Hurricanes, floods, thunderstorms or squirrel farts…it doesn’t take much to make the power go out around here. So with the weather being what it is and the economy being what it is (or isn’t), I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to revive the old-fashioned idea of home canning and dehydrating foods.
I remember growing up with a garden and watching my mother and grandmother can fresh foods but I never participated much less took a strong interest. It was work and I didn’t want much at all to do with anything that looked like work. So when I decided to start canning all these years later, I had no experience to draw from and mom had forgotten everything she knew about canning. I had to figure it out myself. That’s hard for hands-on learners like myself. I have to see it to do it and then do it to learn it. Does that make sense?
This website and all or most of the links on it is where I started. Then I bought the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving and some other random books from various sources. Between that and YouTube, I was able to figure it out. I’ve even learned from my mistakes and there have been quite a few.
So far, I’ve canned vegetables, soups and raw meat (beef, chicken and pork). I haven’t tried seafood yet. I also haven’t sampled any of it yet to see if I was successful. Ha! Maybe I should do that.
The pressure canner was the most expensive part of this endeavor. I bought an All American Pressure Canner (not a pressure cooker even though it can be used as one) from Amazon for much less than other websites were advertising and got started with other supplies from Lowe’s.
I can help with some basic information and offer a little advice but what I lack are recipes. It’s very difficult to find good recipes for meat/soups. There are tons of them for jams and jellies which I have not done simply because I’m more interested in meat and potatoes. Haha It seems that with all the country fairs and the canning competitions (do they do that anymore?) there ought to be some great recipes in a book somewhere. So if you come across any good soup or meat recipes for canning, please post them.
I’m really not this boring but it would be helpful to meet with other women who are experienced on a regular basis. I can see us all now sitting at the CC’s (coffee shop) like the little old ladies who go there every week to do some quilting. Dang, I’m old!