family, knitting, living

K is for Kanning (I know, it’s spelled with a “C”)

I am not going to do knitting for the K post because that is too predictable, especially from me.  So, I cheated a bit and I am going to do canning for K since at least the first letter sounds like a K.  It’s my blog and I reserve the right to do as I please ;-).  Anyway, I have been canning all weekend…by that I mean 12 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday.   This is my first real go at canning.  I am starting this year because for a while Henry and I have really been interested in where our food is coming from and what goes in it.  In early spring we decided that we were going to take down a few trees, build a retaining wall and have a really big garden.  It is not finished as it was a bigger undertaking than I first thought, but it will be ready for next year.  I decided to stick my feet in the canning pool this year using vegetables that someone else grew.  We have a really good farmers market in Nashville, so I made a trip last Friday and stocked up on some in season favorites and supplemented with some items that were regional like peaches, as well as some things that are a little further afield…lemons.  My mom let me borrow my grandmother’s water bath canner and a bunch of canning books.  I also bought a pressure canner because I knew some things we would want were not acidic enough to be safe in the water bath canner.

I made lemon curd, peach salsa, peach and almond jam with thyme, red pepper jelly, tomatoes and preserved lemons (salt preservation, no canning for it).  I have to say that while it was not the easiest thing I have ever done, it was not the hardest either.  I do think it is going to prove enjoyable and very, very satisfying and will get easier as I develop a system.  The only real issue I had was something called “siphoning.”  This happens when the contents of a canned item migrates from the jar into the pressure canner.  This happens when the pressure changes too rapidly….the pressure changed too rapidly in my case because I failed to read the part that suggests leaving the items in the canner for five minutes after the pressure returns to zero and after you have removed the vent weight.  Live and learn…I had to reprocess the lemon curd.  now, the taste did not change, but the color changed significantly.  The lemon curd was a beautiful sunny yellow until the second run through the pressure canner…now it is a muddy brown.  I have photographic proof of all of this activity below….even the mud brown lemon curd.  We have already been into everything and found it to be well worth the effort.  I know it will be doubly worth it this winter when we can relive the glory days of summer through food.

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6 responses

  1. wow! you go girl
    sucky about lemon curd though : P
    but man! i’m higly impressed
    dh just bought 5 kg of apricots froma little old (really old) lady whil ewe were driving back from mountains yesterday and is in the process of making apricot jam
    other than his jams, we dont know how to can : P
    wish i did though and wasnt so darned lazy ; )
    oh and the 5 kg of apricots? cost 2.50 euros! what a deal what a steal!

    July 26, 2011 at 1:55 am

  2. I’m impressed too. Canning is not something I’ve tried (& to be honest, I don’t think I could be bothered … maybe if we grew a lot of produce or it was cheap to buy from a reliable source). We only have an orange tree, a passionfruit vine & some asparagus growing; and we manage to eat it all.

    July 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm

  3. camille

    Go big or go home! The only two things I reliably c(k)an are pretty simple to do : strawberry preserves (thanks for the berries, Foggy Hollow Farm and Bugtussle Biodynamic Farm!) and stewed or roasted tomatoes. Neither of those requires a whole lot of special preserving since they are both fairly acidic. My main problem is the heat generated by the c(k)anning process, but it’s not too bad if you can knock it out all in one weekend.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm

  4. camille

    PS – hillsboro Hardware had some of those beautiful squatty (sp?) Ball jars that can turn your c(k)ans into lovely gifts…

    August 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm

  5. It was great to see you today, Diane …BUT … you didn’t tell me about your kitchen! I just scrolled down a few posts and saw it. How do you ever pull yourself away from that gorgeous kitchen? If it were mine, I would never want to leave it … I would become a professional chef. I am totally green with envy. Good luck on the project you showed me today, it is looking beautiful. Carolina

    September 19, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    • slippingthroughmyfingers

      C, Sometimes it is hard to get out of the kitchen! It really is the heart of our home. I love cooking things my family and friends love. Feeding the ones I love nourishes me. Maybe you and your girls can come by next time you go to Textile…I’m right around the corner!

      October 17, 2011 at 8:03 pm