Can Lady

\”Bag Lady\” by Ms. Erykah Badu

But really, I’m the can lady.

Well, maybe not yet.

But look at what I spent my weekend doing…

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I first got the idea to can veggies from Christine, who is my resource for all things farm.  Christine is the one who introduced me to container gardening and we both signed up for CSAs this year (hers has better produce, mine has a better pickup location).  With the abundance of produce that she’s been experiencing, she decided to try her hand at canning and showed me the way.

The first step is this.  It’s a great resource for all kinds of home preservation.  Read the intro to canning as well as specifics on any particular things you want to can.  Also, the USDA publishes a canning guide that I find incredibly helpful. 

Next you need materials.  A pressure or boiling water canner (depends on what you want to can); canning tools (timer, lid magnet, bubble remover, funnel, tongs, jar lifter, etc.); and of course cans (e.g. mason jars).

Thus far, I’ve canned tomatoes and peaches.  I chose them mainly because they’re in season right now.  But additionally, tomatoes are one of the few canned veggies I use.  And even then, I’m an avid label reader and won’t buy many brands because there’s too much *stuff* in them.  So by self canning, I really controlled what was in my tomatoes.  Peaches are a similar story.  I love the convenience of canned peaches but have been unwilling to buy any since they all seemed to be canned in sweetener of some sort (heavy or light syrup, sweetened fruit juice, etc.).  I canned my ultra ripe peaches in water — no sugar added.  Here’s a photo journey of my tomato canning process.

Fresh from the farmers market

Fresh from the farmers marketBlanched and peeledChopped and ready to go

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