The last Saturday of the month, Our Kitchen Table has been presenting canning workshops as a Southeast Area Farmers Market activity. In June, participants made low-sugar strawberry jam and in July, garlic dill pickles. The next canning class is August 25. We will be canning and oven roasting tomatoes.
Canning at food used to be a regular summer activity for many families across the US. Some of us can remember going to granny’s house and seeing the basement shelves filled with canned peaches, tomatoes and pickles.
While few households do it food today, canning still has many advantages. One, you can buy fresh, local, nutritious produce in season at a lower price. Two, you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals and high amounts of sugar or high fructose corn syrup being added. (Go to the grocery store and try to find pickles without chemical additives!) Three, it’s simply delicious!
The corporate food system has scared us away from canning. They’ve put a false message out there that canning is difficult to do, can result in food poisoning and requires all kinds of fancy equipment. Not true! Did you know that just about all reported food poisoning issues came from factory canned foods not home canned foods? Canning is simple. You can do small batches. And, you don’t need to invest a lot to get started.
Stop by the farmers’ market for fresh local produce 2 to 7 p.m. Friday at Gerald R Ford Middle School, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Garfield Park.