Everywhere I look, bloggers are posting about canning. It’s like once the zucchini and tomatoes take over the garden there’s something inside us that says, “I must save this! I don’t have time to cook it or freeze it, so let’s can it!”
And so, with visions of a well stocked pantry and fond memories of canning with our grandmothers, we set aside a day for canning. For working folks, this is often a Saturday. Perhaps the tomatoes or peaches have been picked from the garden or ordered and picked up, but there they are waiting upon arising. After a cup of coffee, one pulls out the recipe and jars, discovering perhaps a missing box of pectin or lids.
A trip to the local grocery store or hardware store is in order, except that everyone else is also canning today and apparently got up a little earlier because the item you need is sold out, necessitating a visit to the next closest store. (Note: I have no idea how people with kids do this. Or maybe you are more organized and somehow got all your supplies before canning day).
Recognizing that one can only fit so many jars in the canner and that several hours were eaten up by finding jars, one might be tempted to go through the drive thru to save a little time. By one I mean me.
Midafternoon one finds oneself up to his or her elbows in juice, every last kitchen and bath towel soaking, when DH or DW (who has wisely made him or herself scarce for the day) comes in and asks how things are going, takes one look at the kitchen, and makes a hasty retreat.
Around 10 PM, one might find oneself posting things like this on Facebook:
“Why do we spend hours and hours making something we can buy at the store for 99 cents a jar?”
For the record, I don’t mind canning. But like most people these days, I am busy. So I try not to beat myself up if I don’t get around to canning something, and I try to remind myself to enjoy the process.
This year, I made strawberry freezer jam. I am planning to skip the tomato products, because we simply don’t eat that much of it. We use pesto on our pizza rather than tomato sauce, and we try not to eat so much pasta. I am hoping to can peaches though.
My advice? Can only what you know you will love and eat – don’t can out of obligation or feeling that you “should.” Because at midnight, you will hate yourself.
If you decide to go for it, you may want to check out my canning Pinterest board: