Learning to Can (Can)

Tomatoes & Green Beans for Canning
Tomatoes & Green Beans for Canning
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The brown bag is filled with ripe tomatoes, and the colander on the right is obviously overflowing with green beans. Tomorrow, I learn to can our garden harvest.

Somehow, I spent an entire childhood in the beautiful farm country of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and emerged without any knowledge or skills in the culinary art of canning.

A family friend pointed out that the this likely had to do with the fact that my mother was born and raised in east L.A.  Canning was not exactly at the top of the to-do list around there.  (Although I believe she did learn to can after relocating to PA.)  On the other hand, I can sing along with Linda Ronstadt’s mariachi music like nobody’s business.

But I digress.

Anyway, with a cow in the freezer, along with umpteen jars of homemade broth, plus some leftover produce from last year’s garden (What!?  I’ve got to use that stuff up!), we are running out of storage space for frozen food.

Enter my friend and Real Food Guru Diana.

Just last week–here on the blog–I showed a picture of our abundant green bean harvest and Diana generously offered to teach me to can.  She’s coming tomorrow morning, large canning pots in tow.

Which totally makes me want to launch into the chorus of a favorite song of ours, Richard Permutter’s witty lyrics to Offenbach’s classical composition: Can You Can Can?
(Click on the song title to listen to the lyrics.)

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Oh can you do the Can Can?
If you can then I can
I can Can Can if you Can Can
Can you Can Can
Oh we can do the Can Can
Yes we can we Can Can
We can Can Can
Yes we can Can Can

Now that we’ve all got that chorus stuck in our heads, wish me luck with tomorrow’s canning lesson!

Do you can?  (Or can can?)  🙂 Any tips to share?


Tomatoes & Green Beans for Canning
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Kathleen Henderson

Kathleen Henderson

Let's get real! I’m Kathleen Henderson, your Natural Living Mentor. I’m on a mission to help families see the joy in real food, while finding natural remedies and creating a nontoxic home. Learn more about my story >>


  1. Avatar valerie on 08/27/2013 at 9:12 pm

    I do have a canning pot you may have if you need one.

    • Kathleen Kathleen on 08/28/2013 at 11:06 am

      Thanks, Mom. 🙂

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