Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yes, As a Matter of Fact, I CAN!

**Posting this earlier than I normally do. Scroll down if you missed the Death Day entry.**

Before I let you know what I can do, there's something else I'd like to share with you. As if I haven't mentioned Kate from Gardening Without Skills every day this week (I love her blog), I need to mention her again! She ran a drawing for the cutest little garden gnome and I am the lucky recipient! I'm just stupid giddy. He'll have a home with the two frogs we just bought on Monday and be well taken care of. Thanks Kate!

I saw a very basic BWB at the store this weekend and it's been gnawing at me since. Last night I broke down and purchased it. I figured if it didn't work, I would only be out $20 so it was worth it. Ladies and gentlemen, I can can! Well, kind of. We have a glass top stove. I'm thinking I'll have to hook up the turkey fryer and do it on that burner, but we'll see.

Before we broke out the canner, we made some freezer jam. Between finding the blackberry patch and watching EG's film of his patch, the boy had his mind set on some blackberry jam. I couldn't get my brave up to go in our patch, so I took the easy way out and bought frozen mixed berries. The boy mixed it up well.
When I was washing some dishes, I heard smacking...something was afoot. The picture is blurry because I grabbed the camera and snapped the picture as I was turning around in order to catch him red handed.
The jar we kept out is half gone already. Oh my goodness is it good. I know it's only frozen berries, but it's a bit chunky and sooooo good.

Then, we busted out the BWB and made my first batch of canned pickles. I have made refrigerator ones before, but never canned them for shelf storage. It took 1.5 hours for that stove to boil the water (more reason to use the turkey fryer), but I did it. I took the jars from the canner and set them on a towel to cool while I finished last night's blog entry. It was quiet, everyone else had gone to be, when all of a sudden, I heard a POP! Then there was another. It took me a bit to realize, the cans were sealing! I had done it. I was crazy happy.

But I was thinking. All recipes I've found are for a crazy number of tomatoes, peppers, whatever they are. What if I only want to do a couple of pints of something at a time? Do you have any recipes for that?


  1. YAY! Congrats on the garden gnome! Oh, I'm so jealous of your new found canning skillz... I've wanted to try canning for a few years now, but haven't had the guts to try it. If it's as easy as you make it sound, maybe I'll give it a go soon too!

    One of my backup recipe sites has a good looking canning section... If you go to the recipe, you can change the serving/unit size. http://www.recipezaar.com/recipes/canning

  2. Good for you! I like when the jars seal, because they go "ping!" Canning is addictive, and tomatoes are probably next for me...

  3. I want to can tomatoes so badly. I've frozen a ton of them, but I never have the 9+ lbs they ask for at one time to can them. :(

    grumble, grumble.

    I may just have to check out Momma_S's changing the serving size site. I just wonder how accurate it gets and if I'm going to make this "The Coroner's Yard" after all. ;)

  4. Congratulations, oh you gnome winning, canning queen! Mom

  5. Now I KNOW I'm not buying that ceramic cook top I had my mind set on. I'd planned on replacing mine this week, but I think I'll get another one with "real" burners that boil water a bit faster.

    "What if I only want to do a couple of pints of something at a time?" Next year plan on a bigger garden ;-)

  6. I actually really enjoy canning once I get underway with it. Like painting though, it's the prep work that seems to take all the time. My favorite thing to can is tomatoes and tomato sauce. I did not get to do nearly enough of it last year because we had such a lousy tomato growing year in 2008. This year is shaping up to be a high production year (thankfully) - so lots of canning!

  7. Well done canning! I would like to try that sometime. You make it sound do-able.
    I love your photo's of your sweet helper. I used to have two little helpers, but they grew into teenagers.

  8. Granny, it gets worse. From what I now know, the weight of the water needed can crack the glass top. Don't get one regardless. I got spoiled with a gas stove and I don't like this one no matter how pretty it is...when it's clean.

  9. KitsapFG, that's exactly my problem. Yesterday I had about 3 lbs of tomatoes that I wanted to can for stewed toms or something, but all I could find was that you needed upwards of 9-20 lbs of them. That I'll never have.

  10. hidinginmygarden, the little man said last night that he wanted to marry me for real so he'd never have to move out of the house so I'd never have new children so I won't forget him.

    Yes, it was all said in one breath without punctuation. :) He's a good kid.

  11. The book for my stove says not to use any pans without an even/flat bottom as the heat builds up underneath the raised portion which can cause it to crack. It also says be sure to immediately wipe up any sugary spills (on the hot burner area) as they can permanantly discolor the top. From my experience making raspberry jam at our last house, I'd be in trouble! I had raspberry splattered over half my kitchen!!

    I haven't gotten to where I need to can anything (yet) so I'm happy with my stovetop so far. It's the cleanest one I've ever had (I've never done well with burner pans on the electric stove-) If I do need to can, I think I could use the side burner on the grill or the gas stove in the travel trailer. Less than ideal, but still an option...

  12. OOOOHHHH!!!! You smart lady you, Amy. I never thought about the burner on the grill, but the pot may still be a bit wide and wobbly.

    Last night, I took my tallish flat bottomed pot, tied jar lid rings together to make a platform so the jars didn't sit on the bottom and canned my own salsa! It was so easy, I didn't need a real canner (wish I had figured this out before I bought the thing I can't use) and it worked great!

  13. Kimchi and White Rice just did some canning too.

    Man... ALL the cool kids are figuring this out. If I don't figure it out, no one will like me. I just know it.

    Must go learn this canning biz. I'm sooo jealous...as always.

  14. It's peer pressure. Give in.

  15. Yay, canning season! That "pop" song is one of my favorite tunes of summer.

  16. This is my first go at it, Stefaneener. What do you can?