Nov 16th, 2011 | By | Category: For Senior Women

Canning – Once a Necessity

Most of us senior women grew up in homes where our mothers and grandmothers canned fruits and vegetables in the autumn, with produce grown in family gardens during the summer.  Canning was a necessity, because we didn’t have supermarkets with shelves and shelves of canned goods. We had small grocery stores that carried the bare minimum.  Our mothers had to can food to be able to feed their families during the winter.

The function of canning has changed. Some of us do it because we enjoy knowing what goes into the food we eat.  Others of us just plain enjoy canning; we feel productive – like we’ve made a contribution to the ongoing health of our loved ones.  Others of us do it as our mothers did, out of necessity.

Home canning is making a comeback. Since the start of the recession, home canning supplies sales are up, some estimate as much as 35 per cent.  Homemakers (women and men) are beginning to can produce again because it’s cheaper than buying canned fruits and vegetables from a supermarket shelf.

Substitutes for Sugar and Salt

Many new recipes found online now have suggestions for sugar and salt substitutes in canning produce. Unsweetened apple or white-grape juice is a favorite to replace sugar.  Salt is simply omitted whenever possible.  Modified pectins help jelly ‘gel’.  Many Internet sites recommend canning only a small amount of each fruit/vegetable.  You don’t want jars left over next year when you start harvesting your garden, or when your food coop begins to include fresh local produce.

Here is an example of a website that is all about canning.  As always, the best way for you to find exactly what you are looking for is to enter the search terms in your favorite search engine box.  ‘Recipes for canning’ is a good place to begin.

Whatever your motivation, you might want to give canning a try.  This SCJ editor finds the return to basics in the kitchen very gratifying.

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