Sunday, November 08, 2009

What's the word?

I have a lot more tomatoes waiting to be canned but here's some of what I have completed so far. Mom cans her tomatoes whole but I cut mine in quarters, add basil, oregano, onion and roasted garlic. We've used some and it's absolutely delicious in a variety of foods: meatloaf, spaghetti, bean soup, chili and so on. We like a lot of garlic, that explains the white bits you see in the jars.

Canned tomatoes

Speaking of "jars" and "canning," a friend of mine has often teased me about the use of "canning" when food is actually preserved in jars. This has bugged me for quite a while because what he said made sense, just sounded stupid. Who jars?

Before I could learn why it was called canning and not jarring, I had to do some research on the process. Turns out, the history of canning can be traced back to Napoleon. In 1795, he offered a monetary award to the person who could come up with a way to preserve food for his army and navy. Fourteen years years later, a method of preserving food in glass bottles was discovered. Within a year, glass was replaced by cheaper, easier to make and less fragile tin or wrought-iron cans. (Unfortunately, tin openers were not invented for another thirty years and soldiers had to use their bayonets, knives or rocks to bash open the tin cans. Fail!) In 1858, the glass jar was invented by John Mason. The jar was deemed more practical for home canning than their tin counterparts because they could be used year after year.

Thus, the use of the word "canning" for a process that once used cans but now uses jars, at least for home operations.

Though some people might look at canning as an old fashioned sort of thing, it turns out canning increases in popularity during times of recession. Those who make a habit of canning food every year know they can save a lot of money by doing so. I know I have started canning a lot more, but for me it's because I live in an area where I can grow my own food or get it from someone who has grown their own. We're trying to eat organic foods that we can guarantee have not been around chemicals and home canned organic food is a lot cheaper than store bought.

So now that matter of canning vs jarring is settled, I can get back to a worry free use of the word "canning" and finish up the rest of the tomatoes I have left. More photos to follow, I am sure.


Lisa said...

Garlic, YUM! thanks for the history lesson. We only canned salsa this year. Didn't get enough apples on the tree to make applesauce.

Sugar Pop Ribbons said...

Yummy, wish I was there to try it out. Maybe you can send me a can for Christmas. Hint, hint!

Anonymous said...

It's a misnomer! It doesn't make it right just because a lot of people use it. A lot of people believed the world was flat and looked what happened with that...

on a side note... my verfication word is "godanat" ... !!!