If you’ve visited Firestone Farm in Greenfield Village, have you ever seen our presenters canning jams, jellies, and other delicious pantry staples? If not, you’re in for a treat.
This fall we got a firsthand look at what goes into canning. While canning is a food preservation technique first experimented with more than 200 years ago, it’s gaining a resurgence among foodies and families looking to eat local as much as they can each year and enjoy favorite flavors all year long.
When we visited Firestone Farm in September, our team was working with some fresh products from our farms almost every day. Our presenters make everything from bottle pickles to cucumber catsup. If a recipe doesn’t set quite right, it doesn’t go to waste – when peaches don’t seal, they become a tasty pie filling.
As you’ll see in the video, presenters Becky Goodenow and Larissa Fleishman start out by sterilizing the jars they’ll use for canning that day. You can’t touch the inside of the jar, as you might contaminate it, so a clean cloth is used to wipe it down. A metal spoon is most important because it helps disperse the heat from the hot liquid. This helps to prevent the cooler glass jar from cracking as you pour in the boiling liquid.
Today there are a variety of products to choose from when it comes to canning. You can even purchase your very own jam and jelly maker to take a lot of work out of the equation. Ball Canning brand offers a community and resources website to enthusiasts, too. Or look for the Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving Recipes the next time you’re at the book store.
Watch this video to see Becky and Larissa in action making a batch of chili sauce from Buckeye Cookery. You can make it at home, too. You can also visit The Henry Ford’s library of historic cookbooks for inspiration.
If you make a batch of chili sauce to give as a gift, add one of our special labels to the front. Simply download and print on label paper, or print on card stock and attach with baker’s twine to the jar.
Chili Sauce, Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, 1880, p. 132.
- 12 large, ripe tomatoes
- 4 ripe or three green peppers
- 2 onions
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 3 cups of vinegar
Peel tomatoes and onions, chop (separately) very fine, add the peppers (chopped) with the other ingredients, and boil one-and-a-half hours. Bottle it and it will keep a long time.
Lish Dorset is Social Media Manager at The Henry Ford.