.  So we, well I, decided that this year when the onslaught of veggies coming out of the garden and the local farmers market, we needed another way to store all the goodness that would be coming.  Then we wouldn’t be buying cucumbers in December for me to make refrigerator pickles out of, we will still have them fresh in the jar from this summer, so to speak.

So we bought some jars and I did a LOT of reading and research.  Sunday I made 3 jars of Dill pickles and 3 jars of Bread and Butter pickles.  I had one jar break, which sucked, but in the end all the jars sealed, and they look like pickles…  the downside is we need to wait like 6 weeks for the Dill’s to be ready to eat… 🙁

Cucumber transformation

Cucumber transformation

Becomes…

Dill pickles

Dill pickles

I did my first canning in one of our largest stock/soup pot, but I had to make a rack in the bottom to keep the jars off the bottom and it wasn’t pretty.  I lost one of the jars due to breaking in the pot and I’m not sure if it maybe slid in the pot and cracked when it got hot, or I just did something wrong.  So further research lead to me becoming a “prepper”, just like you see on TV… LOL

Laying in the supplies

Laying in the supplies

But, the best part of all of this is the fun I am having, well and the pickles and other things we will enjoy this fall and winter…  And there are so many things we can can, not just pickles, but salsas, our own tomato sauce, there are so many things we can do we are only just scratching the surface.

 

Categories: Cooking


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