Well, actually, it was my man’s mom, but let’s not split hairs.
So I’ve always been led to believe that canning was an extremely difficult task. Growing up I heard stories from classmates’ moms describing days and days of preparation, hard labor and the final push to preserve hundreds of jars of fruits, vegetables, jams, jellies, and……whatever. Well, if you’re going to do it all in one fell swoop and save all that work for just one time, I suppose it would be a giant pain in the ass to do canning.
But I know better now.
The key is to do small batches of canning. Take a few things that you would like to do today, and set aside three hours for working on this task. Yes, it is helpful that California has a year-round growing cycle, so it makes it easier to pick and choose the items and the timing for the canning process, but still—the idea of planning out your time wisely, not a bad one.
So this is what we did in our 3 hours of processing last night:
Step one. Unpack and wash the jars, lids, and screwtops. Sterilize by boiling in water separately. Keeping the jars warm after sterilizing also helps prevent temperature shock when you place the hot fruit in the jars.
Step two. Pick your pleasure. We were make jams last night. Peaches, nectarines and ripe raspberries! Wash and chop into small bits.
Step three. Read the damn recipe. Pectin is generally naturally derived from citrus fruits, and each little container you buy tells you exactly how to prepare the fruit and how much product to use for good gelling.
Step four. Fill the jars. Top with lid. Fasten screwtop. Process (i.e. boil) for 10 minutes.
Voila! DONE. Let set and enjoy.