I’ve been pondering canning. It seems like the ultimate homemaker activity, even above baking bread. Of course, to make the most sense of canning, this accomplished homemaker would ideally have also mastered gardening and would commence canning to preserve her backyard bounty.
I have no backyard bounty. I don’t even have grass in my backyard. It’s not really my fault; it has only rained one day in the last four months. But I digress.
After reading about the actual process of canning, I was concerned that any activity with lots of peelers, knives and huge pots of boiling water might not be good with a toddler around. Then, a couple articles mentioned “freezer canning.” Hey, I have a freezer! But I don’t have anything to actually can. A helpful article suggested analyzing what your family eats the most of and starting there. For us, that would be applesauce and tomato sauce. The former sounded less messy.
At the farmer’s market, we stopped at a local orchard’s stand and picked up about 5 lbs. of their “special” apples for only $5. The ones that are 95% perfect-looking, 100% perfect for applesauce. Just look at the photo above, gorgeous!
While Hannah was at school, I tackled the peeling and chopping. It was tedious but didn’t take too long.
The sliced apples filled my slow cooker about 3/4’s full. I added a small amount of apple juice as cooking liquid and a sprinkle of cinnamon (after taking the picture).
After 5 hours on low, I let it cool then used the immersion blender to get a consistent texture. A couple days ago, I found these official “freezer canning jars” and decided to give them a try. They were a good price, are BPA-free and have twisty lids.
Yes, there is a spoon in the partial jar. That one didn’t make it past dinner. So I have two in the freezer, and we are seriously looking forward to consuming those in the future. Hannah’s comment: “more, more, more.”
According to my calculations, even though I got a great deal on the locally-grown, low spray apples, buying organic applesauce is still cheaper. But this tastes way better. Tough call there.
Do you have any canning experiences to share? Should I attempt the boiling vats and glass jars?