Friday, September 21, 2012

Canning it up! City style: Part 1

So even though I was born and raised in the country, or as I affectionately call it "the boonies" I now live in the city. I miss being able to just walk out my door and do certain things that we just cant do here in town, like go play with the goats, talk to the cows, or walk from the house to the river.

Simple things, but they were awesome. The picture above was taken by my brother in law at my parents place. These are a few of my dads heifers (a female bovine that has never had a calf) in with the new bull.  I have NEVER bought beef at the grocery store. This is a point of pride. We have always raised our own. anyways, that's off track.....where was I going?? Oh yes! The point of this entire post! Canning! Anyways what I was saying before I am a country girl who lives in the city. and YES you can CAN!! My mom did allot of canning when I was younger and now that I have a child of my own, I want to show her how, granted she is still young, we have a great time working on it together. 

My daughter is three and is the pickiest eater so when we go to the grocery store, I like to get different fruits and veggies for her to try. Needless to say somethings just don't go over well. That bag of black cherries I bought?? Yup, they didn't fly with my monkey. So I took the whole bag, dumped it into a freezer zipper bag and tossed in the freezer. You can practically CAN anything! And since I had those cherries in there so I decided to thaw them, pit them and squeeze the life out of them! And how do I do this you ask??SQUEEZO!

I know sounds hilarious but its a manually powered seeder/sieve. I run everything through it! Tomato's, fruits, veggies, you name it! (You cant do cherries since they have pits and not lil tiny seeds like tomato's or blackberries, so I had to pit them first.) It runs about $195 but its well worth it. The one I use gets passed between three houses (my mom, me and my older sister) and is probably about 25 years old. Its well worth the investment. I like having the tools so that I can do things by hand. Which is weird since I always wanted the latest and greatest as a kid (which I never got, so go figure right??) And one of the nice things of the squeezo is that my daughter (who is only 3) can help out! (shes always begging to help!)
(Picture from

(My monkey getting in on the squeezo action.)

Technically you don't even need a squeezo. I prefer my jams/jellies to be seed free, that's why I use it. So if you don't want to put out the money for the squeezo, and dont mind seeds, these are the tools that you are going to need.
Jars (Ball or Kerr are the most common)
Two part lids (When you buy a pack of jars, which come in a case of 12, they come with the two part lids. I reuse jars so I have to buy the lids and rims sometimes)
Pectin (for jam making)
Wooden spoon

There are other types of preserving but I am focusing on jam :-) and you will need the above tools whether you use a squeezo or not.


Heather said...

I was wondering what you've been using to crush your berries. I might have to look into one of those someday.