Canning for Home Food Preservation: Is it for You?

| 10/6/2015 11:03:00 AM

Tags: canning, food preservation, water bath canning, Deb Tejada, Colorado,


As a child, I have vague memories of my mother water-bath canning tomatoes, pickles and peaches. Further along in life, the memories change to a multitude of ominous-looking jars on metal racks in the basement containing vitreous fluids, dissolving lumps of… whatever, and bulging lids threatening to detonate at the slightest touch. In other words, food canned but not consumed for many, many years. Canning gone bad. That scared me.

Many years later, as an adult, I eventually challenged the concept of grocery-store, over-processed and often times GMO preserved foods containing what I consider additional, unnecessary ingredients. Then, there was that large, navy blue-with-white-speckles porcelain canning pot from my childhood memories, figuratively staring me in the face. Being the earth spirit organic foodie gardener that I am, I just had to put my fears aside and carry my torch for healthier foods into a canning foray.

Getting Past the Fear of Home Canning

But, of course, first I had to read the book Putting Food By, which focused quite a bit on the charms of botulism poisoning and scared the bejesus out of me once again. Okay, so living in the high-altitude Rocky Mountain region, I also had to consider the challenges of high altitude with its lower boiling temperatures. Canning only high-acid foods to be safe, I limited myself to tomatoes, peaches, pickles and jams/jellies and still felt a little nervous eating them. After a couple of years of my congenital “canning-and-rarely-consuming” practices, I sold all of my canning paraphernalia and called it quits.

Fast forward to the present: A large garden, a multitude of plants and other bounties and again that need for a way to preserve and get away from processed foods.

10/19/2015 4:06:06 PM

Ugh, meant "lost art" below.

10/19/2015 4:04:44 PM

Awesome RL that you can. I keep thinking it's a lot art, but every time I go to the store to buy more jars I see the stock dwindling or sometimes completely unavailable. We are a secret society, I think, lol.

10/6/2015 4:21:47 PM

As a man, most people I have difficulties believing that I can all sorts of vegetables and fruit. My Mom did it and us kids were recruited to do the cleaning and prep work; sort berries, snap beans, husk corn, etc. We learned that how to do it. She rewarded us with fresh baked goods. Gommie (my Grandmother) taught me how to grow, Mom taught me how to put it up.

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