Hi, I’m Megan, and I hate canning. There, I said it. It’s out in the open now. I know canning is trendy and cool right now, but I avoid it at all costs. Why? Because this is how a day of canning usually goes for me.
My husband and I wake up early to get started because we know it’s going to be a long day. We clean and chop vegetables, wash jars and other equipment, and try to find the supplies hidden in our basement that we haven’t used since the last time we canned.
Invariably it’s a 90 degree summer day. We’re sweaty, we start to get cranky with each other, and the kitchen looks like someone blew up a tomato field. The stove is pumping out plenty more heat and humidity and we’re getting burned by vats of boiling liquid all afternoon.
Back and forth we go from the table to the stove to the sink and back, over and over again. Thirteen hours later, we have a good amount of salsa jars cooling on the counter. We pop open beers and exclaim, “Thank goodness that’s over until next year.”
Nobody tells you how grueling canning can be. Although I do spend a day canning salsa every season, I have to admit I dread it and it’s painful. But, we love eating our own salsa throughout the year so we force ourselves through the routine once a summer.
Contrast this with the majority of my food preserving experience. The radio is playing some favorite music or a podcast. I’m sitting at the kitchen table chatting with my husband. I’m coring and chopping raw red peppers and packing them into jars. After about an hour I’ve got a good chunk of the peppers I’ll be using for the rest of the year stored in my basement freezer. No hot stove, no messy kitchen. Cleanup consists of scooping the scraps into the compost and rinsing the cutting board and knife – super easy and super relaxing.
Now, which version of food preserving do you want to experience?
I put a lot of food away for off season eating each year. And 95% of my experience falls in the second scenario. That’s because I focus on the quickest and easiest ways to get food preserved. I don’t have time to spend a day canning in my hot kitchen, but I do have an hour every so often to chop some of my excess produce.
These hours here and there gradually add up to a pantry full of produce that I can use the rest of the year in meals, smoothies and desserts. It’s cooking without having to go food shopping, and it’s wonderful!
Eat food from you garden all year round!
You can make every harvest last longer by learning how to quickly and easily preserve vegetables at the height of their season. And if you think canning is the only option, my book, Super Easy Food Preserving, teaches you how easy it can be to use your basement, fridge and freezer instead. Read more about it here.