Every time I go to the basement to empty the dehumidifier into the sump pump well, I walk through the canning pantry. It’s two rooms, actually, lined with shelves floor to ceiling designed to store the bounty and abundance of the year’s harvest so the family could enjoy potatoes, tomatoes, pickles, onions, jams and jellies through the winter (and possibly to the time when crops started yielding and fruits started bearing again in the spring).
I know it sounds sort of dorky, but I like that the house has a canning pantry. I like living in a place that reminds me on a regular basis to “plan ahead” and to not waste. I don’t know the first thing about canning, so, right now, it’s more like a canning pantry in waiting -- the shelves in one room are empty and I’ve stored paint on the shelves in the other room. But, I am sure I can learn how to can and make jam. My dad has pickled some peppers and tomatoes in recent years. And, my neighbor, Pat, makes spectacular raspberry jam. Betsy makes salsa and tomatoes. So, I’ve got some good teachers around.
My goal is to start small – with salsa. The tomatoes and peppers and onions are coming in really well. And, Betsy has a good recipe. Next year, I hope that the berries bear enough that I can make jam. And, then, I’d like to try making “saft,” a berry juice to mix with water for a very refreshing beverage. Tante Mie made the best saft ever. Raspberry/Currant was my favorite. I found a recipe for saft that my grandmother had written when she was in “Husmor skole” and think I’ll use that one.
I can’t wait to have something other than paint on the shelves in the canning pantry. If anyone has tips/tricks for canning or is willing to give me a lesson or two later in the year, you know where I am!