Summer is coming to an end. It’s a bittersweet time of the year. Summer is filled with so many fun activities, that at times it’s hard to see it go, but where one season ends, another begins. Soon we will be greeted by brisk fall air and beautiful trees putting on their colorful display.
In our house, the end of the summer usually means canning season. Which is why I am sharing this hobby with you this month!
Canning was introduced to me by my mother-in-law about 12 years ago. Only later did I learn that both of my Grandma’s did it! Which I found very cool!
What is canning you may wonder? Dictionary.reference.com defines it as, “the act, process, or business of preserving cooked food by sealing in cans or jars.” (For specific methods and guidelines, go here.)
Before I tell you why I do this, let me tell you why I don’t. I don’t do it to save money. At all. There is far too much time invested in the finished product.
So, if it takes so much time, why do it? I love it. But if that isn’t reason enough…..
Canning lets me preserve what we grew in our garden. What we took care of from seed to harvest, all summer.
My family appreciates it. Let me tell you how awesome it feels to be able to use this as a reason! Not only do they like the finished product and have actually told me, but they also like lending a hand in the process! Anything from breaking beans, cleaning carrots, running apples through the food mill, etc. I’m thankful that they’re thankful. It makes your time feel well-spent. Plus it’s a hobby, so it’s definitely a win-win.
It gives me a deep feeling of connection to the past knowing that generations of women before me did the same thing I was just doing hours ago. Especially this year, with a bountiful harvest of nearly everything, it reminded me of how fortunate we are. We, as a family, grow this food, because it is a way we enjoy spending time together. I can it because I enjoy it. It’s a hobby. Could you imagine living, as our ancestors did, when getting through the winter depended on how much food was grown in your family garden? Knowing in years of draught or extreme weather conditions, that food would have to be rationed to make sure there was enough to put meals on the table until the next year? The worries I have dull in comparison. Definitely another reason to be grateful!
I’m sure if I thought hard enough, I could come up with many more reasons, but for me, the fact that I enjoy it, is enough.
So what do I can? Everything from jams and jellies, to salsa, spaghetti sauce, to green beans and carrots. I did get to try something new this year, and that was canning peaches and nectarines. Let me just explain that I am NOT a fan of either. The rest of the family is, though.
With the goal of making my hubby and kiddos a treat, to the market I went. I came home with a half of a bushel each of peaches and nectarines.
Ok, so I will give it to the peaches, they are pretty photogenic! Now to try out some recipes.
I made some Peach Amaretto Jam. It smells amazing! And good news? Tastes just as good!
I also tried my hand at Nectarine Jam. It’s amazing how it can go from this
Tasty and pretty!
I also tried canning them both in a very light syrup, which was recommended to preserve texture, otherwise I would have used just water. I hope they taste as good as they look!
If you can, I’d love to hear what you’ve done this year! Just leave a comment please!
Here are past months’ editions, in case you missed out:
There are only a few months left in this series, so if there is anything you’d like to learn about me, please let me know! I just may use it for an upcoming edition!
Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim