My mum can can. She cans quite well actually. She preserves homegrown vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers. She creates tasty chutneys and relishes. She makes the best jams and spreads!
Knowing that she was going to have an abundance of pears to harvest, I thought that I would ask her to show me how to can. I picked roughly a bushel of pears from the tree and got to work. Mum shared many of her recipes with me, and I enjoyed the simplicity of ingredients required.
All in all, I made eleven jars of pear marmalade, six jars of pear sauce, and six jars of ginger-pear spread. I left the farm with six additional recipes, a few dozen pears, and — best of all — a new hobby.
There are two ways to process canning: Steam-Pressure and Boil Water Bath. The former is for low-acid foods, and it requires extra equipment and knowledge. The latter method is for high-acid foods and most of the equipment is likely already in your kitchen. To can high-acid foods, you will need:
- a pot (to make your recipe that will be canned)
- a stock pot (large enough for many jars to fit in with enough room to spare for water to boil)
- a food grade funnel
- fresh lids and rims
- magnetic wand for the handling of the lids and rims (post sterilization)
- glass jars
If you are a person who cans, what else do you find essential to canning?