CBC News
Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

In a pickle

hildebrandt-amber-52.jpg
by Amber Hildebrandt, CBCNews.ca

I may have scoffed at my fellow 20-something friends who took up the knitting needle when the grandmotherly activity gained popularity a few years ago, but now I can scoff no more.

This summer, I jumped onto the bandwagon of another old-fashioned craft enjoying a mini revival: canning.

I first waded into the world of preserves by making a few small jars of strawberry jam earlier this summer. Even that took hours and left me and my kitchen stained red for days.

Then came the bigger test: dill pickles.

I'd prepared for it by planting several cucumber bushes in my backyard. But with none of them producing enough for a jarful at any given time, I was forced to buy my pickling cucumbers at the St. Lawrence Market. After hours of sterilizing the jars, cleaning the cucumbers and figuring out the recipe, I'd made five 1-litre jars.

And then I waited and waited. Four weeks of waiting.

Finally, I cracked open a jar and sampled one yesterday. I was immediately transported back to my grandmother's kitchen. It tasted almost exactly the same.

In a New York Times article last month, it cites food costs, concerns about food safety, green sensibilities and a new appreciation of all things natural as reasons for the "small renaissance" of canning.

My reason for canning doesn't fall into any of those categories. It's simply because my grandmother can't make her pickles and jams anymore and I miss them.

And so my question to you: Have you taken up canning this summer? If so, what made you join the club?

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

AlysM

A good start. I bet you will find ways to up your efficiency next time.

My sister and myself do 50# of dill (about 46 litre jars) in about three hours every year.
Jars go through the dishwasher, pickle is heating as we stuff the jars and we run two canning kettles. A very satisfying enterprise.

Posted September 22, 2008 09:16 PM

Neil L.

Ottawa

Good post! I had no idea there was a renaissance in canning. I did my first batches this summer: bread and butter pickles, dill pickles, and canned peaches - some tomato sauce will be done soon as the weather cools off.

I think for me it was a desire to eat my own food more often, and to not have to compromise in the winter and eat food trucked in from chile or south africa. While I haven't made it there yet, I hope to expand the repertoire in coming years.

There is so much great produce in our part of the world that to let it pass with the seasons only increases our dependence on oil and large agribusiness - that's not good for anyone (except oil and agri firms!).

Posted September 23, 2008 06:15 AM

Jaime

This is my first year growing a garden and I decided to try dill pickles as well. I got my husband's grandma to come over and help me with the first few jars, but I think I've got it now! We use an old baby bottle sterilizer for the jars and it works great. Everything we grew this year is 100% organic. What a satisfying feeling to not only be producing your own food, but know exactly what went into it! With all these stories coming out about food contamination, I think it is more important than ever to be taking responsibility for our own well being.

Posted September 23, 2008 07:58 AM

Anne

Toronto

My Husband and I have been canning tomato sauce for eight or nine years now. Every year, we make more and more—and upgrade the equipment we use to make the process quicker. This year we made about 90 jars!

Nothing you can buy compares to making it from fresh, seasonal produce, and having the control over what goes into your food. It's a lot of work, but truly a labour of love.

Posted September 23, 2008 12:19 PM

Phil

Toronto

I've been canning a salsa recipe from my grandparents with great success for the past three years. I tried pickles last year, but had a terrible accident involving tablespoons instead of teaspoons of mustard seeds. The result was inedible.

This year I bought 55 lbs of Ontario tomatoes on a whim, and with the help of family and friends canned salsa, bruschetta, ketchup, and pasta sauce. It was a lot of work, but will result in many delicious meals with a strong local and personal connection all winter long.

To me canning is exercising self-or more accurately community-sufficiency, and literally and directly enjoying the fruits of my labour.

Posted September 23, 2008 01:01 PM

Amanda Loewen-Ross

My husband and I are trying to do everything we can to reduce our environmental footprint, so this spring we decided to try to put in a bigger effort to eat locally. While we haven't managed the 100 mile diet, we have bought all of our produce from farmers markets and U-pick all summer and we've been trying to prepare for the winter by canning. So far we have dozens of jars of jam (strawberry, raspberry and rhubarb), 5 litres of tomato sauce, peaches, mustard green beans and anti-pasta. I had never canned anything in my life before last summer.
It's hard to say what the best part of canning is. It could be knowing what's in my food or that I've supported my local farmers and decreased carbon emissions from transporting food. But I think the best part was calling up my grandfather for advice as he was, once again, making & canning his blueberry and strawberry jams.

Posted September 23, 2008 01:47 PM

KB in To

Toronto

I've canned green tomatoes in the past, but this year I focused on raspberry jam and grape jelly from homegrown fruit. I use a water-bath canner (I get mine from thrift stores), which is the recommended method to ensure sterile equipment and prevent food-borne contamination. It's not as complicated as it seems!

Posted September 23, 2008 02:40 PM

sandra Hession

Ottawa

I am trying to find an interview I heard on
CBC radio sometime last year which compared
the process of canning the fruits of summer
to be opened during the dead of the winter
to how a relationship grows and how one can
reach back to the memories of the first years
of love to help through difficult times.
Something like that.
Can anyone help? It was a show with
Shelagh Rogers and several guests discussing
home canning.

Posted June 1, 2009 08:19 AM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Food Bytes »



About the blog

From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.

About the writers

Amber Hildebrandt Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.

Andrea Chiu Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.

Tara Kimura Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.

Andree Lau Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).

Jessica Wong Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.

Kevin Yarr Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.

Elizabeth Bridge Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.

Related

Food features

Recent Posts

Meal planning SOS
Friday, May 29, 2009
An institution burns down
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The juicy details
Monday, May 25, 2009
Jamie Oliver, squeezed shoppers, and meat-free Thursdays
Friday, May 22, 2009
A code for food bloggers?
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Subscribe to Food Bytes

Archives

May 2009 (13)
April 2009 (12)
March 2009 (10)
February 2009 (9)
January 2009 (9)
December 2008 (16)
November 2008 (13)
October 2008 (12)
September 2008 (11)
August 2008 (9)
July 2008 (12)
June 2008 (10)
May 2008 (16)

Categories

Agriculture (12)
Amber Hildebrandt (24)
Amuse-bouche (35)
Andree Lau (28)
Culture (47)
Elizabeth Bridge (10)
Health (15)
Industry (29)
Jessica Wong (29)
Kevin Yarr (18)
Leigh Felesky (3)
Politics (12)
Tara Kimura (32)
Trends (36)
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Updated Gaza conflict: Israel, Hamas both committing war crimes, UN official says video
The UN's top human rights official is accusing both the Israeli military and Hamas militants of committing war crimes in Gaza, where Israel is expanding its campaign to destroy Hamas rockets and tunnels.
Pope Francis's 10 happiness tips: Turn off the TV and don't try to convert others
Be giving of yourself, move with kindness and don't try to convert others are among Pope Francis’s 10 tips for happiness, which he shared in an interview with an Argentine newspaper.
Poles launch Twitter apple-eating campaign to deride Russia's food import ban
Poles are posting photos of themselves with apples online along with mocking comments to protest Russia's ban on Polish food.
more »

Canada »

Updated B.C. teachers' strike: parents to get $40 a day if strike continues
The B.C. government is offering the parents of each public school student under the age of 13 years $40 a day to help pay for child-care costs or tutoring if the provincial teachers' strike is not over by the start of classes in September.
Updated Marijuana advocate Marc Emery vows 'political revenge' against Tories video
B.C. marijuana advocate Marc Emery vows to take political revenge on the Conservative government once he is finally released from U.S. custody and returns to Canada later next month. Emery spoke to CBC in his first interview since being transferred from a U.S. prison to a private deportation facility in Louisiana.
New Rogers wireless roaming rates discriminatory, CRTC says
Canada's telecom regulator has banned exclusive wireless roaming deals in Canada after finding that Rogers included unfair clauses in them that hiked the cost of doing business for new entrants and customers.
more »

Politics »

Updated Justin Trudeau's pot stance in line with 1 in 3 Canadians, poll suggests
Despite the best efforts of the Conservatives to use Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's support for marijuana legalization against him, his position may not be a political liability after all, according to a just-released poll commissioned by the federal Justice Department earlier this year.
'Mr. Big' stings get stricter rules from Supreme Court video
The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld a lower court ruling that ordered a new trial for a Newfoundland murder suspect. The justices ruled that so-called Mr. Big stings like the one that convicted Nelson Hart can be used but also pose major problems.
New Senate Liberals add designated travellers to expense disclosures
Liberal senators are including designated travellers for the first time in their expense disclosure statements.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Bass Coast festival headdress bans ruffles feathers and sparks debate
Bass Coast music festival organizers say they're overwhelmed by the international response to their headdress policy that bans attendees from wearing the culturally significant head wear.
Tommy Hunter 'thrilled' by honorary Canada Post stamp video
Canada Post has released commemorative stamps in honour of homegrown country music stars Tommy Hunter, Shania Twain, k.d. lang, Hank Snow and Renée Martel.
Sony PlayStation Now launches open beta version
PlayStation 4 owners in Canada and the U.S. can now rent games via Sony's new game streaming service, PlayStation Now.
more »

Technology & Science »

How dinosaurs shrank into birds
Scientists have mapped how a group of fearsome, massive dinosaurs evolved and shrank to become the first birds.
NASA announces Mars 2020 rover's scientific instruments
NASA's next Mars rover will carry seven instruments, including one that will be able to make oxygen on Mars.
New Tesla partners with Panasonic for $5B Gigafactory battery plant
Electric car manufacturer Tesla is to partner with Japanese electronics giant Panasonic to build a $5-billion battery manufacturing plant on U.S. soil.
more »

Money »

Dow plunges 300 points, now in negative territory for 2014
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 300 points on Thursday as investors dumped shares in just about everything following Argentina defaulting and bleak earnings and profit outlooks from a host of companies.
New Rogers wireless roaming rates discriminatory, CRTC says
Canada's telecom regulator has banned exclusive wireless roaming deals in Canada after finding that Rogers included unfair clauses in them that hiked the cost of doing business for new entrants and customers.
Toronto ranked 15th on global list of millionaires
Toronto has the 15th highest concentration of millionaires in the world, according to recent number-crunching by a British wealth management company.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Live Commonwealth Games: Day 8 from Glasgow video
Watch live action from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow all day. Canada's Josh Cassidy races in the men's wheelchair 1,500-metre final as part of a full slate of track and field events, plus there's diving, gymnastics and a lot more.
Blog Friedman: Habs gamble by low-balling Subban
The more time P.K. Subban goes without a long-term deal, the bigger the risk the star defenceman could make a Shea Weber-like exit from Montreal, writes Elliotte Friedman.
Commonwealth Games: Canada's medallists
The full list of medals won by Canadians at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »