I got my first taste of canning as a wee lass, watching my grandmother “Nanny” (a sassy thing, turning a young 86 in August!) transform her garden cukes into bread & butter pickles and her grapes into violet-tinged juice.
If canning wasn’t part of your family’s culinary background, however, and the recent resurgence of interest in this means of preservation has got you intrigued, I’ve got just the thing for you. The fine folks at Jardin (the maker of Ball canning products) sent me a complimentary assortment of their wares, including all of those pictured above. In case you can’t make them all out, there’s: an impressive jar lifter; a ‘nifty’ (one of my Pop’s favorite words!) canning funnel; a great book of recipes from Ball; sample packets of pectin and salsa seasoning; and a “Home Canning Discovery Kit”, which includes a plastic basket used for lifting jars safely in and out of the boiling water bath and 3 pint jars with lids and screw bands. These items will help transform all of you canning dreamers out there into doers.
And I’m giving it all away to one lucky small measure reader. Even if you’re already deft with a water bath and can wield a jar lifter with the ease that comes from experience, feel free to enter the giveaway. These items will equally inspire, and assist, newbies and old-schoolers alike.
To enter the giveaway, simple leave a comment below describing what tempts you about canning. If you’re already canning, what brings you back? If it’s something you’ve longed to do, why? I’ll go first.
For me, it’s time in a bottle. When cherries are on sale here, or I pick a mess of blueberries from wild bushes up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or a bumper crop of cucumbers show up at the farmer’s market (or, even better, in my garden), I know just what to do with them. Freezing isn’t much of an option for me. Not only do some things not freeze well, but, having been privy to one too many extended periods without electricity out here, and not owning a generator, a freezer just wouldn’t cut the mustard for my preservation needs (when pine trees fall on power lines during snow storms and you live one mile down a snow-covered dirt road, the utility companies out here, I’ve learned, sort of think you’re the type of person who can handle power outages longer than the “city folk” can). Canning these items, though, holds them in suspended animation, keeps ’em fresh and delicious, and ensures I can enjoy pickled cherries when the snow falls, or slather blueberry jam on my Christmas morning toast. That’s why I answer the siren song.
Et tu? What beckons you? Please be sure to leave a means of reaching you, either by listing your e-mail address or website/blog, in your comment (if your profile link contains that info, that’ll do). I’m open to international commenters if you’re open to considering splitting the shipping costs. The giveaway will run through next Friday, July 29th, at midnight EST.