That magnificent, earth-shattering thought sends tingles up and down my spine! I catch myself--at random moments during the day--repeating it over and over in my head: I canned peaches. I used a water bath canner to can peaches. By canning peaches, I obtained a higher and more glorious level of domesticity. I am a goddess. I did it! I canned my own peaches!
Canning is a frequently misunderstood skill, as well as a dying art form. (Which is tragic.) I don't know many women who take the time to do it. And truthfully, it is something I never thought I could learn. (Remember how when it comes to "mad skillz" in the kitchen, I am a doofus?)
But here's something you probably don't know about me: Learning to can my own peaches has always occupied a spot on my beloved bucket list. Really! Right up there with "see the Sistine Chapel" and "learn to play the banjo" and "publish a book" is "learn to can peaches" before I die!
Denise was an excellent (and patient) teacher. As we worked together in my small kitchen, I thought about how terrific it is to have caring friends who are not only happy to serve, but who are willing to share their talents with me. What a blessing! (THANK YOU, Denise!)
Upon completion of our crazy-fun, canning session, I asked Denise what her primo canning tips would be. She graciously gave me permission to share her insight with my dear friends and readers. Ready?!
Mama Denise's Tips for Canning
1.) If you are a beginner and would like to give canning a try, or if you are already a pro but would like a point of reference, you need the "Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving." It is the canning Bible...and an all-around neat book!
2.) When canning, you always want to use fresh produce. Beware of using produce that is overly ripe. If something is moldy, questionable, wormy, or icky, toss it! You don't want one bad fruit or veggie to ruin your whole batch. While you are sealing the good produce in, you want to be careful you aren't sealing in the bad bacteria too.
3.) Be sure to have lots of Diet Coke on hand throughout the process. It's long and it's hot, and having a refreshing "DC-On-The-Rocks" within reach will help!
When the dishes had been cleaned, and the kids had been tucked into their beds for the night, I tip-toed downstairs to the kitchen to take a peek at my jars on the counter. I pulled out one of my ginormous craft totes and got busy decorating some of my jars with scrap material. When McHubby asked, "Why bother?," and "Who are you doing that for?," I answered, "Me. I am doing it for me. Because I'm very proud of what I accomplished."
And because I bedazzle EVERYTHING!