Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Adventures of a first time canner
In recent years, I have started embracing the local movement: buying from local stores, artists, eating at local restaurants, and of course farmer's markets (I never stopped buying my veggies from them). I have the secret dream to homestead: raise chickens, have sheep, spend my days making pie, running through fields of wildflowers, and sewing; in Maine, I want all this to happen in Maine.
This past winter as the last of the farmers sold their squashes and I went to the grocery store, I was depressed at the state of my choices in "fresh" produce. I don't know why the sad state of the lettuce and tomatoes didn't affect me as much in previous years, but this year I was in horror of the produce they were selling.
I decided several weeks ago I wanted to start canning and preserving my delish veggies this summer and wanted to practice before the first harvest. I'd been researching books and decided to purchase "Canning & Preserving" by Ashley English. I love how pretty the pages are to look at, I am a stickler for pictures in any sort of book that has to do with food. If there are not pictures, I am not interested in to cook from it. This book is not only loaded with pictures, but it's easy to follow. Ashley makes canning sound so easy that even I could do it. I told a friend today I had decided to start canning, and he asked what had I made so far. Despite my enthusiam for wanting to can, I haven't actually done it yet; I am trying to take the sensible approach and read everything before I dive in, elimiating a huge screw up. I've heard a lot of tales about how if you can something the wrong way you can get poisoned, which just confuses me because our grandmothers canned all the time. So, I would like to find out, how exactly could I get poisoned, do you know?
Do you can? I'd love to hear your feedback, do you find it enjoyable?
Stay tuned for more adventures in canning!