The Canning Across America weekend is finally here, and I’m not. The celebration weekend, as I knew from the start, fell when I would be out of town.
But you can still participate in this nationwide revival of “the lost art of putting up food,” if you’re in Seattle or any other town hosting events. (Don’t miss seeing the amazing Renee Erickson of Boat Street Cafe and Boat Street Pickles do a free demo at the University District Farmers Market.)
And, if you can’t attend a formal class or event, think about getting together with friends anyway and making a little Canvolution of your own. Because — sorry to always be finding the heartwarming moral in the story, but it’s true, it’s true — I’m starting to think this is all about learning what you can really do when you try. (more…)
Posted by Rebekah Denn under Uncategorized
Hoping to make jam or pickles or other preserves, but not sure how? This year, we’re making it easy: Join Cans Across America, an event culminating Aug. 29-30 with home canning across the country. The project was dreamed up by Seattle’s own Kim O’Donnel, most recently of The Washington Post, who explains here how “with the use of internet technology, we are resurrecting a dying art that our grandmothers mastered.” (more…)
Posted by Rebekah Denn under Events
Between recession and home-cooking renaissance, canning is making a comeback.
You can join in with a national “Cans Across America” event Aug. 29-30, spearheaded by some of our own Seattleites. Or, get an in-depth head start with a series of canning classes in Everett, offered by the WSU Snohomish County extension.
Plenty of people have avoided canning because they’re afraid of risking botulism. Until recently, that category included me. I only canned my first tomatoes last year, taking a WSU King County Extension class to gain confidence, due to my acute… ah… awareness of food safety. As I wrote then, in my childhood home “any word association game would have paired “pork” in the same column as “trichinosis,” and the words “canned mushrooms” would logically have been followed by the term “botulism.”
I’ve had the canning bug since, moving on to jams and other preserves and pickles, reveling in the classic “ping” of a jar lid and the recipes of mavens like Marisa McClellan. But, as I’ve grown more comfortable with the safety procedures myself, I’ve started wondering: Is botulism really that prevalent? Do I need to wash my jars in hot soapy water AND sterilize them in boiling water AND dry them in an oven at the appropriate temperature AND add the proper amount of acidifying ingredients AND process them for the recommended length of time in boiling water?
I don’t want to fool around with anything marked “fatal nerve toxin,” of course, but I also wondered how significant the risk is. While we do hear about occasional botulism cases –a nurse and her young children dangerously sickened by green beans this year, for instance — we hear about far more deaths from e. coli and salmonella and listeriosis. I don’t hear a lot about death by jam.
Checking in with the experts, here’s what I learned: (more…)