Learning how to can has been on my list for years. There seems to be something so fulfilling about spending a day in the kitchen prepping jars, chopping and dicing, heat processing and sealing.
I remember being 5 or 6 and spending time at my Grandparents house during the canning time and helping in the kitchen while Grandma canned peaches, corn, beets, tomatoes and made more pickles than I ever thought could be eaten. But every year their pantry in the basement would go from full to just 1 or 2 jars left.
Taking the food that is at it’s peak and preserving for later. Seems so smart to me. Now if I could just get up the nerve to actually do it.
- I will do it wrong and will spoil all the fresh food.
- It is hard to have a whole Saturday/Weekend available to spend all day cleaning, cutting/chopping and canning.
- That it won’t turn out after all that work
A publishing house offered to send me the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. 400 recipes for canning various foods. From spreads and fruits to salsa and pickles.
I finally paged through it and know I want to make the Picked Three-Bean Salad and now I just need to get up the nerve to do it. I even have a starter canning set. I can do it!
Picked Three-Bean Salad
4 1/2 cups sliced trimmed green beans
4 1/2 cups sliced trimmed yellow wax beans
1 lb lima beans
2 cups sliced celery
1 2/3 cups diced onions
1 cup diced seeded red bell pepper
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp celery seeds
4 tsp pickling or canning salt
3 cups white vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
Prepare canner, jars and lids.
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine green and yellow beans, lima beans, celery, onions and red pepper. Add boiling water to cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes, until vegetables are heated through.
Meanwhile, in a separate stainless steel saucepan, combine sugar, mustard and celery seeds, salt, vinegar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes, until spices have infused the liquid
Drain hot vegetables and pack into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar. Ladle hot picking liquid into jar to cover vegetables, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if necessary, by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process jars for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
It looks manageable but I am still nervous, my goal is sometime in the next few months is to try this and to make pickles. Scott could eat a jar a week and I know I could make them taste so much better by making our own.
Do you can? What is your favorite thing to make?