I’ve got an itch to can

Just look at my sad larder.


It’s practically empty. I’m out of tomatoes. I can never seem to put up enough to last me all year.

I should mention canning and food safety. I need to toss the three quarts of pickles I have left and can some more. They are two years old, and the level of brine in them is too low for me to trust eating them. Keeping botulism and other nasty microorganisms at bay depends on making sure the environment inside the jar is not suitable for it to grow. The right proportion of air to contents is important. That’s why when canning, you must follow the directions on how much headspace to leave in the jar. I don’t store my jars with the ring on because I want to be able to easily see if a seal has been compromised. Also, storing jars with the rings on can cause some rings to rust, making them unsuitable in come cases for future use.


Every year, I can tomatoes, applesauce and jam. I have been canning pickles every other year. A few foods will last two years, but most need to be eaten within a year. About the only thing that I’ll keep more than one year is anything pickled. Jam is probably okay, too. Most definitely eat any meat product within a year.

A couple years ago, I made some pickled red onions that were wonderful on grilled cheeses and hamburgers. I haven’t had any for a while, so I’m thinking about canning some of those. I also would like to can some soups and tomato-based sauces to use this winter. I am comfortable with hot-water bath canning, but am still getting used to using a pressure canner. Many soup recipes need to be pressure canned, so I might have to try some of those, depending on what vegetables I have an abundance of.


Look at all these empty jars waiting to be filled with something delicious.

My father in law told me the blackberry vines are absolutely loaded. In a couple weeks, they should be ready. I always can tons of those. And my mom’s blueberry bushes are so full they are breaking over. If they hold up to ripen, I’ll probably have lots of berry concoctions canned by the time fall rolls around.

No complaints here.


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