Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We CAN at School!

How's that for a cheesy title?

I was lucky enough this year to be invited back to the Foods classes at our school to teach a demo lesson on canning. Last year was my first year doing it and we had a lot of fun making grape jelly, pickles and apple pie jam.

This year, there were five classes to prepare for instead of just the three, so I knew I needed to be super prepared and make/bring things that would score big with the kids. Because the recipes were a bit more intensive this year, I was so grateful that the foods teacher worked one step ahead of me and was chopping and preparing the ingredients for the next class while I was teaching.

Like last year we talked about safety, high vs. low acid foods, botulism, so much more, and then walked them through a demonstration. We only had 50 minutes in each class, so this was tight. Here's what we did:

1st period - made grape jelly from concentrated juice and tried some I had already made
2nd period - made banana jam and tasted some I had already made
3rd period - made apple conserve (YUM!) and tried some grape jelly that was already made
4th period - made red onion jelly and tried the banana jam from earlier
6th period - made salsa and tasted salsa I had already made

Like last year, the kids each did their best to out bid each other on the cost of buying jars. I even had one student go as far as to email me to ask if I could get her a jar off campus. Uh, no. What was nice is a student asked if she bought the supplies if I'd help her learn how to can pears after school. We could probably work something out.

I didn't get many pictures, but the school newspaper did, so I'm hopeful to get some of theirs. Here's one I took during a period when I wasn't canning. You can see the jars on the counter from what we'd already done that day.
I did have fun. Each and every jar sealed and is now resting comfortably in my cabinet. I hope I get to do it again next year.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. welll, that's one way to get some canning outta the way!

  2. How fun to teach canning classes!

  3. It is so great that your school is willing to teach this. It was covered "back in the day" in our school's Home Ec class but that was a farm town in the 80's , it seems to have fallen out of fashion to even have Home Ec classes much less teach these types of skills - BRAVO!

  4. How fun! I wish I had learned canning in home ec, might have actually been doing it ever since. Great thing you all are doing!

  5. Sign me up! That's a class I'd be glad to take. :-) What a great teaching moment and even better way to get some extra canning done.
    I've never heard of banana jam. Is it like a butter (apple butter/pear butter) or is it more like a jelly?

  6. Thanks, guys! Barbie, banana jam is fantastic. It's not as think as apple butter, but really jam like. There's a recipe on the gardenweb harvest page.