Making goals for the season is something I have tried to do lately. Especially summer, as the weather is beautiful here and it is a time to get things done and enjoy the season. If I don’t, summertime laziness creeps in and I wonder what we did that was fun, or what we accomplished. This year, my goal was to expand the gardens, both the flowers and the vegetable, and learn to pressure can. I have water-bathed canned for years, but I have never canned the vegetables and soups. I had never even thought of canning meat until I saw a video where she told how easy it is to put a meal together with canned chicken. Really? Canned chicken? I researched canners for months, and finally selected the All American Canner based on reviews and recommendations from several people who can often.
I jumped right in canning Tangerine Chili. My thought was that having a meal I could simply open would be wonderful, and since tomatoes were ripe and the recipe called for fresh tomatoes that would be a great place to start. I watched all kinds of videos first, even a video where they canned the recipe I was working on. I had to smile to myself, here I was in my 50’s, and calling my son and asking him what to do next. (He pressure cans food for living off-grid on his boat.) Most of the people I watched and learned from, were younger than I am. I think many of these old skills skipped a generation or two and now we are seeing a resurgence. My own mother often declared she would never can like her mother did. I often heard her declare: “Why can when I can buy it cheaper in the store?!” We have returned to the old ways as we realize he taste is superior and healthier, and there really is a nothing more convenient than opening a jar of home canned chili on a winter evening when you come in late. I was able to put up several jars of chili and we ate a bowl that night despite the warm weather. I was on a roll and ready to can some vegetable soup next! I could see my pantry… filled with all sorts of wonderful vegetables and meals, just ready for us to use for a meal!
Life has a way of surprising you. We had a leak under the sink that we didn’t notice for a few days. It leaked under the wood floor, under the cabinets, and when the floor started to buckle, I called our insurance agent. For the last two weeks, we’ve had contractors in, blowers going, and now our kitchen cabinets and sink have been removed to allow everything under them to dry. Canning or doing anything in the kitchen has come to a complete stop! I can totally see the beauty of ready meals in a jar. We’ve gone out to eat most evenings as it is just too hard to try fix something. Did you learn to can as a child or is this a skill you are hoping to acquire? What summer bounty are you “putting up” this year?