Thursday, August 26, 2010

Here a Can, There a Can, Everywhere a Can Can!

This is only part of the peaches
Have you guessed I've been canning. 80 pounds of peaches to be exact. Yep I'm crazy. But boy oh boy will those beautiful canned and frozen peaches chase away those winter blues, or at least I hope so after all that work. Anyway, as I was canning I was thinking about last year.  I had no idea what I was doing (not that I do now) especially when it came to planning what I wanted to can. So I thought I would share a few very small pieces of wisdom about canning that I have learned in my one year of experience.

First thing is don't be scared it is actually a lot of fun and it is a great satisfaction to know that out of 80 pounds of peaches I have 6 jelly jars of peach syrup, 8 pints of peach salsa, and 8 quarts of sliced peaches, 3 5-gallon bags of sliced frozen peaches as well as 5 small bags of mashed peaches for ice cream all waiting for my family to eat. (This doesn't mention the 3 cobblers and the endless snacks of peaches we have eaten.)

Second: plan, plan, plan. Last year I made so many jams and butters that I still have some. For some reason I thought that canning jams and jellies was a must if you where going to can. Even though they are tasty, my family doesn't eat that much jam, maybe one jar a month or so. So that means that if I wanted homemade jam for my family for the year that would only be 12 jars of jams plus maybe a few for gifts. That means not every fruit that comes into my home needs to become a jam, jelly or butter. This year I really paid attention to what my family ate and about how much. I know that we go through a jar of tomato sauce every 2 weeks. So that means my goal is to can at least 26 cans of sauce. We drink a lot of smoothies so I froze a lot of the fruit that I have gotten in bulk locally.

The third thing I want to say is your local farmers are your best friends in eating raw organic produce for a price you can afford and preserving is the best way to take those in season prices and make them last all year. Eating in season is really the best way to go, it's when the food is the most nutritious and it's when it becomes affordable.

There are different types of preserving (freezing, canning, drying, fermenting, etc.) so do some research and find the best way for you I guarantee that you will love knowing that you have put up healthy, organic food that will make your family happy all winter and it's all with in your budget.

If there is anyone with wisdom for a newbie canner like myself please share.
Happy canning!


  1. Elizabeth, all I can say is that you are one brave girl! 80 lbs of peaches!! Wow, that is awesome. Thanks for sharing at Monday Mania!

  2. I'm jealous! I wish the peaches here had been good enough to freeze. Yours look wonderful. I'm guarding the jars you gave us and will only break them out when we're desperate this winter.