This weekend I achieved a first. What dazzling skill did I conquer? (Well, “conquer” in the beginner sense.)
For the first time in my life, I canned tomatoes all by my lonesome. Actually, I think it’s the first time I canned tomatoes at all. Previous canning adventures with friends were for jam/preserves, cherry, blueberry, and peach — not all at once.
It was ever so slightly sweaty work. If AC didn’t exist — I don’t know how we survived. I mean, I don’t even use the AC that heavily compared to some, since I’m cold-blooded and am comfortable at slightly warmer temps. But when you’re boiling water on the stove for over an hour and a half…
Anyway, as I read through the book once again and dealt with the dangers of botulism, I realized that if I wanted to do this on any kind of large scale with vegetables, I was going to have to buy a pressure canner, not just a boiling water canner. Of course, those are more expensive. A comparably sized pressure canner is $80.00 or more (high quality ones are considerably more), whereas a boiling water canner is $20 or less.
The pressure canner needs to go on the Xmas list.
This whole canning adventures is part of my attempts to eat local, not just in summer, but all year long. I won’t be able to achieve it completely, but every little bit helps. To me, it’s a combination of responsible stewardship of the earth, and direct benefits of health and taste to me. Decreasing my footprint on the earth when I don’t need to be that wasteful is, well, important to me.
Anyway, that’s the philosophy for the day. Canning is one more step on the road to eating locally more than 50% of the time, which is the first basic goal; although how I’m going to quantify 50% I’m not sure yet.