Home Canning with Family and Friends

Washington family’s home canning tradition continues the old-fashioned art of preserving food.

| November/December 2010

  • Preparing Tomatoes for Salsa
    Caroline Jaffee and Katie Jensen, Barb’s granddaughter, prepare tomatoes for salsa.
    courtesy Kim McIntosh
  • Pickle Jar After Canning
    Canned pickles after a fall harvest.
    iStockphoto.com/Christopher Craig

  • Preparing Tomatoes for Salsa
  • Pickle Jar After Canning

Jars and jars of gleaming applesauce, dilly beans, salsa, pepper jelly, peaches and raspberry jam line the counters of Barbara McIntosh’s kitchen in Pullman, Washington. It’s mid-August, and the home canning marathon just ended. 

Here, on a 1,000-acre spread, Barbara and Rhod McIntosh raised three daughters, one son, numerous dogs, a few cats and a herd of black Angus cows. 

“We’re basically retired now,” Barb says. “One daughter and one son are married and have children. Our two oldest daughters have careers. Five years ago, my second daughter, Kris, said, ‘Mom, I want to learn how to can.’” 

“You want to learn now?”  

“Yes, and so do my friends, Lisa and Caroline.” 

“I haven’t canned much since I began teaching full time, and that’s been 32 years ago,” Barb told her daughter. Yet she knew she hadn’t forgotten how.  

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