Ah another fine season of fruit, I canned 300lbs last summer and swore I wouldn’t can this summer but everyone keeps giving me fruit. I love being self sufficient and canning is a sure way to ensure food quality. I live across from a marvellous organic farming valley Cawston/Keremeos, so after failing at gardening (no Fence) I decided to spend my time and effort canning.
Canning seems to me to be an inherent activity, if you mother canned it is far more likely that you will can. I grew up in a family of ten in rural Nova Scotia so my mother canned in self defence….Grin. I have always preferred less sugar in my food and canning makes this possible, there are so many great alternatives-honey, maple syrup, fructose or agave nectar. A real motivator has been industries introduction of plastic to the inside of cans, a little research on this practice will curl your toes.
I can mostly fruit, tomatoes or pickles, due to their acidity these can all be processed with a simple water bath caner, I’m a bit afraid of the pressure cooker. When it comes to preserving vegetables my method is to dehydrate and vacuum seal. This summer I dehydrated a 50 lb. bag of walla walla onions because I use onions in all my dishes.
I had originally planned to build an out door canning kitchen, figuring it would be far too hot in the summer to can inside, once again the insulating qualities of the dome amaze me. It is consistently 22 Celsius in the dome, I have not managed to keep out the fruit flies but the dome kitchen is very comfortable to can in. I’ve waited four years to get my propane tanks in and gas lines run and finally I’m cooking with gas, what a pleasure. You are also looking at my first ever tile job, who knew…I can tile…grin. The kitchen is still awaiting the finishing touches (Island, cabinet doors ) but the functionality is excellent and I love that I am no longer dependant on electricity.