Can you do the can can?

A free water-bath preserving lesson with yours truly!

I know, it’s not a Tuesday, but I interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for an important announcement:

A free canning workshop this Saturday at 4 p.m. Eastern!

I’ll be live on Facebook in our FMFP group, explaining the fundamentals of water-bath canning, how not to poison your last living grandmother, and at the end you’ll have shelf-stable pickled beans. What’s not to like?

It’ll be available for replay and questions thereafter, but the can-can is more fun with friends, and I’d love to answer your questions live. You don’t need a Facebook account to watch, just follow this link.

We’re making pickled beans (from one of my favourite preserving books, Food in Jars), but the skills you learn here are applicable to jams, pickles, chutneys, salsas — basically any high-acid food. (Tune in to find out why acid levels are vital.)

Equipment

I encourage you to borrow this stuff if you’re not ready to go all-in on this pioneer pastime. Ask friends or people in your neighbourhood if you can borrow their kit for a day. You’ll need:

  • a large pot (that can allow at least one inch of water over your highest jar)

  • a rack to sit inside the pot (or you can make one by joining screw bands. Anything that keeps the jars from sitting on the bottom so water can get underneath. I actually use a pizza tin with holes in it.)

  • four 500 ml canning jars (used are perfect, as long as they’re not chipped)

  • four unrusted screw bands

  • four brand-new lids (these come with new jars or are sold in small packs)

  • a jar lifter (you might be able to get away with a waterproof oven mitt)

  • a canning funnel (not strictly necessary, but makes things a lot easier)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed to fit your jars (hint: once you cut one bean to the right size, use it as a guide to trim the rest). Get em local — beans are at their peak right now.

  • 2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar (you could also use apple cider vinegar if you prefer)

  • 2 tablespoons pickling or fine sea salt (you can buy pickling salt in the salt section of most grocery stores, or at Bulk Barn)

  • 4 teaspoons dill seed

  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns

  • If you like it hot, 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes or cayenne pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic

An important note: the only substitutions you can make in the ingredients are noted. To be safe, canning recipes need to be followed exactly.

And if you’re wondering why I devote myself to this old-timey hobby when we have miracles like supermarkets and industrial canning, brush up on this edition of the newsletter on the wonders of preserving to see if you’re at least canning-curious.

Please come, so I’m not just talking to myself over a cauldron of hot water. (It wouldn’t be the first time.) It’ll be a good old sweaty party, and by the time you’re finished, you’ll be so euphoric you might end up doing the can-can.

Opening photo by Kristina Snowasp from Pexels.