Thursday, September 6, 2007

Adventures in Canning

A long time since my last post. We travelled to the beach in early August, celebrated dh's father's 75th birthday mid-August, and immensely enjoyed every day, especially those last lazy ones by the pool. So, it's the end of summer and the growing season is winding down and the abudance is amazing. I've planned my Local Food Harvest party for next week and some of my friends and I are definitely on for a day of canning this Saturday. I'm excited and a *tiny* bit nervous about canning. I'm afraid my enthusiasm for the subject may be betraying absolute ignorance. Here is an exerpt from an email I sent my friend who will be one of those joining me:

I feel I need to make it *very* clear that I have *never* canned before and have no canning materials. I *just* realized this may be a problem. I previously assumed you follow a recipe, put the jars in a big pot of boiling water, and voila. Just a minute ago I looked on-line at the AVM recipes I plan to use and discovered a line I had previously not seen - "place jars in canner". Oops. I don't even know what a canner is. I googled canning and came up with similar. I think my method could work, and when I talked to a neighbor (who is a fan of she who eats, btw! but more about that later!) about canning, my impression was she uses a big pot, too. So our canning adventure goes with a *big* disclaimer. Eat at your own risk. Because of it I plan to make the spaghetti sauce from AVM and store it in bags in the freezer. I'll also try to can the sauce recipe and the dill pickle recipe of aforementioned neighbor. So, when you ask, what do we need, I really have no idea and the thought of that makes me a *little* nervous. I think it will be a fun day with great women, a good learning experience, and possibly an amusing blog entry. What I hope it isn't: a future intimate relationship with clostridium botulinum. So, at this moment I plan to go to the farmers' market at UNC-A (where my CSA farm Full Sun will be) and stock up on tomatoes. A farmer at the FBFC tailgate market, who has had the best looking cucumbers for pickling, told me to call her tomorrow because she doesn't know if she will have any Saturday. Alas, cucumbers are now at the end of their season. (Note to self: time to pickle cucumbers is late July/early August.)

Be sure to stay tuned for the next installment and, hopefully, pictures of the adventure...

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