Now that autumn has arrived and harvest is beginning to wind down for many farm families, we turn our attention to canning food. Or do we?
Canning was something that used to be very popular and a craft that was taught to the next generation. However, over the years it started to dwindle. Now, it seems, canning might be making a comeback amongst people. I remember growing up on the farm where both my Mother and Grandmother would team up to can peaches, apricots, crab apples, beans, and corn. They would make pickles, beet pickles, and pickled carrots too. Some years they would even can chicken. Have you ever had canned chicken? It looks disgusting but actually tastes pretty good! It’s like the head cheese of the chicken world.
Not just fruits and vegetables were canned. Cranberry, gooseberry, raspberry, strawberry, and black current jams and jellies were also made. Gooseberry jam was especially delicious on freshly baked buns! I’ve asked friends in Regina, as well as my co-workers about canning. Many have similar answers which are “my Mom used to can” or “I used to can but not anymore.”
At one time canning was vitally important for rural families to ensure they had enough fruits and vegetables to get through the winter months until a new garden could be planted. Canned peaches, crab apples and apricots also served as tasty desserts for family meals. I don’t can personally, but I sure miss those delicious jars of food!
What about your family? Has canning season endured in your home yet? What do you can?