Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Canning frenzy

The trouble with canning, I've found, is once I start, it's hard to stop.

It began with peas. While cleaning out and inventorying our chest freezer, I came across two gallons of peas from the garden in our last place. At the time I harvested them, we were selling the house. It was a busy summer and I didn't have time to can anything, so I put them in the freezer ... and forgot about them.  Those were the first things to get canned.

Then, a couple days later, Don and I were driving through a nearby town when we saw one of those traveling fruit vendors. Instantly we pulled over and purchased two boxes of peaches (which, let the record show, had fewer quantity and higher prices than past purchases; but yowza they were delicious!). We had been trying to chase down this fruit vendor for several weeks, but didn't know his schedule. (Now we have his business card.) From this bounty, I canned up 15 quarts of peaches; the rest we ate fresh. Peaches are – hands down and by a wide margin – my all-time favorite fruit.

Lastly, of course, I canned the blueberries.

I'm also washing and selling some surplus canning jars that didn't sell at the yard sale. Most of these are half-pint jam and jelly jars, which I simply don't use.

Have I mentioned how much I love fall? Canning and autumn are forever entwined in my mind.

Hmm .... what can I can up next? Hopefully by this time next year, our garden will be up and running, and I'll have lots more ways to celebrate fall.


  1. If I lived up there I'd buy those jam and jelly jars. They're perfect for smaller portions of meat, like diced ham to top chef salads with or to mix into Mac and cheese. Lots of things with veggies benefit from the flavor of some meat, as does gravy made from scratch. The only thing I don't like about those little jars is the price considering they don't hold much.
    If they don't sell, your berry bounty next year could overflow into those jars as jam and make great gifts for friends and family.

  2. I volunteer regularly at a local charity thrift store. We use smaller canning jars to hold broken costume jewelry, odd earrings and loose beads. The jar is packed fairly tightly, covered and sold as a “junk jar” for crafting. They are quite popular - people come and ask for them specifically.

    Otherwise I agree with the previous comment about jam/jelly gifts. Very nice to give a hostess when invited to dinner, or as any kind of “thank-you” gift.

  3. It's amusing to think of our regional vocabularies sometimes. Down south here we call those round green things English peas. A lot of people don't like them. I love the tiny ones, not so much the big ones. We probably just don't know the best kinds to grow, because I don't know anyone who grows them.

    Our peas are what gardening catalogs call cowpeas. I learned that while looking for peas to grow. We love our peas and cornbread down here. And people are connoisseurs of peas like other people are of wine. There are lots of different kinds. Anyway, I like crowders and purple hulls. Cooked with some bacon( or canned with it) with whole okra thrown in when they're about halfway done. Served in a big bowl with cornbread on the bottom and plenty of pot likker and peas on top. Add a slice of Vidalia onion, a slice or two of tomatoes, a couple of hot peppers on the side, and a glass of full fat cultured buttermilk ( thick as kefir), and the meal is done.