I've been doing some thinking...
Lately, I've been enjoying the fruits of our labors and we've had a busy summer putting up all the wonderful food we've grown or purchased locally. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this website called Canning Across America. It is a place were you can find recipes, events, instructions and a place to share canning experiences. Here is an excerpt that explains what they are all about:
"Our goal is to promote safe food preservation and the joys of community building through food. We believe in celebrating the bounty of local and seasonal produce and taking greater control of our food supply. Together, we can".
What a great concept! And I've been really caught up in the enjoyment of canning and keeping such an important tradition alive. I grew up in an environment where canning is what you did every summer and fall, to preserve the food that you worked so hard to grow and maintain in a yearly garden. And I realize that not everyone grew up with these wonderful experiences and I'm happy to see that there are so many people who are wanting to share their knowledge and I too, want to be involved with passing on this tradition of preserving homegrown foods.
I've been reflecting on all the canning and food preservation experiences I've had over the years, watching and helping my Mom in canning food from our garden every year, as far back as I can remember. At the beginning of the summer, my Mom taught a food preservation class, explaining the various techniques & methods of canning. I think that really got me into the excitement this year and it's still going! Through her research, and let me just say, that she is very qualified having taught Home Economics & Food Science for years and has been canning since she was a girl with her grandmother, I realized how lucky I am to have this resource of knowledge at my disposal.
Back to her research--she found this great book called "So Easy to Preserve" written by the Cooperative Extension of the University of Georgia, which I mentioned in this post. This book has up-to-date, safe and complete information on canning, pickled products, jellied products, freezing and drying foods. Every recipe and formula has been tested and is recommended for use throughout the United States. Visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation website for more excellent information.
So all of these thoughts and ideas have come together to create today's post. I hope your own excitement and interest is peaked and you will decide to try some of your own canning this summer.
MONDAY MUST HAVE
This book has been so informative and so very helpful, that I need to share it with you. I just can't say enough wonderful things about it. The information is very clear and complete, with lots of helpful charts and pictures. My copy already has tons of notes from things I've canned this summer and it even has pockets for handouts or loose notes at the end of each section. I have found it handy to put the cute canning labels in the one behind JAMS, so that when it's time to put them on the jars, I know exactly where they are. Another tip I'd like to share is when you make a recipe from the book, put the date you make it--it's like a little canning journal and you'll be able to look back and see what food you put up and when, in the years to come.
Since I've been doing so much canning this year and I am so excited about sharing great information and recipes, this week will have posts dedicated to canning various fruits and produce. And it coincides with the Canning kick-off that starts this weekend everywhere.
If you know me, then you know I love to be ORGANIZED. I realize that this really only applies to a few of you that do know me and so I am sharing a little more about myself to those of you who happen to read my blog--it's true, I crave organization--which is why I'm giving you the plan and outline of the posts for the week.
Monday: Monday Must Have & Giveaway
Tuesday: Lemon Cucumber Pickles (Part 2) & Canning
Wednesday: Peach Jam (Two kinds & Canning Methods)
Thursday: Daring Bakers Challenge Reveal (yes, it's the 27th already)
Friday: Garden Fresh Beans (Canning & a delicious recipe for Freezing)
Saturday: Homemade Tomato Sauce
I'm really, REALLY excited to share this AWESOME book with someone who likes to can, who wants to learn how to can, or if you love collecting really great food books, then here is what you do:
1) Leave a comment explaining why you enjoy canning or what you would like to learn about canning. I will be accepting comment entries from now until next Monday, August 31st at 8:00 pm (PST). *One comment/entry per person.
2) Please include your blog link or email, so I can contact you if you win.
3) The winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009.
*Good luck and happy canning! Be sure to check back each day this week for a new canning recipe and instructions.