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I can’t can. No, seriously, every time I get close to canning something, or pickling something, or sewing something, I get cold feet and distract myself with something more modern, like trying to remember my iTunes password or figuring out how to download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat. I cook, but I don’t can.
And I think I may actually be the only person in the country right now who’s not on a canning bender. We live in a nation of canners, and though their skills may have been dormant for a few decades, a love for canning and preserving has recently come back full throttle, and spread like a (happy) virus throughout our great land.
Canning really does seem to make people happy. Whether it’s the domesticity of the endeavor, or the frugality associated with it, or simply the sense that you’re saving something truly wonderful, at its absolute peak, for a darker, colder time—all these things are key to canning’s renewed popularity as a summer activity. Canning manuals, books, websites, blogs, and media forms not yet invented are all spouting the same pro-canning message, and even as someone who doesn't can, I find myself caught up in all the excitement.
Here are two terrific resources to get you started:
Canning Across America. This eclectic group of cooks, gardeners, and food lovers celebrates the joys of canning and preserving. According to the website, its goal “is to promote safe food preservation and the joys of community building through food.” It’s filled with links to articles, videos, recipes, and nationwide canning-related events.
Sweet Preservation. The Washington State Fruit Commission and Northwest Cherry Growers recently launched this website filled with canning tips, recipes, and even downloadable custom Etsy labels for your canning jars.
Guess what? Now even I want to learn to can. Maybe we can do it together.
Do you can fruits and vegetables? Chime in below!