Sunday I spent some time canning, sort of. What sort of means, is I was creating batches of pickles that would only give me a pint or two and involved no time spent in the canner. Now before you food safety critics go flipping your lids, everything I am making has lots of vinegar, went in sterile jars and are going immediately into the refrigerator.
There are many of you out there who still can, freeze and dry. I grew up doing it and did it for years. Now there doesn’t seem to be as much free time, nor do I want to put as much by with just the two of us.
I thought about downsizing my heirloom recipes from my mom, but cutting down a recipe that calls for gallons of vinegar, pounds of sugar and half-bushels of vegetables seemed even to someone who likes the challenge of math too much work.
Off I was to the internet to find smaller recipes that I could either cut down or make in just a couple of pint jars. I found some and work on them. Tweaking them to make them more similar to mom’s or reflect my households evolving tastes.
I ended up with dill pickles, bread and butter pickles and beet pickles. I made two pints of each. One to keep and one to give away. Perfect. No hot water bath. No canner. No dozens of jars that you know you will not finish in the next five years. I love it.
Kudos to all of you still keeping the art alive on the larger scale. Those of you who have quit canning because it is a lot of hassle for a small family I hope you will give it a try on a small scale. The newbies and wanabes out there who are just starting or dreaming of canning, go forth, explore. There are many ways on a small scale to try you hand and the art of canning.