LYNCHBURG, Tenn. — Canning vegetables and such is an age-old tradition that’s been used to provide good farm fresh food ‘out of season’ for years and years. It’s not uncommon to see a cupboard full of home-canned goodies stacked and stocked in cupboards in the winter.
Now, thanks to a 4-H Advance Cooking Class, several youngsters in Moore County have gotten a proverbial ‘taste’ of the art of canning. Yes, that’s right. Our 4-Her’s have been canning salsa.
The 4-H Advance Cooking Class learned how to properly can fruits and vegetables, why folks should still can and how to can safely. This was a hands-on experience for each of them.
“Canning” has been a method used since the early 1800’s to process foods to last long periods of time without becoming contaminated. And, it does not have to involve aluminum cans. You can “jar” just as effectively, making food such as sauerkraut, jams, pickles, preserves, sauces and kimchee fairly easily.
Vegetables are a little more complicated to preserve, especially for first-timers. Fortunately, fruits are the easiest to preserve.
One thing they didn’t have back in the 1800’s may just be the greatest tool for canning — besides Grandma: the Internet. There are a number of how-to videos, Websites and tutorials on canning online.
Nothing can replace a good bonding session with a relative — or a great group of 4-Hers — to enhance the experience of canning.
Not only is canning an easy way to eat healthy throughout the winter, but preserves can make really touching gifts for friends and loved ones. After canning their salsa the students in the 4-H Advance Cooking Class were able to take the finished product home for their family, along with a bag of chips.