3/13/07

One Lonely Jar

My daughter came in from the garage jumping with glee. What could be so exciting in the garage? She found our last jar of home-canned tuna fish on the shelf, out in the pantry … that is what was so exciting!

One lonely jar, sitting all by itself. So I said, “quick, grab my camera!” and then she brought the jar into the house and our family devoured it.
You see canned tuna is like gold in the Coughlin home. It started about 5 years ago when my friend, Anne, taught me how to can tuna. Her husband Doug would head over to the coast and pick up the fish (we’d pay a little extra to get it filleted), fill up the ice chests, pay the fishermen, and head back to Medford.

Anne and I would have our jars all washed and ready to go. The kids would get in on it, too. We’d cut and they’d stuff. A few broken jars here and there, a couple Scrabble games in between, we’d monitor the flame on the camp-burner and we’d get the job done! All 200 pounds!

I’m grateful that my Mom also taught me to can. I was part of the canning process in my home growing up because my hand was the “smallest” and I could reach down into the jars and place the pears or peaches exactly how my Mom wanted them. All facing down, so the jars would look attractive.

I often give my canning away as a “thank you.” Chutney, zucchini relish, jams or even tuna!

With canning season on the horizon, I’d love to hear what you can or freeze, and if you consider it a form of hospitality to share your canned goods with others?

I sure do!

17 comments:

linda t said...

I am reminded of the time that I went with Randy to Alaska on one of his concert tours.
We were sitting having lunch with a pastor and his wife and we asked how they reach out to the community and get them to come to church. They immediately said "roadkill"!! It seems all the churches are on a list and when an elk or moose or whatever is killed by a vehicle, they contact the churches and they will 'can' or 'freeze' the meat and distribute it into the community as a form of "outreach"! Is that resourceful hospitality or what!!

momrn2 said...

My mother canned every year as I was growing up. I haven't canned since before my oldest was born.

We do, however, make our own freezer jam. That is the only kind my children will eat on any regular basis. We do strawberry and raspberry. The raspberries come from our own little patch. I am hoping to plant some strawberries this year and see how it goes.

Yummm!

Melissa R. Garrett said...

That's a fabulous story! 200 pounds - whoa!! I don't know how to can, yet, but I do know how to freeze! We've just finished the last of our homemade pasta sauce, and I am STILL using my frozen zucchini to make bread and muffins. I also have squash to use in casseroles and soups. Hopefully this year I will actually learn to can - I just want to be able to display all those lovely jars :-)

BTW - Jacob lost his first tooth! He swallowed it right down with a bite of popsicle!!

Becky said...

I've never canned a thing in my life. My mother didn't can much that I remember except strawberry preserves...mmmmmm!!! I do remember my Granny was a canner. I used to help my grandaddy de-string the greenbeans. Those are good memories. But, I would like to learn how to. And, home-canned tuna sounds divine!

Elizabeth said...

Joe is the canner in this family. Being the good Italian, he cans lots of whole tomatoes, tomato sauces, tomato puree... He also cans beans (to make dilly beans) and cucumbers (for pickles). I do the freezing -- freezer jelly, frozen zucchini, frozen peas... All the veggies come from our garden.

Joe is a hunter, and he also puts up his venison. He freezes much of it and makes jerky out of some. He has also had it made into various sausages and links. With the 1/4 cow and all the venison, in our large upright freezer, plus the frozen garden produce, we are bursting much of the time!

Your canned goods are beautiful, Sandy. And I happen to know that your pear butter (is that what you call it?) is excellent! Mmmmm....

The tuna sounds wonderful -- clearly far superior to the Chicken of the Sea cans in our pantry. ;)

sugarcreekfarm said...

We do a lot of canning and a lot of freezing. I like to make green pepper jelly and red cinnamon pickles - a Christmas-y combination to give during the holidays.

Jami said...

YUMMMMMO! :) There is nothing like it...gold is right! My step mom used to do this and nothing compares...you could have auctioned that off for charity! :)

Have a blessed day, Sandy! Your blog is great!!

I haven't had time to email your friend with the cool SPD site. Time is on my side here and "going there" takes some special mental/emotional energy that I don't currently have extra of. Can't wait to meet up with her, though. She's done a ton of work!

Love-
Jami

Linda said...

Well, just when I thought it was "safe" for a kitchen klutz like me to visit you--BAM--you hit me with canning! :) It might interest you to know I'm from Muncie, IN, home of the world-famous and collectible Ball Canning Jars. Yep. It's BIG deal around here!

Barb said...

Isn't that interesting about Lawyer Joe? I wonder if canning/cooking is some kind of relaxation thing for guys. I kinda prefer freezing over canning, buuut handing a person a plastic bag of frozen beans just isn't quite as exciting (or pretty!) as handing them a sparkling jar of fruit!

Lovella said...

Canned tuna sounds wonderful. We love home canned salmon. It just tastes so much fresher than commercial canned doesn't it? My mother-in-law taught me how to do that. I'm always a bit leery of the pressure canner by myself. I think the thing that I most keep an eye on (afraid to run out) is home made hot dog relish. We make this the end of summer when all the veggies are really cheap. It is scrumptious. Can't think why, but I'm hungry for a tuna sandwich.

Shabby in the City said...

My kids and I LOVE tuna but I've never heard of anyone canning their own before!
My parents grew and canned everything...I always hated the whole process and used to think we were poor and couldn't BUY our food like other people. None of my friends parents did it that way so I felt funny about it I guess.
My favorite is the 14 day pickles...almost like candy....made by others of course :)
You were asking about entering my drawing...all you do is tell me that you have read my archives start to finish and you are entered!

Momma Roar said...

I've canned peaches, pears, red beets (yuck, not my favorite), and strawberry jam. I learned from my mother in law, but haven't had the chance to do any with the young children. I did manage, last summer, to freeze corn and peaches. They are delicious treats during the winter. I hope to learn how to do more - I enjoy the satisfaction of a job like that.
Thanks for stopping by my blog - drop by again! :)

Angela said...

Thanks for all of your inspiration! We have had the blessing of housing friends and family more, because of our great location! Last weekend our guests arrived, I gave them a tour, and then showed them through the kitchen where necessities are for their convenience. I tell my guests that I love it when they make themselves at home! They even were applauded when a 11pm they showed up with midnight snacks they found in the pantry! Broiled steak, micro. backed potatoes, steamed broccoli and sundaes for desert couldn't have been easier. Cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit in the morning were a hit. Totally easy and I wasn't stressed! Thanks for encouraging us to let our hair down and be ourselves!

Sandy said...

Wow! Thanks everyone for the great comments and tips. Everyone has their own style, and it's fun reading about them.
I love freezing too, and wrote about roasting/freezing tomatoes, back in the Fall.
I'm open for new ideas this summer!

Christine said...

If I had the time I'd love to learn the art of canning! Yum, does that first picture look good!

Leigh Ann said...

I've never heard of canning tuna. Sounds delicious! I don't can but wish I did. Maybe someday I'll learn.

Cheers! LA

PS I'd LOVE to receive someone's canned goods. What a treat!

mysocalledperfectlife said...

I've never heard of canning tuna either!

There is nothing better than canned tomatoes, ooh, and applesauce too. Yum. Homemade just tastes so much better than cans from the store!