Hi. My name is Diana and I am a canner.
My husband says I have a sickness and need to start a group called Canner’s Anonymous. He may be right. I can everything. It doesn’t matter what it is really. If I can buy it on the shelves at the stores I figure out a way to make some myself and can it at home. If they can do it, so can I!
Why Do I Can?
To Be A Good Wife!
It all started when I was first married. I wanted to be the best wife I could be for my husband. I didn’t really know what this meant but in my mind it seemed like wives baked fresh bread, always had a pot of soup on the stove, and preserved their own food. I don’t know how I came up with that as I wasn’t raised like that but for some reason that is what I thought. Maybe I have my grandmother to thank for that. I’m not sure.
Anyway, I bought the current Ball canning book (still use it to this day) and started making whatever I could find the ingredients for. I made jams, sweet pickles, even some white grape juice from some old grapes that I didn’t want to go bad.
To Save Money
Canning can save huge amounts of money! You can preserve your garden, leftovers from your neighbor’s garden, freebie apples from an abandoned lot, bulk purchases from a good sale, or leftover’s from last night’s dinner.
For example, I just recently purchased 160 pounds of chicken breast for $1.49 a pound! That’s a 50 cent savings per pound in my area, and that’s sale prices! I was definitely excited to do this, to say the least. I canned barbeque chicken (for sandwiches), plain chicken (sandwiches, casseroles) and taco seasoned chicken. I froze approximately 40 pounds of it and canned the rest. Doing this saved me $80! Not bad for just a little bit of work.
When canning there are two ways you can do it. There is the water bath method and the pressure canning method. The method you use will be determined by what you are canning.
Forms of Canning:
Water Bath Method
The water bath method is for high acid foods; pickles, tomatoes, jams, etc. It is the easiest method and is usually what canners start with. It’s also the safest. You’re only dealing with boiling water when you use the water bath method.
Back before pressure canners women used to can their low acid foods with the water bath method as well. The main downfall with this is that it would take hours and hours to properly can meats; like 6-7 or more.
Nowadays you will hear people tell you how unsafe this is. I don’t know if it really is as people did it for years and somehow survived. I personally haven’t tried it though so I can’t speak from experience on this.
Pressure Canning Method
This is my favorite form of canning. With this method you can preserve anything! I make chili, soup, sauces, seasoned meat, whatever, and can it up. I don’t always find online canning recipes for whatever it is that I’m making but that’s okay, because neither did my ancestors. I make what tastes good and then can it for another day.
I know there will be some Extension Office people out there, or Master Canners who are going to be pretty upset with what I’m saying but truly you don’t have to have a canning recipe for everything.
I use the Ball canning book (or I Google it) for any vegetables I’m canning, just because I don’t have as much experience with the different types of veggies out there. But, if it’s meat, beans, or meat related (broths, etc.) then I can process it. I won’t go into the details in this post but I will tell you that 90 minutes at 10 pounds (sea level) will preserve meat/beans/broth.
Leftovers are also able to be preserved this way. Sometimes my fridge is just packed and there is no room for the leftovers. When this happens I put the leftover stew into jars and pressure can it for 90 minutes while the kids are cleaning up dinner. By the time the canner is up to temperature and starting its work the kids are finished cleaning up. An hour and a half later I shut the stove off and let it cool off overnight. Voila! A meal for another day.
Two of my favorite websites are www.canninggranny.blogspot.com and a Facebook group called Rebel Canners. These are websites that have recipes that our grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s used. I look for recipes for EVERYTHING on these two sights. Pineapples, chocolate syrup, beans, stews, everything! I highly recommend them to everyone, beginners and experienced canners.
Do you can to save money or to make meals quicker for your family? If so, tell me what you make! I’d love some new ideas!