"Putting Up" A true Southern Tradition of Canning
Canning started for me as another kitchen task and common food preparation standard. It was not to have beautiful jars, jam, or nostalgia lined up in my cupboards, it was to feed our family. While Grams and Mom were avid in their kitchen antics and the belief they were both fabulous cooks (this is often debated) they left out all those little tips and techniques you are supposed to share and create a legacy with. Like their teachings on knitting, lost Irish threadwork techniques Grams took to the grave, and cooking, I want to crate a legacy for my child that doesn't need to be all guess work.
What is "Putting Up" exactly? Preserving or canning your food and putting up those from garden to table items to enjoy all year long. Whether you choose pressure cooking or water bath acid based (pickles) you can take your grocery bill and home garden to a new level.
Canning is easy. For all of those who believe it has to be a horrendous task, take a deep breath and look through my mothers mother's eyes.
- Canning allows you to buy in season food (corn strawberries beets cucumbers) and with a few quick adjustments preserve those items to be enjoyed all year long.
- Canning is economical. Jars are not costly, you can get a basic set up (water bath) for less than 30 dollars and there are valuable recipes online to start you off.
- Pressure Canners are more costly and higher time investment - but allow you to expand your canned selection of preserved foods. There are two types of canning methods and depending on what you want to can you may use one or both!
- Canning is part of the homegrown movement and something you can be terribly proud of on completion. There is no greater sense of satisfaction that giving a new neighbor friend or church member a loving sentiment of preserves in a basket with other goodies. Jams are the universal sign of good friendship and tidings.
Canning is a sinking tradition, much like drive-ins and diners. I really would like to encourage my friends and family to do more of this. I have written on my blog about the desire to really stock in foods this season. I am hoping my recipes and efforts will inspire those around me to take up this new trend in the kitchen. In the next couple of weeks as we head in to summer I hope to share some success stories here and on my blog for your entertainment. Perhaps you would like to start too?
I would suggest starting with some of the following resources:
The traditional book is available, but I love being able to take this on any digital device especially when on the go menu and coupon planning. Steve's approach to safety and food prep plus the comfort of the recipes heralds true Southern Tradition. There are very important details presented in this book such as pH testing and acidity. Both take practice which is exactly what this book walks you through.
Putting Up More - 70 recipes to follow the first. Safety, tips and recipes all clearly charted.
Free Online Course - No really. Presented by the National Center for Home Food Preservation and University of Georgia, you can register and do a home course for free on preservation and food safety. It is not personalized but the information is amazing.