Thursday, November 5, 2015

Just Call Me Half-Pint

      Cooling temperatures and a well timed episode of "Little House on the Prairie" rekindled my desire can. I really enjoy canning preserves at home (I know, I know. I'm a NERD, but don't act surprised. It's in the title of the blog, people). It may seem like a lot of work, and unnecessary when you consider the amount of canned goods at grocery stores, however I like it. I like it because a) I control what goes into the food my family is going to eat, b) I can customize what we can based on our tastes, c) any type of perceived self-sufficiency makes me feel happy and accomplished, and d) I feel like it brings me one step closer to being the prairie girl my eight-year-old self wanted to be when I first read "Little House on the Prairie". I wanted to BE Laura Ingalls Wilder.
     Little House rant aside, I've started canning again. I only have a hot water bath canner so I can only can foods that have high acidity. For low acidity foods I'd need a pressure canner and since those intimidate me I haven't gotten one yet. Canning uses fresh, seasonal ingredients so I've mostly been working with apples this autumn. I put up a batch of apple butter, and this weekend I'll be canning some applesauce. My apple butter was a big success, and my kids love applesauce so I'm not worried about it all getting eaten before it goes bad. In fact, I may need to do two batches of applesauce due to the rate my kids go through it.
     If you're interested in canning, homesteading, or just have a general DIY attitude toward life, you should check out a blog I read, Small Measure. Ashley English (who wrote my favorite canning book, pictured above) is a homesteader and author. She's written books on home preserving, making your own diary products, bee keeping, keeping chickens, etc. I've got a few of her books on my Amazon wish list, so if you're looking for a new blog to read or are interested in canning/homesteading give her blog or books a try. *Just so you know, I am in no way affiliated with Ashley English or her blog, I just like it so much I thought I'd give her some free publicity).*