“The topic is abundance again, but today we’ll cover food instead of flies. It is canning season. I feel an urgency in my bones this time of year, a rush and hustle, inherited from our hunger-driven ancestors. We nearly had a frost last night, my bones say, and the larder is not yet full. Get to it. I know this urge well now and I also know that acting on it can cause some stress. Nobody wants to be up until midnight on a weeknight, trying to finish canning the hundred pounds of tomatoes they hauled home. This only causes tears. I know. And I also know I’m not alone.
On Friday afternoons I have been hearing snippets of conversation among members who are delighted but also overwhelmed by the volume of the goodness coming out of the fields this time of year. Those of you who are new to the share don’t want to miss out on anything, and those of you who have been through a few seasons are rushing to get the good stuff put up.
I thought I’d share my own system of triage, which I use to prevent harvest season breakdowns. Take what you like from me, and share your own tricks with others, especially the newer members who are going through their first season.
Food Preservation Tips
1. The freezer is my best friend. I find actual canning time-consuming, messy, and a little nerve wracking on the food safety front. Plus I’m all about efficiency of scale, and always disappointed by how little one can do in one batch on the stove. So most of the produce I put up goes into the chest freezer in our basement. If it is well stacked, the freezer can hold an amazing amount of food, and if the vegetables are already chopped and blanched, you are on your way to a fast and easy meal in winter or early spring. That said, if you have canning questions, our own Barbara Kunzi is a wonderful resource. She’s a certified master canner….” [Continue reading to learn more tips!]