Growing up on Vancouver Island, I was used to canning salmon every Summer with my family. This was back in the day of great fishing and being allowed to catch and keep up to 4 salmon and 3 cod a day. Pre mid 1990’s, you could fill up the boat with four people and come back with 16 salmon within the hour which of course made up for the days you caught absolutely nothing. We always had an abundance of salmon to last us through the non-Summer months including: smoked salmon, canned salmon, salmon steaks and of course, whole salmons.
My partner and I started canning fruit the Summer after we moved to the Okanagan. My grandmother always canned cherries but growing up, my family did not do a lot of canning. Every few years, my Mom would make raspberry jam, strawberry jam and zucchini relish. When I was in college, Dad and I would make dill beans (which I really need to get the recipe for).
In the past three years, we have canned: pears, apricots, cherries, peaches, tomatoes, green ketchup, red ketchup and peach salsa. So far this Summer, we have canned closer to 50lbs of cherries and yesterday we picked closer to 75lbs of apricots – less then half of which was canned as of last night. There is a good chance that we will go and pick more apricots next weekend and we are only two fruits into our canning season.
Last year, we took down closer to 80lbs of seconds (produce they can’t sell for premium price but is great for canning) for about $23.00 (there was another six boxes of tomatoes in the backseat of the car):
Above are the peaches used in our first attempt at canning Peach Salsa. Because we went through about a jar a month, we were almost out by the Solstice! I am hoping we can at least double (if not do four times) the amount we did last Summer!
When my MIL cans apricots, she shells the kernels and places the almond like seeds into the jars to add flavour. Last Summer, I tried one pre-canning and holy crap was it an awful, bitter taste! Fresh from the kernel, they taste nothing like they do after they have been canned with the apricots. In my Googling, I discovered that in central Asia and the Mediterranean, the Almonds are much sweeter then they are in North America. I also came across this great article on Apricot Seeds Kill Cancer Cells without Side Effects:
Keep in mind that the cancer industry world wide is estimated at a 200 billion dollar a year industry. There are many in various associated positions within that industry who would be without a job if that cash flow dried up suddenly with the news that there are cheaper, less harmful, and more efficacious remedies available. Big Pharmacy would virtually vanish.
Doing what I do these days, I was very happy to read the health benefits to those tiny little seeds we can with our Apricots.
Do you do any canning? Got any favourite recipes you want to share?