Does anybody still can?

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Mayhaw Man
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2003/07/19 10:43:43 (permalink)

Does anybody still can?

I am spending the weekend putting up peas of various sorts, butterbeans, dill pickles, and peaches. It has led me to wonder how many people still bother to do this. I have a deep freeze that holds a ton and in one long weekend every summer I usually put up enough to last until next summer. I also can tomatoes and okra and freeze pecans (puh-cons) in the late summer. If you know what you are doing, there is virtually no taste difference between fresh and canned and I can't bring myself to live in a world without peas (visualize whirled peas). I learned how to do all of this stuff from my mother and her mother, who were doing it for economic reasons (mainly), but I can because I want the food in the winter. What do Yankees do in the wintertime without fresh vegetables? I mean, how many potatoes can you eat?
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    mayor al
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 12:26:58 (permalink)
    We have been to several auctions in the past few weeks....mainly rural 'estate' sales. At almost every one there are boxes of canning jars and many times a canning cooker also. They seem to go very quickly here. I have noticed that many times the buyers are Amish/Mennonite folks (by their dress).
    We have experimented with making pickles and doing peaches, but the results were not worth describing.
    #2
    jgleduc
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 12:53:47 (permalink)
    quote:
    What do Yankees do in the wintertime without fresh vegetables? I mean, how many potatoes can you eat?


    Plenty! But then there are all the other tasty roots and such to eat as well. Turnips and carrots and winter squash, mm-mmm.

    The mother of a friend of mine growing up was a serious canner - the walls of their cellar were lined with shelves full of all sorts of preserved vegetables. She was the only one I knew who did it that much, though. My parents would always make black raspberry jam and can it in the summer - the raspberries grew in our backyard. It could be pretty hot work during this time of year. Today I enjoy canning in the late summer and fall, but mostly as a hobby, not doing it to any serious extent. Given that I live in an apartment with no way to garden, canning isn't necessarily as economical for me (I still have to buy everything), but it is fun and sure is good. I do enjoy canning tomatoes for winter sauces, sliced pears with lemon, and making pickles. This year I am going to make sure to can some plumcots when they come out. I had them for the first time last year and found them to be the most delicious fruit I have ever eaten. I can't be without that taste all the coming year again.

    I missed today's farmer's market around here, but maybe I'll need to go next week and see what might be available to can...
    #3
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 12:56:54 (permalink)
    Mom and I just bought a NEW 22 quart pressure cooker to replace her other one that was 60 years old. It was still good, just black on the inside and we could not get it pretty. It weighted a ton. The new one is stainless steel and about 10 times lighter.

    We canned 30 quarts of real fresh green beans that we picked, 10 quarts of beets a10 pints of chow chow.

    Also did 10 pints of raspberry and blackberry jelly.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #4
    ocdreamr
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 13:05:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jgleduc

    quote:
    What do Yankees do in the wintertime without fresh vegetables? I mean, how many potatoes can you eat?


    Plenty! But then there are all the other tasty roots and such to eat as well. Turnips and carrots and winter squash, mm-mmm.


    Shoot just one hubbard squash would feed a family of four for a couple of weeks.

    In my 20's & 30's I used to can a lot. I did jams, apple butter, peaches (plain & w/brandy) apples for pie, pickles of all varieties, beets, tomatoes, relishes, and many veggies. But then between working & taking care of my parents I just didn't have the time. One of the things I'm looking forward to when I semi retire is getting back to canning.
    #5
    chezkatie
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 13:25:51 (permalink)
    When my family was young, I canned everything in sight (out of necessity). All winter long, the mainstay of our diets were the canned goods. Now my family is grown and I can very few things.....mostly what my daughter in law requests. I have made 4 batches of strawberry jam, 2 of black raspberry and have frozen 30 quarts of sour cherries. This afternoon, I am going to a large Asian market and buy loads of white peaches. I bought a few the other day and they were the best that we have tasted in years. So I am going to be busy canning brandied peaches!
    #6
    RibDog
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 14:58:31 (permalink)
    I always make at least bread & butter pickles and peach preserves every year here in Florida. If I can get enough time during tax season to go pick my own strawberries, I will make preserves out of them also.

    The nice part about canning that I find is that I can barter with other canners for fig preserves, other styles of pickles, etc.

    John
    #7
    meowzart
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 15:35:40 (permalink)
    Yup...I can can!! No one in my family did, so I had to learn it myself. Took a class and just started doing it. I am also fascinated by the science behind it. It is really incredible. I don't have a lot of time for canning, but we have made in the past black raspberry jam, strawberry honey jam, blueberry jam, pickled aspargus, peach chutney, and some spicy red pepper/tomato ketchup.

    I just love that taste of summer in the dead of winter. Nothing like it!!!

    I have found one book in particular to be indispensible. It is called Preserving Summer's Bounty by Susan McClure. As you can tell from the title, it is not just about canning, it is about freezing and drying stuff too.

    Just curious...I will be doing the judging for the food preservation category in an umpcoming local county fair. Anybody ever enter their goodies?

    Meowzart
    #8
    EliseT
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 16:10:55 (permalink)
    Now that I have a dishwasher that sterilizes, I can't wait to try it! I helped my mother with jams and jellies growing up. I was eager to try this summer, but missed the rhubarb season. I cook down rhubarb and strawberries with a little sugar into an amazing dessert topping, but too late! Now I'm waiting for the end of season for everything to go on sale! I'd like a recipe for Canadian bread and butter pickles if anyone has one. They are so much better and sweeter than American ones.
    #9
    CoreyEl
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 16:42:15 (permalink)
    Canning's very big where I live. When I bought my jars the checker in the hardware store said she'd already sold a bunch of boxes of jars to other people that day. There's a whole aisle dedicated to canning in the store. I did a dozen pints of strawberry jam this spring, and am about to do some stewed tomatoes, salsa and peach preserves if I can get motivated again.
    #10
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 17:03:50 (permalink)
    Walmart in Knoxville has a huge section dedicated to canning. They had at least six varities of pressure cookers, many different size jars and all the different components to do the job right.

    My background in bacteriology and immunohematology prepared me for the safety in this type of preservation.

    You gotta do it right or you can make a bunch of people real sick.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #11
    CCJPO
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 18:17:52 (permalink)
    We can and sun dry most of our of our foods for the winter. Vegggies,(tomatoes, beans, peas, garlic, onions, turnips, cukes, potatoes, etc.) fruit - apples, peaches, plums, apricots), poultry, beef, pork, lamb,( dried and canned) etc. Don't have much luck with cherries or grapes because the birds usually get to then the day before they are the right time to pick. Pretty smart birds. Actually it is probably a trade-off. I get to enjoy their company and their songs, and they get to eat. they always come back. I guess they figure a buffet is to tough to pass up, and I figure it is to tough to try to discourage them.

    We did 30 quarts of patty pan squash today.

    Can a lot of pickles (for sale and home use), and make lots of salsa and tomato based sauces. We can tamales, and other delights
    Even can dog and cat food. I throw peas in the dog food, they are smart they eat around the peas and you will find a pile of licked off peas next to their food troughs. Smart dogs.

    A great deal of veggies i.e. potatoes, turnips, beets, turnips, carrots go
    into the root cellar for winter use. As well as the dried food we produce, the constant temperature is necessary. We also put up our own corn flour.

    My favorite trick is for tomatoes, at the very end of the season, before the 1st nasty frost, pick the tomatoes, wrap each tomatoe in a single sheet of newspaper, place in a single layer in a box, and store in a dark place, they will eventually ripen, although the longer they are stored the more you will lose. However using this method, we have had fresh tomatoes as late as new years eve. Which makes for a hell of a salad.

    The only veggies we don't do well with are lettuce and spinach. It just gets to hot, and the heat is unpredictable. 103 today.
    #12
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 18:27:52 (permalink)
    CCJPO: Neat trick with the tomato's I had never heard of that before. I am lucky if I can get them to last a couple of weeks.

    I gather that you are from the western part of the USA and apparently you do quite a bit of gardening?

    Thanks for the trick.

    Paul E. Smith
    knoxville, TN
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    ocdreamr
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 21:44:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by CCJPO


    My favorite trick is for tomatoes, at the very end of the season, before the 1st nasty frost, pick the tomatoes, wrap each tomatoe in a single sheet of newspaper, place in a single layer in a box, and store in a dark place, they will eventually ripen, although the longer they are stored the more you will lose. However using this method, we have had fresh tomatoes as late as new years eve. Which makes for a hell of a salad.


    I used to use this method when I had a garden. Nice to have tomatoes to mid December. A great addition to the Thanksgiving table - fresh sliced tomatoes. Instead of wrapping each tomato I modified it by using a carboard flat (like the kind used for beer & soda) & line it with newspaper then put in a line of tomatoes then a line of wadded paper & so on to fill the box then cover the top with sheets of paper. Just being able to lift the top made it easier to check on the tomatoes & cut my losses.
    #14
    RubyRose
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/19 22:09:58 (permalink)
    The only thing I MUST can every year is homemade ketchup from my stepfather's family recipe. Sometimes I make jam to give as Christmas gifts the following winter or various types of chutneys or relishes.

    If I have any questions or need any recipes, here's a link to a canning forum with very experienced posters:

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/harvest/
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    EliseT
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/20 06:35:52 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7



    You gotta do it right or you can make a bunch of people real sick.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    That's what makes me kind of nervous about doing anything other than fruit. I heard tomatoes and garlic were especially dangerous? Other than sterile sterile sterile, what cautions should be taken?
    #16
    meowzart
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/20 08:28:47 (permalink)
    Acidity is the key, Elise. So you should be OK with tomatoes. Low acidity foods are the ones you need to wary of. Basically, anything that is high in acidity (fruits, tomatoes, pickles) you can do in a boiling water bath. The rest, to be safe, should be done in a pressure canner.

    For those interested: the link to the USDA home canning guide: (you will need Acrobat)
    http://extension.usu.edu/publica/foodpubs/canguide/cangui1.pdf

    Not sure about the garlic thing. I have put it in with my pickles without a problem.

    Meowzart
    #17
    ocdreamr
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/20 14:11:27 (permalink)
    The only problem I've heard of concerning garlic was with people peeling cloves & keeping them in oil, no acid equals bacterail growth.

    As far as tomatoes go Meowzart is right to a point. In the past there was never a problem with tomatoes lots of acid but a lot of consumers didn't like that acid (which is one of the reasons you get those little hocky pucks in the grocery) & many of the newer varieties are lower in acid, ask before canning, yellow tomatoes are naturally low in acid & should be pressure canned.
    #18
    CCJPO
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/20 15:07:03 (permalink)
    Another tomato trick is before that final nasty frost which turns to fruit black, is to pull the whole plant w/ the fruit still attached and hang the whole thing upside down from the rafters in a garage or other outbuilding. If you are in a an apartment and doing container tomatoes, then hang them in a closet. They will hold for up to maonth that way. Also the sweetness of a tomato comes into play when you are canning, the sweeter the tomato the less acid, the less acid the more careful you have to be. We grow numerous heirloom tomatoes and harvest the seeds for next years planting, that way we aren't dependent on the commercial seed producers. Also we always rotate where we plant our veggies, that way we don't over stress the mineral composistion of the soil. Also we always leave at least one section
    fallow, to give it a rest, or plant clover, it replenishes the nitrogen level. Having a compost pile also helps, however if you can't have one, always plow/till the plant material back inot to the soil.
    #19
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/20 15:35:29 (permalink)
    Many years ago in the area around Cumberland Gap, TN where my grandparents had a large farm and actually lived off of it, around Thanksgiving each year, they would "Kill Hogs". This was a community event as many of the surround neighbors would help. It was a labororius process. They chose that time of the year I suppose because it tended to be pretty cool around the upper East Tennessee area. It tended to be a festive event.

    A couple of things that I recall was the cooking of extremely fesh pork chops and placing them on hot bisquits and the other was the canning that would begin immediately. I recall her canning pork chops, sausage and there was other things that I do not recall.

    My grandfather would begin immediately curing the hams with salt and brown sugar and placing them in the smoke house where he would ignite hickory and the smoke would permeate the entire farm community. The event would alway end with the farming gentlemen retiring to the springhouse where the water flowed out of the mountain clear, cold and sweet. They would take with them some of the rendered pigskins with some of the fat still attached and enjoy with some of the upper East Tennesse libation.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #20
    VibrationGuy
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/21 11:34:47 (permalink)
    I don't can much, other than a few jams, because I really prefer frozen vegetables to canned anyway. Ergo, freezing is another matter altogether; I usually do berries (the island I live on has excellent small dark Hood strawberries, I get huckleberries in Eastern WA, there's usually sweet cherries and blueberries to be had), and I love frozen dead-ripe peaches at a primal level.

    Canning isn't really fraught with peril, especially if you keep an exceedingly clean kitchen and use an up-to-date reference guide such as published by the canning jar manufacturers, the USDA or your local Extension Service.

    I'll plug the Extension Service heavily; they are an outreach program of each state's Land and Sea Grant University. Staffed with agricultural and home economics professionals, most sponsor various activities for home food preservers, including workshops, demonstrations, hotlines, publications and pressure canner testing events. They can be darned helpful, and the services are provided at very little-to-no charge.

    Regards,

    Eric
    #21
    ocdreamr
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2003/07/23 20:48:35 (permalink)
    While waiting for my carry out Chinese tonight I started to read a Southern Living magazine called "Summertime Recipes". (cracked up when I read the date, it was 1993) Anyhow, it had an article about canning tomatoes. It said the USDA recommends adding 2 TBSP lemon juice or 1/2 tsp citric acid if you aren't sure of the acidity of your tomatoes. You could add a little sugar to counteract the tart taste if you wanted. Couldn't believe the timeliness of finding this article, thought I'd pass on the info.
    #22
    michelle_duncan
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2004/06/28 11:21:40 (permalink)
    ccjpo
    do share your patty pan recipes if so i really need some i have it growing out my ears." />
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    kathy_in_wlsv
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2004/11/03 19:04:09 (permalink)
    Yep I can, make jams and jelly, freeze stuff. The jams I make from berries I pick in the wild. I can't imagine NOT doing this.
    #24
    catosaurus
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2004/11/03 19:38:47 (permalink)
    I make preserves every year as holiday gifts. Usually, I make apple butter (people really seem to like it ... it's not my favorite, though). If I'm lucky enough to get real apricots or plums from someone's home orchard, I'll use them to make preserves, too (it's value is priceless ... nothing from a grocery store or even farmers' market tastes that good). I won't use commercial pectins; if the jam ends up runny, sobeit.
    #25
    DLnWPBrown
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2004/11/03 23:01:22 (permalink)
    We have discovered that runny jams and jellys make great ice cream or pancake toppers.


    Dennis in Cary
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    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2004/11/03 23:44:29 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    No, I don't can, but if you get a few Abbey Ales in me, I am able to can can. Does this count count?
    Doubling Up, Ort. in 30601-land.
    P. S. Seriously... no, I don't home can, but I have been known to home brew. It's along similar lines.
    P. P. S. I tried to think of a proper Bizet pun, but it wouldn't evolve. Perhaps I should, instead, evoke a British composer of Danish extraction (who, incidentally, lived in Florida and grew oranges for awhile in the 1880's) and say that my last batch of homebrewed India Brown Ale was Delius-licious. I guess y'all get my (Sea) Drift.
    P. P. P. S. If anyone gets that one, I'll be amazed. I'll have to Grofe my way toward something better on down the canyon.
    #27
    FOX1
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2004/11/04 01:42:54 (permalink)
    My wife cans everything from beef to pork tenderloin, and all veggies. Apple Butter also. We have a cannery near us in Glade Hill, Va. She has even canned fruitcake.
    #28
    carlton pierre
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2004/11/04 09:25:37 (permalink)
    I do not can myself. I can attest however to Sundancer's Mamaw Smith's canning ability. I had lunch with Sundancer a few months ago and he was kind enough to give me some canned beans, apple butter, and pickles. The taste of summer!

    carl reitz
    #29
    tmiles
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    RE: Does anybody still can? 2004/11/04 09:51:36 (permalink)
    Used to, not anymore, too much work, and not much better. I used to raise my own meat too. Now I wholesale my farm products, and buy my eating food at the store like most folks around here do. We do still make cold cured pickles and wild grape jelly.
    #30
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