Country Living Series

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mistakes, immortalized

Some of you may remember several years ago when I (foolishly) attempted to can refried beans.

It was, to put it mildly, a catastrophic failure.

I now know refried beans are one of the foods home canners should NOT attempt to can.

Thanks to reader suggestions, I stopped trying to can refried beans, and now I just can cooked pintos, which can be whipped into refried beans in no time flat. (This is a much safer method.)

Anyway, that was several years ago. Then two days ago I received the following emai:
Dear Ms. Lewis:

I am working on an exhibit for the National Agricultural Library on the history of home canning and I would like to use one of the images from your blog post [she referenced the refried beans post]. I would be happy to give you credit and provide a link back to the original post.

Please let me know if this is something you would consider. Thanks in advance, Emily

Emily Marsh, Ph.D., MLS
Librarian | Digital Library Branch
National Agricultural Library
My reply:
Permission granted. As my husband points out (tongue-in-cheek), one of my major canning errors will thereby become enshrined in a national archive. Wheee!
So there you have it, folks. My biggest and most impressive canning blunder will be immortalized forever.


  1. Be sure your sins, er....blunders will find you out!

  2. One person's "blunder" is another person's learning experience. I've learned a lot from you and have had many laughs also. Thanks!

  3. Fame is such a fickle mistress....

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

  4. Life is WAAYY too long for those who cannot laugh at themselves! I would know.. I regularly make a pubic spectacle of myself. You just bow low and move on! Natokadn

  5. I am laughing in my socks reading this! That poor canner will never live it down!

  6. How well I remember that post! And that image!! Thank goodness it was a lesson learn.Hopefully it will spare another novice canner who thinks that you can just put anything in a pressure canner; seal it up - and things will be okay. Now please tell me that you don't can bacon anymore... :wink:

  7. no publicity is bad publicity.
    this may be your five minutes of fame.
    something for your grandchildren to treasure.

  8. Heh!! I've said it before and I'll say it again:

    I knew you were only in it for the glamor! ;)

    A. McSp

  9. I had not read the original before a few weeks ago. I found it near the top of a google search for "canning refried beans". I'm sure your blog post has saved many people from trying it. (I was one if them that decided to also just can the beans whole.) Nice save for the rest of us. Now even more people will see it.

  10. I know this is an old post, but have you ever gotten the link or seen a page where your photo is to know if you made the final cut?

    1. No, and thank you for the reminder. I just sent an email off asking for a link. When they reply, I'll post.

      - Patrice

    2. I googled it.

      Here's the page with your image on it.