Have you ever heard of the phrase "to have a wild hair"? I don't know where I picked it up, but it has become something I find myself saying probably more often than I should. In case you have no idea what I am talking about check out this link for Urban Dictionary. Yes, that's right you need to use Urban Dictionary to understand me--I am not sure if that is very A T-Shirt and Pearls, but eh oh well. Sometimes I think I am constantly having a wild hair because I always seem to have some new project or idea that I feel I must dive 110% into, and often I have more than one of these projects going at once. Yeesh, why can't I have this same motivation for cleaning and organizing?!
So, anyway my latest wild hair is to start canning. I have never canned before but as with anything I am ready to learn and do my best. I am not really sure where this idea came from (as is true with most of my ideas) but I am really excited to get started. My first adventure in canning is going to be making homemade pickles. When I was growing up we would visit my grandparents in Pennsylvania and during the summer my grandmother and her good friend and neighbor would make the most delicious homemade pickles. I am hoping that with the help of my family I can dig up her old recipe. I do not have a vegetable garden, so for this year I am going to buy my produce at farmers markets and produce stands. Next year I am planning to put a raised bed vegetable garden in my yard so I can use my own homegrown veggies.
I have started doing some research on canning and am thinking I am going to go with a pressure canner. Although there are less recipes that use pressure canners instead of water bath canners, it would be nice to have the option. From what I have read it seems like you should be able to do both types of canning in a pressure canner anyway. I found this one online at Walmart.com and it seems to have good reviews and be good for beginners. Do you have a preference or advice on which type of canner to buy, water bath or pressure? What about brands? I am liking the one I found because I have some Wal-Mart gift cards which makes the price really nice, but I want to make sure it is a good one too.
I am also looking for recipes to try after I am done with my pickles. I have found tons of great resources online and am storing them on my Canning Pinterest Board (use the link on my homepage to follow me!) A few ideas I have are corn and vidalia onion relish (I am really excited to create this recipe), apple butter (in the fall), salsa, tomato pasta sauce, and chicken stock. What are some home canned items that you think are a must try?
I am sure that I will have many canning adventures to share with you over the next few months. I am looking forward to hearing your advice and suggestions!