Canning just wasn't something we did in my family when I was growing up. But my husband's family did. His mom and her best friend, Leila, would get together. The kids would play and they would can. It sounds like it was a wonderful tradition. So when Matt and I married, I was introduced to the wonders of home canned foods. It all started with green beans and peaches. They tasted so much better than the ones we could buy at the store. So every year we can a few beans and maybe a little of something else too. A few beets here, a few tomatoes there, a couple of pears... So it wasn't surprising to get an e-mail from my mother-in-law earlier this week asking "Did we need beans?".
Well, yeah, we do. You see my sister also discovered how good the beans taste so I send a jar or two home with her from time to time. So we didn't have nearly enough in the pantry to last us through the next year. So, as I talked about in a previous post, we did a little canning earlier this week. Well, the problem with that was in looking for the recipe to can those, we found a couple other recipes that looked intriguing.
Then last night we got a voicemail, "do you need more beans? They need to be picked because they are starting to get big." Hmmm... more beans = pickled beans, which is one of the recipes that had caught our attention. So another trip down, another bucket of beans, another good dinner with the in-laws, during which they shared that they had gotten a great deal on corn and cucumbers at their farmer's market. So this morning we got up early and headed to the store to get a few more jars and a new pressure canner so my in-laws could have theirs back, then it was off to the blueberry patch to get a few more blueberries to last us the winter and to the farmer's market my in-laws go to because they had better deals and then to the store to pick up a few spices and such we needed.
Then we set to work canning, oh, and making 3 more trips to the store for things we forgot or ran out of... But in the end we had more "regular" green beans, more "regular" corn, kosher dill pickle spears, two different recipes of bread and butter pickles (also with the pickles cut two different ways), pickled green beans, and corn relish. We still have 20 pounds of beets to pickle tomorrow and I'm hoping to talk him into getting some more corn because I really want to try the corn salsa recipe (and we have all the ingredients for it except corn - really we do). Then we get a break from canning until the tomatoes ripen and pears and peaches come into season. But I have my eye on a brandied pear recipe I can't wait to try and there's one for carrot cake jam that I think sounds divine, but that can wait for much later. For now, I'll just savor the sight of rows of jars that we packed and processed today:
Oh and it can wait because I'M TIRED. But I also had a lot of fun. I'm sure it has to do with the fact that it was Matt and I working together side by side. We really do work together very well. I'm a very lucky girl to have such a great hubby. So now, I'm sitting here trying to get together the energy to climb upstairs and go to bed because I'm sure falling asleep at my craft room table will not be comfortable. But there's something very soothing about sitting here listening to jars "pop."