I can CAN!

I can CAN!

I developed a new super power.

It’s called “canning”.

I sliced my thumb open with the corner of a peach pit, I burned my hand with the steam from the water bath canner, and I got so excited, I kept having to go back and re-do things because I would inadvertently skip a step. I also took a #crockpotselfie.

crockpotselfie

But then, somehow, I sealed 12 half-pints of fruit butter. When I heard the ping!-pop! of the lids, I felt like I could do anything.

I made the kids breakfast at 7:30 yesterday morning and I was in the kitchen until 5:00 last night. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and the ever-loving fruit butter had me on my feet the entire day.

Was I tired when it was all said and done? Absolutely. But it was the kind of tired you feel when you’ve accomplished something of incredible significance. I was excited, I was empowered, and I was encouraged.

I’ve wanted to try canning for years. I kept browsing Amazon for canning equipment, but never pushed the “add to cart” button. Canning scared me. Giving people botulism isn’t what I wanted to be remembered for. I put the idea of canning on the shelf.

Until now.

Now, I’ve replaced the idea of canning with the products of it. Fruit butter. Beans. Peaches. I’ve got a list made up of what I’ll be getting from Farmer’s Market this weekend. I need to make salsa. Sauce. Jellies. Jams. I NEED TO CAN ALL THE FOODS.

A few days ago, our entire apartment smelled like a detox kitchen, because I was dehydrating kale. I made kale chips, people. And they’re tasty. They don’t hold dip, but they taste great.

I’m pretty much a food-preservation expert over here.

(Not even close, but I am learning so much and enjoying every single step of the process!)

So much of my life, I’ve told myself I can’t do various things. Things I really wanted to do, I talked myself out of doing. Things I wanted to try, I let the fear of failure keep me from even attempting.

I’ve missed out on so much because of daggum fear! Fear of canning food! Ma Ingalls slapped a freaking bear, and I’m himming and hawing over putting food in a jar.

SLAPPED. A. BEAR.

Now that I have canned – and succeeded – I regret not doing it sooner. I can make our own food for pennies on the dollar, it tastes great, I control what’s in it, and it looks so pretty in the glass jars! Even in making kale chips – I bought a giant bag of kale from Costco, and I still have only used just under half of it. (so. much. kale.) If I were to buy a bag of pre-made kale chips from the store, I’d be paying over $4 for a small snack bag. WHAT!

But look at me go!

It may not seem like a big deal to others. People have been canning and dehydrating for decades, after all. What’s all the excitement about pantry food?

I don’t know. I don’t have an eloquent answer for you. All I can tell you is I feel superhuman, and knowing I’m putting healthy, homemade food on the shelf for my family has filled me up. It’s fun and productive.

I think I’ll go knit myself a hero cape…

Patrick & Annette
Our dear friends, P & A, walking away with a prized product of Val’s Little Apartment On The Prairie canning success!