When my family started leaving home, I stopped canning as much. I knew I would never completely stop, but I really wondered just how much I would do once they all left. Well, the youngest of 5 left 6 years ago, got married 4 years ago and has started a family. Last summer I decided I needed to learn how to can meat and also took advantage of a large produce order from a local farmer. I bought local peaches to can and picked local blackberries to can. I canned a total of 155 jars of food in less than 2 months (and was on vacation for 2 weeks of that time!). Why I did so much, I really don't know. I just felt that it was something I needed to do.
This year the canning bug bit big time. I feel a strong urge toward learning how to can lots of different things. I have canned vegetables, several kinds of chicken, hot dogs, pork, hamburger, beef, turkey, ham, several kinds of meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, several kinds of soup, stew, several kinds of dried beans, syrups, jams, jelly, pie filling, lemonade concentrates, cherries, salsa and tomatoes. I have canned 553 (now 642) jars of food since March 4 - about 6 months time (and that includes about a month's worth of vacation time). Why so much for just 2 of us? I don't know. Only time will tell, but I know it's important to learn and do.
I encourage you to take advantage of learning how to can when the opportunities come. Take advantage of sales on canning supplies in a few weeks when stores have them on clearance. Learn how much there is to can. It's more than peaches and green beans. I promise you'll be glad you did.
See Why Home Can? for reasons, answers and tips.
“Develop your skills in your home preservation and storage.” – Spencer W. Kimball, April 1976
“In the National Geographic magazine last month, we clipped a picture of a woman bringing bottled and canned fruit to her storage room, which was full of the products of her labors and was neat and tidy. That’s the way the Lord planned that we should prepare and eat our vegetables.” – Spencer W. Kimball, April 1976
“I hope all of you plan to put in your garden whenever spring comes in your area, and that where possible you are canning and preserving food.” – Spencer W. Kimball, April 1980
“Can or bottle fruit and vegetables from your gardens and orchards. Learn how to preserve food through drying and possibly freezing.” – Ezra Taft Benson, Oct. 1980
My dear brothers and sisters, the greatest test for any
generation is how it responds to the voice of the prophets. Our prophets have
admonished us to—
1. Increase our personal righteousness.
2. Live within our means and get out of debt.
3. Produce, can, and store enough food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel for one year.
- J. Richard Clarke, April 1980
“Thou shalt be diligent in preserving what thou hast, that thou mayest be a wise steward;…” D&C 136:27
The National Center for Home Food Preservation offers a free on-line canning class and USDA information on canning, freezing and drying of foods. There is also a book, So Easy to Preserve, available for purchase. http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/
Ball has recipes, preserving guides, online videos, equipment and canning supplies. http://www.freshpreserving.com/home.aspx
Home Food Preservation data base has the capability of searching multiple university extension sites for recipes and answers to food preservation questions. http://foodsafety.psu.edu/preserve.html
Utah State publication on steam canners http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/newsletter/No__002.pdf
Pressure canner comparison chart for Presto and All-American canners http://www.pressurecooker-outlet.com/canchart.htm
Wal-Mart online seems to have the best price on the Presto 16-qt weight gauge canner and shipping is free to the store http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5913467
Pressure Cooker Outlet has some of the best prices on All-American canners http://www.pressurecooker-outlet.com/index.htm
The Canning Pantry http://www.canningpantry.com/
Canning USA http://canningusasupplystore.com/shop.php
Cooking and Canning Company http://store.cookingandcanning.net/index.html
The Mending Shed http://www.mendingshed.com/
Color Changes in Home Canned Food (when it’s okay and when it’s not) http://stason.org/TULARC/food/preserving/1-6-1-Color-Changes-In-Home-Canned-Foods.html
Creative Canning Blog Spot http://creativecanning.blogspot.com/
The Canning2 yahoo group is a large group of avid canners who have lots of experience and expertise in home canning. They have good advice and good recipes to share. It’s a busy, friendly group of “enablers” so beware! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Canning2/