I remember as a child living in rural Kentucky, going to my grandparents house and watching in wonder as grandmother Creekmore added logs to the fire underneath a metal 55 gallon drum that had been cut in half with steel legs welded to the bottom so the fire could burn underneath.
At the time I had no idea what she was doing, but after getting older, I realized she was doing what is known as water bath canning.
I can still hear the water boiling and those jars shaking inside that barrel. They always had a cellar full of home canned foods from their garden. She always made the best tasting blackberry jam.
Home canning is one of the most efficient methods of keeping the harvest, and my most refered to reference would have to be Putting Food By. If you’re interested in canning, freezing, making jam, drying, etc., this is your book. Putting Food By, has exhaustive information on exactly what you need to know.
1. What is It?
2. Why Foods Spoil
3. Altitude and Metrics
4. Fair Warning
5. Common Ingredients and How to Use Them
6. The Canning Methods
7. Canning Fruits
8. Canning Tomatoes
9. Canning Vegetables
10. Canning Meats
11. Canning Seafood
12. Canning Convenience Foods
13. Getting and Using a Freezer
14. Freezing Fruits
15. Freezing Vegetables
16. Freezing Meats and Seafood
17. Freezing Convenience Foods
18. Jellies, Jams, and Other Sweet Things
19. Pickles, Relishes, and Other Spicy Things
20. Curing with Salt and Smoke
23. Putting By Presents for Christmas
Some readers have complained that the information in Putting Food By is dated, since this edition of the book was first published in 1988, but I disagree.
The information is as useful now as it was then, as one commenter said on amazon “the equipment has remained the same, pressure-canners and freezers haven’t changed over the years and jars are still jars!”
I wonder if grannie Creekmore had a copy of Putting Food By? I’ll probably never know – but one thing is certain, Putting Food By is one of the best books, available for those interested in canning and preserving their own food.