When we lived in the land of fruit stands and gardens I was a seasonal canner. I was also a gardener, composter, flower gardener, composting worm owner, food dehydrator and sometimes I even mowed the lawn! Before I had kids I changed the oil in my car, too. When Kelsey was a newborn I even still did it...just laid her down on the driver's seat and took care of it. Once she started to move around though, it got more difficult and Scott took over that chore for me. Woah. I am way off track here! Anyway...since moving to Alaska I haven't done much canning at all. We don't live in a great gardening area and fruits and veggies that are worth canning are hard to come by and expensive. This fall however, I got back into it a bit. Last week the girls and I made blueberry jam and blackberry jam with berries that Scott's mom had picked and frozen for us. Jam making made me all nostalgic and teary...just made me think of my amazing Grandmas and miss them!! It was fun to teach the girls how and to tell them stories about their Great Grandmas. They had fun hearing those stories, too...I heard them repeating them later in the day to other people. Family is such a strong bond!
Back in August when we went dip netting with our friends we brought back some pinks that we wanted to can. Life got super-busy though and they ended up in the freezer to wait for us to have a bit more time. We found that time on Monday night! It was the first time either of us had canned salmon. We followed these directions from the extension office at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). We learned two big lessons. 1) canning fish takes FOREVER and 2) the finished product is yummy, but is not very pretty to look at! All of our jars sealed...I love that sound as the lids pop down.
It feels good to do some canning! I looked something up in the canning section of my trusty Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook the other day and found the sticky notes I had there where I recorded how many jars of beans, peaches, and pears I had done in years past. A fun look back!