Vegetables and Fruit forum: canning - how hard is it - physically?

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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Jun 7, 2013 3:10 PM CST
I have never canned anything. I have frozen things. I have made jam over the "regular" recipes, but then I have frozen it.

I am growing tomatoes, beans etc. Also go to my local orchard for apples, peaches, cherries etc.

But, I am mobility impaired. (i.e. - handicapped) so I have to be careful what I attempt.

I don't have a "canner"

how difficult is it, really, to do "canning"

I have an old "Ball" canning book that I can go by.... I have a variety of pint, quart jars etc.

could I try the canning with a regular big old "stock pot" - a really big aluminum pan made for making big batches of soup?

I'm hesitating to try "canning" because I have limited mobility and strength in my hands and shoulders.

yet, I would love to try it. Don't know what to do.

traditionally, I have only done what I can safely freeze.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jun 7, 2013 4:14 PM CST
Juli, in my humble opinion, canning is way too hard! I guess I've done my share and prefer freezing. I also think the flavor of frozen foods are better, even freezer jam.
Name: Juli
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daylily
Jun 7, 2013 5:32 PM CST
That's the sort of opinion that is very valuable Thumbs up

I've not tried to freeze green beans or the like yet. This year I am growing "yard long beans" and was wondering how I could preserve them. Was thinking perhaps doing some sort of pickling and then canning. Hmm. Maybe pickling then freezing?

I do grow tomatoes, so might want to learn to "put up sauce." However, in the past, I have frozen the tomatoes whole, with the stems removed. They work "ok" but I imagine having pints of sauce or salsa would be much better. Just not sure if I am physically able to attempt it. All I can picture is trying to lift a huge pot of boiling water and carry it from the stove to the sink. Thumbs down
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jun 8, 2013 1:41 PM CST
Since we grow a lot of tomatoes for market and don't always sell all of them, i get the job of making sauce. I use a squeezo Strainer which removes skin and seeds and just gives you juice to cook down. I have a recipe for tomato sauce my mother got a long time ago from Tupperware so I make that and just cook it down until thickened then cool and put into freezer Zip Lock bags. It takes awhile to cook down but otherwise very simple. Why not try both, freezing tomatoes whole AND making some sauce?
Name: Betty
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daylilydreams
Jun 8, 2013 5:22 PM CST
Juli freezing is much easier I used to can it is a lot of work not to mention that sometimes some of the lids did not seal. You then had to use whatever it was very soon or it would spoil. I did the hot water bath canning which also made the kitchen very hot. Make life easier and freeze produce it is much quicker and less work. They say that frozen is better than canned for retaining nutrition.
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Name: Juli
(Zone 5b)
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daylily
Jun 8, 2013 6:00 PM CST
Thanks everyone! I will look up that squeezo. I have a deseeder thing in my wish list on Amazon. Would be great for raspberries etc. maybe your " gadget" would too.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Jun 8, 2013 6:22 PM CST
Juli, freezing your own green beans is very easy. Wash and cut into whatever size you want to eat them in and then quickly blanch. Then just bag them in portions in zip lock bags and freeze.

I used to freeze my excess beans all the time years ago when I had my big veggie garden some years ago. Seems lately the big veggie gardens are comming back.

Another thing you can really easily make are your own stewed tomatos. Just put in boiling water for a very short while. You will usually see the skin split. Then fish out and let cool some so you can handle them to peel. After peeling I just put them in the crockpot and let it slow cook until I get stewed tomatoes. Very easy.

If you want sauce, just do them in a big pot after peeling and cook down. I used to cook down the tomatoes into sauce which I then would freeze. No spices. Then I used it either as the base for chili or if I wanted I could make it into my own spagetti sauce by cooking some more and adding spices.
Name: Sylvia Butler
TX (Zone 8a)
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citysylvia
Jun 11, 2013 7:24 PM CST
I agree I need a freezer!
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Jun 11, 2013 8:49 PM CST
Yeah, that would help if you're gonna freeze! Watch Craig's List, I got one for free!
Name: Sara
Tampa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Sarita
Jun 12, 2013 7:47 AM CST
How is the texture of frozen veggies? Is it similar to the prepackaged stuff you can get in the frozen section at the grocery store? I've always been afraid that produce I freeze will go all mushy.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
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Newyorkrita
Jun 12, 2013 9:16 AM CST
My home frozen green beans never went mushy.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Jun 12, 2013 9:24 AM CST

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Trish freezes carrots and many other kinds of vegetables and they are never mushy. Smiling
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Jun 12, 2013 9:29 AM CST
Good to know Dave. Trish is awesome! Thumbs up
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jun 13, 2013 8:57 AM CST
Blanch them first, then quickly submerge in ice water to cool them down completely before popping in the freezer. I've had struggles with mushy frozen corn on the cob, but others have had good luck - I think there are tricks to that as well, can't recall what they are offhand.
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
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ctcarol
Jun 13, 2013 12:31 PM CST
I just clean the corn and put it in zip lock bags to freeze. When I want it, I throw in a pat of butter and nuke it in the bag. Comes out great.
Name: Sylvia Butler
TX (Zone 8a)
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citysylvia
Jun 14, 2013 8:24 PM CST
Deb my Dad taught me to do it that way too.. Carol I am going to try you way too, its faster. sometimes I forget the ice water. I just keep them in the husk in the fridge, then just throw it in the microwave. I can eat it all day. lol



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