I added a new section to the website today devoted to canning and preserving foods. It won’t be a fast paced journal as I am a novice canner at best, staying with the classic like jams, jellies and pickles.
I don’t remember my mother doing a lot of canning, but my paternal grandmother Alice Bell, canned everything. Her pickles were outstanding. I can still remember the taste and texture of the dills. She always maintained a huge garden and “put -up’ fruits and vegetables of all kinds. I sometimes worried when we ate at her house because she kept those canned goods for a very long time. I have a foggy memory of some grayish green beans being served once. But we all survived and I suspect some of those canned foods would still be around had her little house not burned down, canned goods and all.
In January of 2009 I got interested in canning. Online friends told me to peruse Craigslist for canning jars. They can often be found for very little money and all that needs to be replaced are the lids. Imagine my excitement when I saw a listing for “Hundreds of Canning Jars.” I clicked on the ad expecting to see hundreds of canning jars, clean and sparkly, lined up and waiting for their new owner. Imagine my horror when I saw this!
The ad stated that the jars were found in the cellar of the home of an elderly deceased relative. They believed that some of these canned goods could be thirty to forty years old, if not older! There were apparently row after row of shelves just like this one. The ad stressed that the food in the jars was not fit for human consumption. Duh! The jars would have to be picked up full and the buyer had to take them all. I am sure someone took them up on the deal but my stomach still turns just thinking about it.
I decided that new jars were for me. I could save them when empty and reuse them over and over. I stopped looking for Craigslist ads for canning jars. I saved the picture to remind me that canning is only a good thing if the food is eaten.
My first recipe in the Grub section is for Jalapeno Pepper Jelly I made two years ago. I made that recipe again today in a version for canning, not freezing. It will be the first entry in my Canning and Preserving Journal. I saved the last little bit of the pepper jelly after filling the jars. Michael and I had it for dinner with cream cheese and crackers. It was so good!
My jars were shiny and new, washed in hot, soapy water then run through a wash and sanitize cycle in the dishwasher. I want my foray into canning to salmonella and botulism- free.