By Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator
It’s the season for farmers markets and gardening! Even in the chilly Midwest, backyard gardeners are tending their vegetable plants. But how to savor the bountiful harvests ahead?
Unless camping or dealing with a power outage, rarely do we think about how people preserved food before refrigerators and freezers. Especially during the 1930s Depression and World War II, Americans relied on their home gardens for much of their own food. Families and communities worked together to preserve seasonal produce, with techniques such as canning, to store fruits and vegetables for future meals.
Today locavore foodies and budget-minded families alike are returning to traditional food preparation and preservation tasks.
Canning is back in a big way. Housewares companies offer many hand tools, cookware and appliances to help you retain the nutritional values, colors, textures and flavors of your harvests.
Safe equipment is needed to sterilize and properly seal glass jars in order to keep out air bacteria. A century ago, a device like this might have been used to prepare the jars.
Cherries still have stones in them, but you won’t have to remove them with one of these anymore..
…When sleek, modern cherry pitters like this Rosle device make the job easier.
In the 1800s Europeans developed methods of preserving food in tin cans and glass jars. In the U.S. John Mason patented a screw lid seal in 1858 that was later adopted by the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company, founded in 1880. Ball made its first fruit jar in 1884 and introduced The Ball Blue Book recipe booklet in 1909. Jarden Corporation, now owner of the Ball™ brand, continues the legacy with many modern products to help cooks can food at home. Jarden is partnering with Canning Across America to sponsor the inagural Can-It-Forward Day on August 13.
Try your hand at canning! Join the movement back to the kitchen, garden and low-carbon footprint food systems of the past and as you enjoy fresh, healthy produce.
Find more Housewares History at: www.culinarycuriosity.org