Can It Forward?

It’s not that I have a lot of garden bounty, mind you–but last week as I was making some fresh salsa, it occurred to me that I was doing an awful lot of work for nothing (well, not exactly nothing–but if I were going to stand there chopping for an hour–because I don’t like to use a food processor on the tomatoes–they get far too watery.  And then, if I’m hand chopping anyway, I just go and chop everything else–there aren’t that many other things in it!) and wouldn’t it be nice to have a few jars of this stuff around for more than a week?

And I’ve always wanted to try pickles too–again, not that I have cukes now–but the farmer markets do.

Then I see that last Saturday was National Can It Forward Day–who knew?  Not me, or I really might have been tempted to try instead of planting hostas in my rock hard ground that left me with lingering aches to this day!

To add to all this, there are these neat little canning kits you can get now for practically no money that go into stockpots that you already own.  They really don’t look as if they’d hold up–they’re neon green polypropylene baskets that hold just 3 jars–but that’s just about how many extra jars I’d have left over once I took out the salsa I’d want to eat fresh.  Hmm.

The reviews of the kits on Amazon are just ravingly good.  And you can buy them locally at the big box stores–Wal-Mart is a huge canning supplier if you want to shop there.

Even my local paper, the Hartford Courant, had an article yesterday about how “grandma’s” canning techniques were outdated but if you want to try it yourself, here’s the way to do it and it gave some tips and places to take quick classes.  Amazing.

All of this is building toward a groundswell of me trying this–there are just two things holding me back:  I’m not sure how ecologically correct it is to boil water for almost an hour for a few jars of salsa or pickles.  It’s probably just better to buy them, even if they are shipped from California–I can hope they came by rail at least.

The second thing is that if you poke around that Ball site for a bit, as I did, and start reading about all the things that can go wrong with your canned food (particularly pickles), then you’ll definitely decide it’s not worth it, especially if you’ve boiled water for 45 minutes!  Honestly!

So we’ll see how adventurous I’m feeling in the next few weeks.  If I’m making salsa again though, I’m definitely canning!

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