Sunday, June 10, 2012

Creative Home Canning

Mmm, mmm, home canned goods! In days gone by, home canning was a skill any respectable homemaker learned and practiced. Canning season came regularly in the kitchen farm of my growing up years..we all participated...we all reaped the delicious rewards. Well stocked pantry shelves were a credit to a good farmwife..a keeper of her home who know there was food to provide for her home and to share if the need arose. Today, it is a novelty..learned by few, kept alive by some.
I have never found canning particularly difficult; it is just one of those tasks that must be done. Personally, we have ensured each of our children learn the skill well enough to do it on their own if need be. Fruits hand picked in season have been made in to fillings, jams and jellies...produce has been made into sauces, relish, salsas and side dishes. Our jars are a treasure..our pantry shelves are evidence to that. Creativity and food science meet together when teens enter the kitchen...and as a testament to that: Texas Relish, Hot Pepper Butter, and Habanera Jelly were born. Each different and distinct- just like the kids who made them.
The Texas Relish was an impromptu recipe by our youngest farmgirl. She incorporated textures and flavors similar to a recipe found online, but altered the ingredients to her own personal tastes. We have tried this relish on burgers, wraps, crackers and even as a grilling glaze for meats...all I can say is yum.
Hot Pepper Butter is a recipe from an Amish book..our farmboy loved it! He is our resident hot pepper grower and was seeking new uses for them - aside from the salsa and stuffed hot peppers he makes. Having a mustard base, this recipe lends itself well to sandwiches, burgers, and even a brisket glaze.
Finally, some Habanera! Don't panic - it's not fiery or deadly. Our older farmgirl explored the domain of natural pectin with this recipe. Her jelly has a delicious green apple base with cranberries for a blush of color. There are only two habaneras in the jelly..seeded and de-veined, they are just the right touch of heat. My personal assessment is that the jelly tastes like honey with a touch of spice.
Canning projects with children help them learn, to can completely on their assistance (we can food seasonally every year- always together- as a group). Also, the importance of good jars, good pectin - or how to make it, and creative ways to use the goods you canned. We are rewarded with good lessons learned, good advise, and good food to use and share.

What creative canning have you experimented with??



Beth Stewart said...

I love canning! :) all the recipes sound tasty:)

J.E. Traweek said...

I opened a can of Campbell's soup last week! You make me so jealous. your kids are amazing! I am enjoying my fresh produce, though, from your garden. Thanks!

Nicole said...

Oh this is very interesting- you should post a "how to" for us non farmgirls! :) I have never canned or eaten canned foods but I definitely am interested in learning. Thanks for sharing with us at Workin' It Mondays- your kiddos have some winning goods there they created!