Kitchen nostalgia is a powerful thing. Some of our
earliest cooking memories consist of glass Ball jars on the
counter, awaiting an array of harvested fare: figs to make
preserves, yellow squash with onions, chile peppers to be added to
vinegar, and of course, the ubiquitous summer tomato -- the
unofficial fruit of the South.
Canning and pickling have almost become a lost culinary art.
Admittedly, our own canning knowledge is restricted to foggy
recollections of Grandma and our great-grandmother, Mama Cora,
canning seasonal produce from their massive garden with the care
and expertise of chemists working in a lab.
Decades later, we find ourselves gazing longingly at our own set
of Ball jars, wondering what the heck to do with them. There are
autumn soups and stews yet to be had! If you're game to try your
hand at home-canning, we applaud your gusto.
However, if you're a first-timer, be sure to follow an
established recipe to a "t," until you understand the do's and
don'ts of food safety well enough to do your own thing. Also, have
a buddy in the kitchen: He/she will be most helpful as an extra
pair of hands -- and eyes! -- in case of a potential hazard.
Keep us posted about your Peter Piper-esque adventures in
canning and pickling; we'll gladly share tales of that initial
batch of jalapeño pepper jelly or your pressure-cooking
Hmmm, we can already taste the pickled beets at Thanksgiving...
(Hint, hint.) Enjoy!