Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Teaching My Kids to Can

My kids have always been involved in some way in the canning process.  Normally though it is in the preparation.  My kids have learned from an early age how to snap green beans and shell peas.  They know how to get apples ready for applesauce and how to crank the food strainer to make tomato juice.  Now that they are getting older and I trust them more around the stove I thought it was time to let them go through the entire canning process.

My oldest boy is away at boy scout camp. So my younger son (who is always used to having someone around to play with) is bored out of his mind.  He planted some tomato and green pepper plants at the farm this year.  His tomatoes were ripe.  He loves salsa and wanted to make some.  So I suggested that he should make a batch of salsa and can it.  He was thrilled with the idea.  So my 8 year old canned salsa for the very first time. To see  how I can salsa go to my post on Salsa.

First I had him get the vegetables ready.  I did let him cut up vegetables.  I showed him how to use the knife and I watched him.  I also made sure that he didn't have an extremely sharp knife.

He did not have enough green peppers so we hydrated some that I dried
last year.  Those plus the one pepper he had made up the cups he needed.

Once all of his vegetables were cut up I had him measure them out and put them in the pot.  He measured his other ingredients and put them in the pot too.  Then on the stove it went and cooked for a little bit.

Next he ladled his salsa into his jars.  He really enjoyed this part.  And he learned quite quickly how full to get it to leave his 1/2 inch head space.

He then put the lids on the jar with the magnet.  He has always helped with this part of canning.  He loves to do this part.

I had him screw on the rims too.  He noticed that the jars were hot.  So He got a hot pad to hold on to the rest of the jars while he screwed on the rims.

Then I let him use the jar lifter to put all of his jars into the canner.  He did a good job at making sure he kept it squeezed tightly so he would not drop a jar.

After the jars had processed I also let him take the jars out of the water.  He did a great job at making sure he kept the jar lifter squeezed tightly and did not drop any of his jars. 

He got 6 pint jars of salsa that he can put in the pantry.  After the jars have completely cooled I will have him label them too. 

Kids learn by doing.  I learned to can by helping my mom for years.  I don't have any girls to hand down this craft to so I am teaching my boys.  Canning is a lost art that is really coming back now.  So many people are getting into it and prefer to have their own food.  Plus with my kids allergies, who knows what their kids will have.  It will be nice for them to know how to do this and be able to provide food for their families when they grow up.  So now that my boys are old enough to work around the stove I will be letting them get a lot more involved in the canning process!

I am linking to Frugal Days Sustainable Ways


Michelle said...

It doesn't hurt to know how to can. My husband learned as a kid. So he was able to help me. He also taught me things I didn't know.Just wanted to give everyone a heads up. I am doing another game and giveaway.

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

Good for your son. You should be proud. The salsa looks great. I always enjoy you blog so.