Thursday, August 27, 2015

Food Preservation: What to Can

Bread and Butter Pickles from my
mother-in-law's pantry
We all know that canning is a great way to put the foods we grow in our gardens away for a rainy (or snowy) day, but what exactly are you able to can? 
Well, pretty much anything!

Jam, Jelly, Preserves, or Apple Butter
Peaches, Apricots or Pears
Apple Sauce
Pie Filling
Veggies (carrots, green beans, corn, etc.)
Taco Soup, Dill Pickle Relish and
Marinara Sauce from my pantry
Pickled Peppers, Okra, Squash or Asparagus
Salsa, Taco Sauce or Chili Sauce
Pasta or Pizza Sauce
Soup, Stew, or Chili
Barbecue Sauce
Fruit or Vegetable Juice
Chokecherry Jam from Mom's
In my family we have always had our canned "staples."
Grandma and grandpa always kept a fairly large garden, and grandma would can the resulting produce. Strawberry jam, canned peaches, tomatoes, chili sauce, salsa, and she also canned meat. I know what you're thinking: "WHAAT?! Canned meat?! Why would one need to can meat?" Well, grandpa worked for the state fish and game association and, therefore, went hunting on a regular basis. When he brought home a deer, elk, or pronghorn most of the meat went into the freezer, but a good portion was also canned by grandma. It was tasty, already cooked, and made the best loose meat barbecue sandwiches you've ever tasted. So, why can meat? Why not?!
Aunt Steph's Apple Pie Filling

At my parents house my mom made strawberry jam, peach jam, canned peaches, tomatoes, salsa, and pickles. At the house they live in now they have a peach tree that produces far too many peaches for any human to eat, so mom stays pretty busy canning jam and peaches each fall.

At our house Willie and I have canned taco soup, marinara sauce, green beans, dill pickle relish, potatoes, and tomatoes.

So, by now I'm sure you're asking "But what about your great uncle? What does he can?" The answer: Jalapeno jelly.

I've asked my family to take photos of the canned food in their pantries for this blog entry. Photo credits go to: Cheryl Nisonger, Pat Williams, and Stephanie Black.

Aunt Steph's Pickled Beets
Aunt Steph's
Raspberry Jam
Aunt Steph's Tomato Juice
and Crushed Tomatoes
Aunt Steph's Salsa
Aunt Steph's Bottled
Aunt Steph's