Canning Chat: The Right Tool For The Right Job
Guest Post – Karen Lynn – Lil’ Suburban Homestead
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
― Julia Child
First of all, I need to share I am so excited to have an opportunity to guest post here at Pantry Paratus ! I have gotten to know Chaya through our blogging connections and I can vouch that she knows her business; and I love that her and her husband (Wilson) support American made products. That being said, I was mulling over what to write for this post. Then it struck me when I was writing my “Secrets to Making Your Very Own Prized Pickles” post for my own blog that the right or correct kitchen tool for the right job is so important and how indispensable some tools are.
For those of you who don’t know me let me introduce myself: my name is Karen Lynn. I am the blog owner of “Lil’ Suburban Homestead” and I am also a Survival Mom Radio Network Host and a Survival Mom Writing Team Member. I write and discuss all things homesteading….my motto is “If you have a home you’re a homesteader.” My husband (The Viking in my life) and I are Suburban Homesteaders on 1/3 of an acre in Coastal, NC. We raise chickens, bees, and supplement our diet from our raised bed gardens, and we are extremely passionate about canning and preserving our food from our garden and supporting our local farmers too.
I was canning up a batch of salsa recently and realized how much I enjoy canning now– and the very act of taking control over the quality of food my family eats and how fulfilling and rewarding it is. I realized it has not always been this way. When I first started canning, I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much but at the time it was a way to stay on budget and preserve fresh produce when I had access to it. We bartered a lot when we first got married. One time my husband bartered HVAC labor for a truck load of corn and, well… keeping food in our bellies with a young family was a top priority. In my opinion, fresh food on the table equals money in our wallets. It was a great trade! Looking back, one of the reasons that I did not enjoy canning is because I often had to sift through cracked hand me down canning jars, and I had to scrape money together for canning supplies. I didn’t have all the correct products to get the job done. For example at first I did not have a canning funnel, or even a canning jar lifter— both of which are worth their weight in gold to a seasoned canner.
Peaches were the very first food item I ever canned. Shortly after, I added tomatoes and corn and all of my products turned out so delicious and fresh I slowly became a canning addict. I didn’t admit defeat after broken seals from using worn old canning jars, broken canning jars that were weakened with age and ending up with my beautiful product ruined. I persevered and oh boy I am so glad I did. What I once did as a necessary requirement to stay on budget now still helps me stay on budget but I have the added bonus of such a fulfilling and rewarding hobby that hopefully I can pass down to my Grandchildren one day.
Slowly over time, I was able to add to my canning collection and upgrade to better jars and better equipment the investment over time which for me took about 5 years to really have the collection of canning supplies and books that I needed, which really turned my attitude around about canning. In addition to having the proper tools was having the know- how via education (which for me was books, and the library at the time made all of the difference). I am so envious today of canners with all of the blogs, facebook groups, businesses like Pantry Paratus, and Youtube. You gotta’ love you tube it makes so much of a difference in how fast one can become a seasoned canner these days.
Be sure to visit Karen Lynn on her own site, Lil’ Suburban Homestead, and let her know that you appreciated her canning chat here on Pantry Paratus!
Find Canning Supplies and Canners at Pantry Paratus–get it all in 1 great place!