I dabbled with canning last year. A few batches of jam was enough for me. This year I am going all in. Three different types of jam, some tomato sauce, some salsa verde, pickles and today several cans of tomatoes. Tomorrow I tackle salsa. I am loving it and feeling quite domestic. I even brake out the apron.
We have made significant changes in our eating over the past two years. One of the most significant is our commitment to eat locally and seasonally as much as possible. That is pretty difficult in a state with a growing season three months long.
But after spending the summer eating amazing local produce, the stuff you buy in the grocery store barely has taste. I made my dad a BLT this summer with all local veggies and bacon and he asked me what I did to it to make it taste like that. It is THAT different.
The great thing about canning is you get that “just picked” taste in the dead of winter. No more adding ridiculous amounts of salt and sugar to things just to make it have taste. This stuff is killer straight out of the ground. I have to wrestle raw sweet corn and pea pods away from my picky kids so that I can serve them cooked. And they have been known to tell me that carrots taste like candy. And keep in mind my kids aren’t veggie fans.
So the taste thing isn’t selling you on canning? How about the cost. I don’t have any hard numbers but I am just going to say that it saves you money. Because it has to. I have made a ton of things with fruits and veggies I bought this summer for not a lot of money.
Now to those of you who are intimidated, try it. Buy some cans and a starter kit. Buy a really big pot. Then Buy the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. It will become your canning bible. Then just do what it says. start with jam. It is easy. Easy peasy.
It seriously is easy. It takes a lot of time, but is easy. And this is where someone is going to leave some comment about canning gone horribly wrong. But I stand by my assertion that it is easy and my new love.
Have you tried canning? Are you a newbies or an expert? Any awesome recipes?
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