I use Ball mason jars for a variety of things; beauty products, storing spices, storing pesto and more. It was about time that I learned how to use these ball jars for their main purpose and do some canning.
If I didn't have my garden I probably would not have thought twice about learning how to can.
Sure, I could have used YouTube or read about how to can. You can learn anything from fixing a toilet to a car engine on YouTube; but to learn from a grandparent, a parent or a willing teacher who has done it before makes for a better learning experience and a lifelong memory.
I was thankful that I was able to spend some time with my grandparents and see what they could teach me. My grandparents have had a garden and have canned their food as long as I can remember as did their parents and the ones before them.
If you don't have a living parent or grandparent in your life, it is very likely that you do have someone in your life that has a skill that you would like to learn. All you have to do is ask if they will teach you.
I learned how to can purple hull peas, blackberry jelly and blueberry jam. I watched my grandmother the first few times and then did my own batch. I'll post in upcoming posts how we canned those foods using both a pressure canner and water baths.
I always thought that canning was old-fashioned or too hard to learn. As I started to do the canning process, though, I started to understand the value in canning.
You know where your food is coming from and what's in it. When we picked blueberries for the jam, I knew exactly where those berries came from. When I was shelling purple hull peas, I knew what part of the garden those were located in and that the plants were grown from seed.
With our lives as hectic as they are now, canning saves time in food preparation for putting a meal together. A jar of this added to a little bit of that can instantly be a meal. And hey, it saves money too!
If you're in the south and you get news that there's going to be the possibility of 1/16 inch of snow; you don't have to rush to the store to buy the ingredients for milk sandwiches.
Canning is also a way to have a homemade gift on hand.
Now that I have canned, I have a better appreciation for canning and truly understand what goes into it.
Canning is not hard, it's just time-consuming. Tweet that!
Watching and learning how to can next to my grandmother and then being able to do it myself created a little bit of canning confidence. I am now excited to do some canning on my own.