For the first time ever, I have all my major canning* done before 1 September.
And even more importantly, I have done less of it than in years past. What is up with that? Shouldn’t I be, you know, squirreling away as many canned goodies as I am able for the future? The answer I am coming up with is “No, not necessarily.”
I suppose a bit of background needed for this seemingly contrary stand. One, I have assessed with the years what it is exactly we eat out of the canned goods and have adjusted accordingly. Pickles are virtually nonexistent, for one example, and I will never again can beet greens for myself, as I ate them only grudgingly. Two, I began to do a lot more root cellaring of certain vegetables, but even that has waned in the last couple of years to just potatoes, apples and onions. And three, most importantly, I am now growing food year-round. And considering the nutritional superiority of fresh produce over the canned stuff, I feel less compelled to run to the basement for a jar than to grab a basket and go harvest something for dinner.
The majority of the jars you see on those shelves above, then, are convenience items needed to put together a quick meal. The bottom shelf holds stocks and beans and bean soups. The next shelf up holds salsas, chutneys, and mustards: these will continue to be filled as I find the time. All of the second shelf down from the top is tomatoes and tomato products, from juices on the left progressing to sauce to sauce with stuff to ratatouille and glut sauce to barbecue sauce and ketchup. The top shelf is fruits to butters to jam.
And the holes in the shelves? It’s not apple season yet so one of those shelves is destined to hold apple sauce. And, hah, the bottom-most shelf is either going to hold bottles of home-bottled wine(!) or a rack for cheese-curing later this fall. Whee!
*I only use a pressure canner, which is how I can get away with having chicken stock and bean salsas and the like. And, produce-wise, the freezer only holds fruits, chevre and meat now, no veggies at all.