Eat What You Can

September 11, 2011
posted by Tia in Living

Here I am to share a neat lesson passed down from my Great-Grandmother, as well as give you a peek at what has kept me too busy to do much of anything on the computer all week.

My Grandpa recently shared with me something that his mother used to say. This grandma, incidentally, was a remarkable woman that I may have to write more of in the future. We even named Sunshine for her. Here is some wisdom from her:

“Eat what you can. What you can’t, can.”

I love this. Love it. It will become a tradition around our house as well, I believe.

I didn’t do all that much canning this week. The kids and I did lots of things together during the day, and then I let the canning cut into my free evenings (and hence into my computer time). One evening, though, I did some peach jam early enough that Captain volunteered to come and help me (for a little while).

Yep, we ate what we could out of two large boxes of peaches, and then I made a couple batches of jam with some of it and froze what was left. You’ve got to love the irony in a canning day with kids though, right? It tends to go something like this around here:

“Mommy, I’m hungry.”

“Well, sweetie, I can’t really fix you anything right now, because I’m busy canning healthy, organic, sugar-free, juice-sweetened homemade peach jam so that I can feed our family well in the off-season. Hmm, how would you like to snack on this cracker which is loaded with refined sugars, flours, and addicting flavor enhancements?”

“Sure, Mom! You’re the best!”

Okay, maybe it’s not always that bad. πŸ™‚ Depends on what I’m canning. Sometimes I can just offer them one of the fresh peaches I’m cutting up, if they’re not already too sick of eating what they can of it.

Here we are making jam. Captain has gotten pretty good at using a butter-knife while he waits impatiently until he’s old enough to use a “real” one. Β And yes, that is my two-year-old doing dishes in the background!

Wonderful work for a kid to help with! I’m planning to post soon on our “teaching kids to work” endeavors, as well as adventures with letting kids help out in the kitchen….

Thankfully my husband stepped in after a while and suggested I use one of our food processor gadgets to chop the peaches. What a good idea. That sped things up a lot.

I’m almost caught up on the canning for now, I just need to do one more batch of tomatoes. Until I get more food we can’t eat all of, anyway. πŸ™‚

So just remember: Eat what you can. What you can’t, can. Β ….And then, you can eat what you can!!

Do you can? What kind of things? I’m still learning!


2 responses to “Eat What You Can”

  1. Torri says:

    I have a question! I read that you can’t can on a glass top stove…which is what I have, and it looks like you have in your house. Is yours different? How did you can on yours? I’m wondering if I can can on mine because I really want to!:)

    • Tia says:

      Good question! Here’s what I found out (and hopefully it will make sense). The reason that you aren’t supposed to can on a glass stovetop is because it’s only meant to have the really high heat right in the circles where the elements are. Canners are so large that the bottom of the pot goes outside of the circle and you can crack your stovetop because of the high sustained heat where it isn’t meant to be that hot. So no, I do not use my boiling water canner on my glass stovetop. But the pressure canner that I bought has an extended base that is the same size as my element circle–just so that it can be used on a glass stovetop. The actual POT is larger than the element, but they put a smaller base beneath it to conduct the heat that fits right on the element. Make sense? I can use the pressure canner as a boiling water canner for pints and smaller, but it’s not tall enough to do quarts in unless I’m pressure canning (because for boiling-water canning, you have to cover the jars with water by a couple of inches, but with pressure-canning, it only needs a few inches of water, and the quarts go right up to the top of the pot). So if I need to bottle things in quarts using the boiling water method (like when we do our applesauce annually), then I borrow my in-laws’ camp chef stove and set it up in my garage to put the canner on. Phew, long answer!! Did it make any sense? Have any more questions? πŸ™‚ I’m happy to help if I can!

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