A Taste of Summer
I had a small canning emergency yesterday and today. My freezer was bursting at the seams and something had to give. So I took out bags and bags of recently-purchased lima beans and blackberries that we had gotten from local farms, and decided to can them to free up freezer space. Prior to that there were raspberry jam, green tomato relish, a little bit of tomato sauce, and hamburger relish. So this is what my shelf looks like right now.
As you can probably tell, the hamburger relish, bottom shelf next to the dill pickles, has ordinary jar lids instead of proper canning lids. When I use those I make sure they are used on something that is high acid and processed in a water bath. If the lid still has that characteristic “pop” when it cools, I know I’ve achieved a good seal.
I love canning because it’s so aesthetically pleasing. Frozen produce just sits there in the cold and dark of the freezer, disappearing from memory.
Some things don’t can well, like okra from my garden. I just pop the whole pods in plastic bags and freeze them until I’m ready to use them. For gumbo and vegetable soups, they’re easy to slice when partially frozen. I also love okra fried, though I try to limit that to times when we really want a treat. I don’t can the eggplant either. I simply slice and freeze it.
Hot peppers were taking up a lot of freezer space as well, so I’m dehydrating those for future use. I’ve had a bumper crop of really hot ones this year. I think the rule is the hotter the weather, the hotter the peppers!
Every time I can something, this song goes through my head. I love Greg Brown.