I Can Can!



The last time I canned fruit was 1990 something. Yet I’ve had luscious fruit on my California property for the last twenty years. Why did I can twelve pints of apricot sauce/jam for the first time this year? Today?



My grandmothers, mother, and mother-in-law were veteran canning artisans. They’d put away vegetables and fruit all during the year, saving money and the best-tasting food imaginable. I remember rainbow rows of jars, the bright yellows and oranges of apricots and peaches, cream-colored pears, light green sweet groundcherries, and several varieties of beans, bright green to pale yellow. Filled Mason jars lined up on shelves in the cool shed out back, promised delicious meals for months. Free, for the taking.




Canning seemed smartest with lots of mouths to feed in the family. With only two of us, the goal seemed less thrifty, with a worry about waste. For the last twenty years, I’ve given away fruit to friends who still do some canning, and I make jam and pastries that go into the freezer for special occasions.

But today, the canning bug bit me. I picked eight pounds of amazing apricots and cooked a no-pectin, low sugar recipe. Apricots are easy because they only need to be washed and the pits removed…skins stay on. Ace was the place to buy the pint jars and lids, and since I had big enough pans for all the pre-boiling and after-boiling, the rest of the project went smoothly.


And I liked it! The apricots were ready and got used for a great sauce/jam and my husband and I enjoyed the whole process. We are aware the sauce goes well with chicken and pork chops, so we look forward to those meals. I love peanut butter toast in the morning…a touch of apricot sauce on the bread will be a crowning glory. I’m bringing some jars to my sibling reunion in Montana, and I’m giving away jars to some friends.


So thank Covid or some retro/throwback need in my brain to put away fruit for the first time in decades. And guess what…my apple crop looks prodigious this year. Applesauce may be my next canning adventure.

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