By Mary Roberts
A short while ago a friend of mine was at my house when I had a canning project going. She said to me, “Mary, you should give classes in canning, its a lost art”. That sounds strange to me because I have done it all my life. My grandmother and my mother both canned and preserved all their own vegetables. It was only natural for me to do the same thing.
I was raised in a family of seven children and my father and mother worked hard to feed them all. We grew all of our own fruits and vegetables and canned them. It was and still is hard work but it is very rewarding to sit down to the table, eating the foods that you have worked for and harvested and, above all, you know what is going into your system. If you haven’t tried it, you really need to give it a whirl.
Right now cucumbers and zucchini are prolific in our garden so I making pickles and pickle relish. I do the cold-packing method. I am not a pressure cooker girl. One of the secrets to easy canning is to search for some easy recipes for good flavored seasoning, especially when it comes to pickles and relish. I have my own recipe for bread and butter pickles which I have used for years and my family loves. I use the same recipe for my relish. I can easily do a batch in an evening after work (about 15 jars in one of my batches).
We eat a lot of zucchini but I also grate and freeze zucchini for zucchini cakes and bread. That way I can have them all year long.
The green beans are coming on next. We will be snapping and canning beans next week.
If you can find some of the old cookbooks and recipe books, most of them have tips on canning and freezing and even some recipes. I haven’t tried the Internet yet for that. You can tell I’m from the old school.
Remember, for us country girls, the best thing about summer is our garden.