Thursday, July 28, 2011

Free Canning Class

This time of year, if you are lucky, many folks have tomato's coming out their ears.  This year I haven't been so lucky. The heat and drought have helped to destroy any canning that I was planning on doing.  Right now I'm struggling to keep them alive through this drought. But, not everyone has had my kind of luck this year. 

I received an email from a friend last week asking about what to do with all the tomato's she is happily picking this year.  Of course the very first thing I suggested was to can them.  I have found that there are so many people who are just flat out scared to try canning their own foods.  The excuses reasons  are many and most always unfounded.  Canning is easy!  The hardest part about it is getting your fruits or veggies ready to go.  Once you get them in the jar the hard part is over with.  Just pop them in your water bath or your canner for the "allotted" time. That's basically it.... Easy as pie! (and we all know how I love pie)   <(*@*)> 

If you want to learn to can, there are a couple of suggestions I would make right off.  The first one is to go get yourself a Ball Blue Book.  It's what I call the Canning Bible.  The instructions for just about anything you could want to preserve are in it, along with the proper way to get 'er done.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that the book is really cheap inexpensive. A new one won't cost you $10.00 and you will use it for years. The information is timeless.  They carry them at your local China-Mart and lots of other places too.  I got my new one on Ebay for $6.00.

One other thing I found awhile back is a Free Online Canning Class.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click to get started. It's self-paced and very thorough. I went through it 3-4 years ago and really got a lot out of it.  So if you don't have anyone to "teach" you the how-to's  give this site a look. You know you just can't beat Free....

So what are you waiting for?  "Tis the season" to make the most of the bounty that awaits you.  If you don't have a garden, check your local farmers market. You will not regret it. Not to mention how wonderful those jars look sitting in your pantry....  

When you think about it, canning is one of the great ways to stock up your pantry inexpensively.  You will be so glad you did once winter comes and you open a jar of some fresh canned green beans, or tomato's or squash or whatever you choose.  Just remember that anything you can find in the grocery store, you can put up yourself.  A great way to save money while knowing EXACTLY what is in the food you are eating!
      ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~


  1. I took all the tomatoes my lovely in laws gifted us with and made homemade spagetti sauce. I put it in ziploc bags and froze it flat. I can fit 10 bags on one shelf. It's awesome because we eat a lot of sauce.

    You are so right about how great the Blue Ball canning book is. I have my grandmother's - it may be falling to pieces, but it still is great to have.

  2. Thank you for the info. Hope you have more luck with the 'maters. So far I have one okra in the

  3. I hope more people can instead of freezing. If the electricity goes out for more than 24(?) hours you may lose everything that is frozen. If you have canned, it will still be good.

  4. Skippy, what time is dinner? I love spaghetti. It's one of my very favorite meals. And homemade from fresh tomato's... well... you can't get much better than that!

    MomLady, Thanks so much for stopping by. I really did get your email... I'm sorry I'm kinda slow at responding! Don't forget about drying okra! I found it to be an even better way to preserve it than freezing.

    Yup Bellen. Freezer's are great...till the power goes out. BUT if you know how to can, even then it is possible to can up what might be otherwise lost in your freezer. Of course, I have propane for my stove. (if you have an alternate cooking source)

  5. Seems that poor tomato crops are common all over the country this year. I've read blogs from gardeners in the NE, NW with issues as well. Here in GA it's been the same. An abnormally hot month in May knocked out our tomatoes. Better luck next year I suppose ;)

  6. My Mom's and neighbor's garden is doing well. Mine sucks, I did do all seed and a new bagged soil that has preformed not so good. But I'm learning. Our mini citrus trees are really going gang busters, and the herb garden did pretty good. Bucket gardens are a bit hit or miss. But I think that's pretty normal on trying something new. Luckily I live in Idaho and fruit and veggie stands are great to make up a gardens short commings.

  7. My garden is coming along slowly in the cooler summer of the Pacific NW this year. I can all sorts of vegetables, soups, salsa, tomato sauce, chili, chicken, beef, and food the gov't says I'll get sick and die from if I can it- like cheese and bacon. It is economical, healthy, promotes a sense of pride, and is delicious! Once you get set up, the cost will amortize over time. Shop thrift stores and garage sales for jars and other canning items. Someone's grandparent who doesn't can anymore can be a great resource as well.

    A jar of soup or stew with some fresh biscuits or cornbread can't be beat. Need a quick side vegetable, dump a jar in the pot and light her up. Company showed up and no desert ideas? Throw a jar of peaches or pears in a dish, crumble some butter, brown sugar, flour and oats to put on top, pop it in the oven and you have a yummy crisp to warm your tummy. I can't imagine what my life would be like with out all my canned food I have on hand!