When I was a child, my mother always canned our fresh produce. I helped pick the fresh fruits and vegetables, and also helped get them ready for preserving. I snapped green beans, shelled peas, and peeled tomatoes and peaches. Then I was in charge of sterilizing the jars.
When I married my farmer husband, we lived 100 miles from my family. My folks bought us a pressure cooker for Christmas one year, and the next summer, I started canning my own green beans.
It was a little scary being on my own with a pressure cooker, and for the next few years, I kept the instruction booklet close by. Fortunately, there were several older women in the neighborhood who were happy to answer the questions of a young bride.
After my children were grown and had left home, I figured I wouldn’t do much canning or freezing. However, because of the increasing cost of groceries, we are growing a larger garden, and we’re canning and freezing a lot of produce.
Sometimes my telephone will ring, and it will be a young woman who has a question about canning or pickling. I cherish these phone calls, even though they mean that I’m now one of the “older” women in the neighborhood. These moments bring back wonderful memories of my younger days.
Read more about home canning in Stories of Food Preservation Methods.
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