Canning 101

ImageIf you are reading this blog because you want to learn how to can, you are in the wrong place, this will be anything but educational.

Yesterday I spent the day at my mother-in-laws house so I could learn how to can. She has a HUGE garden with lots of yummy veggies as well as quite a few fruit trees! With so much food canning is a must! Plus it allows for fresh fruits and veggies all year round!

Anyways I agreed to come and help/learn so that some day when I have a super awesome garden (not like this year…everything we planted died), I can save all the extras to use later! I’m really excited about this.

So yesterday we started out peeling peaches… a WHOLE bucket of ’em! Soooo many peaches! But they were super ripe so they peeled really nicely.

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We canned 15 jars of peaches!

Plus, I got to snack on a few along the way. Mmmmm mmm I loooove peaches!

Meanwhile Sue blanched the tomatoes… A skill I have never once thought I needed. (Side note: That night for dinner I made homemade tomato soup and guess what?!? I blanched the tomatoes. Talk about an applicable skill!)

We used the blanched tomatoes to make salsa! However, peeling Roma tomatoes, even blanched is the worst! By the time we were done peeling about, A MILLION, my hands were wrinkled and pruney and smelled of tomatoes.

That didn’t last long though, because we chopped up peppers and onions to put in the salsa… I’m pretty sure my hands still smell like onions.

The last thing we did was juice grapes. Let me just tell you… Juicing grapes, a cinch…Washing grapes to juice, a living nightmare.

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This is only about a third of the grapes!

Daniel had warned me the night before NOT to wash the grapes. I had no idea why. Well it only took about a second of filling the sink of grapes with water to see why! A million white spiders started running for their lives! All over the grapes and out of the sink! Sue was prepared with a paper towel, in which she joyfully smashed the life out of all the creepy critters.

I was there the whole time rooting her on (from a distance) and making sure none of the nasty spiders made it out alive. However, we both weren’t prepared for what came next… A spider the size of a small dog came aggressively out of grapes. Pinchers bared and nasty hairy legs wiggling menacingly, I was certain my life was over!

Sue grabbed a knife and started stabbing it, but it was no use the spider was unImagekillable! However, she did manage to wound it so it burrowed back into the sink full of grapes and waited…

After “we” (we- being sue because there was no way I was sticking my hand in a spider infested sink) got through about half the grapes the monster spider reappeared. Sue again stabbed at it with the knife but this time it took hold of the knife!

You’ll never believe what happened next. Sue, with a giant spider attached to her knife, turns toward me! ME. The calm cool collected girl who hates spiders, and starts walking towards me.

Through my screams of terror, I faintly heard her say something about opening a door but instinct took over and I ran! It was pretty funny… I nearly died.

Besides that, grapes turned out to be the easiest. I’ve discovered that canning is actually pretty easy.

Today I am juicing some more grapes and I think Sue is also going to show me how to pressure cook the salsa! Wish me luck!

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