[Editor's note: This one in a series of essays by winners of our "Preserving Canning Wisdom" giveaway.]
I love canning with my little daughter! She is almost 4 years old and really can’t do that much to help–but she watches. I absolutely believe that having her watch, and help me with the little things like washing the fruit is the first–and maybe most important–step in helping her learn to can by herself someday.
Canning is in my family. My Irish born and raised grandmother used to can jams. During a time when frozen vegetables and TV dinners were the rage, she still served fresh vegetables and home cooked Sunday night dinners. The only regret I have is that I never canned with her. It wasn’t something my mom ever did, so I learned it on my own, as an adult, with help from my sister-in-law.
We grow tomatoes and lemons and plums in our backyard and my daughter picks those with me. And I think that just letting her see me canning and involving her at her ability level will encourage her to want to can someday. Of course, she loves to eat our homemade strawberry jam on our homemade scones. I hope that this is the start of something we can always share together.
CAA Contributor Patty Ogg cans in Lomita, CA.