Canning etiquettegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Or maybe I should say unwritten rules. After living on the top of a mountain and having always canned and gardened by myself, I now find myself thrust into civilization after our recent move. This year I am teaching my young sister-in-law how to can (she's doing great), and some situations have come up with others, that I have found myself not only teaching her the basics of canning, but some of the unwritten rules that I assumed everyone knew. Here's the first...If you give a canned good as a gift, don't expect to get the jar back, but if someone, God forbid, ASKS you for a jar of your canned goods, don't be shy about asking them to bring the jar back, and keep bugging them till they do. They're expensive, canning is alot of work and people come out of the woodwork when you're canning, as I have found out. If someone else wants to can with you, they should bring their own jars. It's a common courtesy that they should know if they've done any canning at all. (and they shouldn't expect to use the produce from your garden)! Hey, I'm not kidding here, having it happen to me. Although not successfully! If someone gives you produce, they should out of the goodness of their own heart, and in turn, out of the goodness of your own heart, give them a jar or two of the finished canned product. Anyone else have any useful tips for a young beginner? I want to start her on the right track with more than just the basics of canning.
-- Annie (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 12, 2001
One of my unwritten rules is that I never turn down a sincere offer of more jars. Here in my area lots of older folks who are no longer able to garden or can want to give their old stuff to someone younger who does. So I accept it all with thanks and then sort through the jars and recycle or reuse the old mayonaise jars or other ones I'm afraid to use for canning. I do keep many jars that I would not use for canning use them as a decorative container for the nuts I sell at the farmers market. A dab of paint and a scrap of cloth for the lid makes my jar of walnuts a real "value-added product."
We also joke that in the mid to late summer never leave your car doors unlocked, or some neighbor will slip a bag of zuccini inside.:)
-- Lori in SE Ohio (email@example.com), July 13, 2001.
This doesn't really involve canning, but the last entry on this post reminded me of a story involving my father about twenty years ago. Being German and not Italian, my father had never grown zucchini in the garden. My little Italian Auntie Ann gave my Mother and Father a few zucchini the previous year which my Mother had dutifully turned into a few cakes and loaves of zucchini bread. Liking the end product, my father decided he would try his hand at growing the little buggers. I advised him, that since he lived near the Twin Cities and not Duluth, he might only want to plant a few hills and toss the rest of the seed. He didn't take my advice. Three long rows of zucchini and two months later, the harvest began. The weather was hot and the garden ground was fertile and his wheelbarrow overfloweth daily. It got so Mom was sneaking the zucchini pulp into anything and everything edible in a valiant effort to keep up. Finally in a flourish of disgust, my Father cut the plants off at ground level figuring he had put an end to his zucchini avalanche. The weather was dry and hot and he thought he had won the argument ...but then it rained. Shortly thereafter the green flood began again in earnest. Most depressing...Later that winter when his birthday rolled around, my practical jokster husband gift wrapped a zucchini in a shoebox and gave it to my father with a perfectly straight face. I thought my Dad was going to hit him with it. ...Just goes to show you, NEVER PLANT THREE ROWS!!! :)
-- Sandra Nelson (Magin@starband.net), July 13, 2001.
oh, this is cute!!! thread drift here but.........does anyone want some zucchini???
You did a nice job of covering it Annie...........I only have one person that ever gives me a jar back and that is my daughter because she knows if she doesn't she is cut OFF. :>)
-- diane (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 13, 2001.
Diane, I have one person who gives me my jars back too. My brother, but he exchanges the empty ones for full ones! Which I gladly give him, cause the look on his face is so cute. (or should I say pitiful).
-- Annie (email@example.com), July 13, 2001.
Being German, we don't plant zuchinni either, but we love yellow crook-neck squash!!! And it is sooooo good fried up or even boiled, that there are no spares to give away! It is also good eaten raw if oicked at the under 5 inch stage of growth, cut in quarter strips and eaten like celery.
I hardly ever get jars back, except from my Mother, so I don't give things out unless it is as a present.
-- Annie Miller in SE OH (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 13, 2001.
This has nothing to do with canning either, but it reminds me that the last time I cleaned the barn I counted 62 DOZEN canning jars in unopened boxes, plus a few dozen that had already been used. Seems that last year when I was extracting honey jars were not yet on sale in my area. When I finally found them at Big Lot I might have gotten carried away a little. Or, maybe I have a canning jar addiction. Another tangent- does anyone ever use the plastic lids that Ball Corp makes? I bought some a few years ago and then could not find them again. Looked for years with no success. Then, 2 weeks ago up in Illinois I found some. Talk about stocking up, I bought 12 cases each of pints and quart size, just in case I never find them again. I am ready for Y2K!!!
-- Elizabeth (email@example.com), July 13, 2001.
Most everybody I know knows that I expect my jars back. Two of my brothers that live in Fl. bring them back every time they come through. One of those boys even brings me ones he finds in yard sales down there. I dont mind sharing the stuff I put up but you wont get it but once if I lose a jar. My most precious "jar" possessions are 1/2 gal. wide mouth jars. I hadnt seen them for sale in years and had the Ball Co. tell me they werent made anymore. But the Amish store had them and I bought 3 dozen. I dont lend them to just anybody and I dont can in them. I use them for vacumn storage and to store milk in. My mama used to have a pint and a half wide mouth jars that she ordered from somewhere. She used them for tea glasses and I have about 18 of them. Cant find them anywhere. So much for jars. My dh doesnt do a garden so I trade with a couple of friends. They supply the stuff and the jars and I can for them. Since I love to can I figure I get the best end of the deal. Blessings Peggy
-- peggy carr (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 14, 2001.