Overcoming My Fears: Canning

It is fun to document my domestic fears and share how I am trying to overcome them. If you have been reading me for a long time, you might notice that I have had many domestic fears to overcome. I had a fear of working with dough, I have feared getting dirty in a garden, I was terrified of my mower, I was scared to cut hair, and another fear that I have experienced since college is the fear of canning.

I took a Food & Nutrition course which was a basic course into food sciences and how things happen when cooking & preserving food. One of our class assignments was to can foods. We were given acidic foods and non-acidic foods to can and then the teacher went around to check our handiwork. Knowing nothing about canning, I read the instructions and then canned my tomatoes for the class.

The teacher walked around and checked everyone and the majority of us failed the assignment. I remember her words quite clearly, “That food would kill someone- it did not seal properly, you filled it too high, and so on, and so on.”

Perhaps it was the fear of killing someone that instilled the fear in me? I think that would be a valid fear, don’t you?

When I saw the Pumpkin Butter recipe that Monica, from The Homespun Heart, shared on her blog last week, I was determined to try it. I got out my book on canning and read through the tutorial again. I have had this book for years and kept reading it, but never acted on anything.

I increased the recipe four times and put it in my slow cooker, instead of cooking it over the stove top. Since I did such a large batch, I let it cook for six hours. I would recommend that you only triple the recipe in a standard slow cooker because mine did overflow a little bit.

The whole process really went smoothly and I ended up with eighteen jars of Pumpkin Butter. I can’t wait to give these away as hostess gifts!

This recipe is a great one for a first-time canner especially if you use the slow cooker to make it. There is no processing involved and it yields a great amount for very little effort.

The results were delicious! This literally tastes like pumpkin pie smeared all over bread. I am going to make some of my Buttery Bread Machine Rolls to put this on for dinner one night this week.

Here is how my conversation went with my husband after the great canning experience:

Me: I am so proud of myself! I am all done! You want some toast with pumpkin butter on it?

Him: I don’t want to die. You can’t get rid of me that easily!

Me: Very funny…Hey, I think I have overcome all of my fears now.

Him: What about sewing?

Me: Shut up!

Looks like sewing will be next! I am making a pact with myself to take a course next year and figure it out.

Sound Off: Do you have any domestic fears that you are working on overcoming? Please tell me that I am not alone!

Published November 12, 2007 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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