I was wondering if anyone else here does home canning? I've been canning pear preserves all morning and I am tired!
My friend from work brought me three paper grocery bags full of pears because he knows I like to can. I only used about half out of one bag and it made 14 jars! When he brought me the pears I told him I would give him a jar of preserves, but it looks like he's going to get five or six jars instead!
On the family farm (which is over 100 years old now), there is an annual "canning" of the sweet corn. The irony is that it doesn't involve any mason jars. What you do is pick the ears, bring them to the cooking kettle, let them cook til they are done, then dump them in large tubs of cool water to let them cool off and sink to the bottom (hot sweet corn floats and cold sweet corn sinks). Then you cut off the kernels, measure them out in serving sizes and bag them in freezer baggies. Then its off to the freezers of anyone who wants it.
Since the family farm is all the way in the southwest part of Minnesota and I live in the south now (North Carolina), I rarely get to help out with the whole process. I remember doing it a total of 2 times in my life.
Its a lot of work, but a lot of fun because the family from nearby all come to help. Also, there is fresh cooked sweet corn if your feeling peckish during the time spent "canning".
Oh, I almost forgot, I was visiting my Grandparents in Arizona one year, when they were still alive and still going to Arizona for the winters (They didn't really care much for Minnesota winters) and going to one of their neighbors to make lemon jelly. Its actually pretty good tasting, it reminds me of lemonade somewhat.
You pick some fresh lemons from the lemon tree, which, by the way has some serious thorns on it, and peel the rinds off of them, and boil down the pulpy fruit inside, add about a pound of sugar to it and let it boil down til its nice and jelly like then quickly pour the hot jelly into jars and put lids on them.
Crabby, we've always called that "putting up" corn. I guess because you're putting it up for the winter. I do that too with the cutting it off the ears and freezing it. I also shuck, blanch, and cool the whole ears of corn and put them in freezer bags. In the winter, there's nothing better than eating corn out of the freezer that tastes as fresh as it did in the summertime!
I always do strawberry, blackberry, peach, and pear preserves every summer. Also, green beans, canned whole tomatoes, and tomato juice. It is a lot of work but so worth it when you finally get done. My mother always canned when I was growing up and then I had her teach me how.
If any of you lived near me, I would gladly share with you. We were watching Doomsday Preppers recently and my husband said my pantry looks like theirs!
I keep telling myself that I will "get to it" eventually. That covers a lot of things I want to do. Canning, reading more novels (which have sadly been replaced mostly by textbooks and journal articles), learning to play the drums...