Adventures in Canning

Last fall I posted about some of my first efforts in canning, which included pickled carrots and beets. Those were fun to make but only used a water-bath canner, which are generally used for acidic foods such as pickles. I vowed that this year I would acquire a pressure canner so I could move on to bigger projects. I was strongly advised not to purchase a used canner due to potential issues with old seals, so I did buy one new from Canadian Tire.

Our canning fun this year began with an enormous amount of crabapples picked by my pal Carli. This was actually another water-bath project. We packed them whole in syrup, made crabapple jelly, and through one jelly batch which refused to set, accidentally made crabapple syrup. Crabapples are a cool project because they grow all over the city but don't often get eaten. You just have to find a good way to prepare them.

The next day I was feeling pretty confident from our canning successes and decided to try one of the things I actually bought the canner for: canned beans. I have posted quite a bit about dried beans, which are a great way to reduce waste and save money. The trouble with them is that they require a few hours to prep and cook, so you can't always have them when you want them.

Again, I am not qualified to teach you how to can, but I will tell you that through researching on the internet, getting advice from friends, and reading my canner's manual, I learned the basic steps of pressure canning and successfully canned five jars of black beans.

The best part of this project was that it broke the ice for future pressure canning projects. My canning horizons include soup stocks, chickpeas, and a regular cycle of canned beans. Exciting times!

Do you pressure can? Leave a comment!


Popular Posts