Green My Ballard: Canned goods are good
I’m always excited to learn a new skill and was happy to go to a food canning class on Saturday, offered through Sustainable Ballard’s Food and Health Guild.
Great cook and sailor Sarah Elmore led our group of 18 through all the steps to make six complete waterbath-canned recipes, which we then took home. Now, I won’t say it wasn’t a bit of work, and I have not yet tasted the fruits of our collective efforts, but they look delicious.
Elmore came to learn a lot about canning because she lives on a boat, a “small boat” by her description, with a very tiny refrigerator and no freezer. One must get creative in small spaces, and while she shops often for fresh organic veggies, canning provided the perfect way to save money and store the pickin’s.
Canning on a small boat makes for good stories, though. When was the last time you dropped supplies overboard and had to dive for them?
She did bust a couple of notions I had about putting-up goods, one of them being that I needed to pick or purchase 50 pounds of produce and set aside three days to get the job done. Elmore does a lot of “small batch” canning. “It’s just more doable”, she says.
And, it is apparently not that much more work to build and can soups or other ready-to-eat foods rather than single items, like fruit or corn (although corn would never stay long on the shelf in my house). There are really great recipes for soups, salsa’s and sauces; all things I can do at home instead of buying at the store.
Judging from the fine recipes we made, making ready-to-go foods really isn’t that hard. In our class we made corn relish, barbecue sauce, peach-almond jam, and bruschetta (that fabulous tomatoe/basil condiment for bread). Not to mention bread-and-butter pickles and julienned vegetables. Yum.
I’m excited about trying some recipes, now. And if I drop something, well, I can just pick it up.
Rhonda lives in Ballard and is the Urban Crop Circle Project Leader for Sustainable Ballard. Questions, Comments, Ideas? You can reach her at Rhonda@sustainableballard.org.