Canning Stories: Why Do You Can? What Do You Can? We Want To Hear Your Firsthand Reports

| 2/8/2012 10:35:01 AM

Canning FruitWe're working on an article about canning for the June/July issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, and are especially keen to inspire folks who have never canned before to give it a try. If you're a canner, we would love to hear your firsthand stories about why you bother with it. We'd also love to get your feedback on any of the following questions: 

Why do you can food?

Do you can only homegrown produce or do you shop the farmers markets and grocery stores for canning ingredients?

What is your favorite canning recipe?

What home-canned food can you not live without?

Do you participate in any community canning events or gatherings? If so, how do they work?

9/26/2014 11:48:40 AM

dortha clayton
1/26/2013 11:10:26 PM

I am 68 years old and am still using the Burpee Aristocrat Cooker that my mother got when I was three weeks old. It has never had any repairsor replacements, even though it does leak a little steam. I often wonder just how many jars of food has been canned in my cooker. Mom always had a big garden, as there were nine kids in our family, so it has to be in the thousands, if not tens of thousands in the 68 years. When I was a child of sharecroppers, the houses didn't have pantrys, so under all our beds were stored box after box of canned goods.Once in a while, some of the boxes had an empty slot where my brothers had sneaked a jar of something they likes most, such as peaches. I love all the memories of my mother preserving fruits, vegetables and meats that she and dad raised for our family.

Lynn Nelson
12/19/2012 11:09:18 PM

I have been canning for 45 years. I learned watching my Grandmother. The first solo canning I did was out of necessity. My husband and I were in college on a very tight budget. I noticed that there were windfall apples in the field near us so I gathered them and made applesauce and apple butter. My Grandmother told me to go to the County extention agent for recipies and free canning information.That is still wonderful advice. The information isn't always free anymore but it is very inexpensive. Canning is work but it is very satisfying. Unlike housework when the day is over you have rows of beautiful jewels in jars that you know you can pull out in the middle of winter and have a taste of summer. I do about 30 pts. of beens from my garden each year but most of my canning fruit comes from orchards and farmers stands. Some times I'm able to get bartlet pears from the grocery store. I can 100 qts. of peaches 100 qts. of pears and 100 qts. of applesauce each year plus tomatoes, beans, grape juice, and various jams and cranberry sauce. My favorite canning memory was my daughter in law calling one night asking how to can peaches. My son had been raving about my peaches for years and she finally tryed some and was instantly converted. She's been canning every sence. I can't tell you whether I save money or not. I imagine I do but I decided years ago that price didn't matter. I'm feeding my family the best quality food available without dyes or preservatives and it tastes so much better then anything you can find in the store.

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