Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 13, 1975 · Page 68
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July 13, 1975

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 68

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, July 13, 1975
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Page 68
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Canning Your Harvest By Joha Stattlewortfc This is the time of year that you start to enjoy the fruits of your labor. All the hard work that has gone into your garden is starting to pay off, handsomely. If you are like a lot of folks, you will want to capture some of that home-grown flavor and put it away for the winter. Back in 1809, a French experimenter named Nicholas Appert discovered that food - sealed into airtight containers and heated until all harmful bacteria were killed could be preserved for a year or more. This relatively simple breakthrough revolutionized the off-season eating habits of millions of people. Today canning has been refined and developed into a multibillion-dollar business. There is no reason, though, for you to let the large packers corner the market on canning ... especially when one of the most satisfying feelings in the world is that of walking into the pantry and looking at row after row of glistening jars packed full of fruits, vegetables and meat that you've "put up" yourself. It is no wonder that self- sufficient "homestead" living and canning go together so well. And if you don't live on the land and raise your own garden or livestock? No problem. You can still my quantities of produce in season -- when they are inexpensive -- and can them right in your home or apartment for use all year. Sure, t's work . . . if you want to think of it that way. But it's a great f ami- y project, a lot of fun, extremely satisfying . . . and it will give you an almost sinful feeling of self-reliance and independence. Grandma and great-grandma knew all of the tricks of home canning but, chances are, you never acquired that knowledge from them. v. Canning isn't really all that difficult. All you need is the basic equipment and an understanding of the canning process. With very few exceptions, most fresh foods must be prepared and served shortly after harvesting or. they begin to spoil, change color, and ultimately decompose. Mother Nature planned it that way. Keeping your food stored in a refrigerator will delay these processes, but it takes something drastic to halt them completely. Canning does this by heating food in sealed containers. The heat destroys the troublesome organisms and the sealed containers prevent recontamination of the processed food. By following basic canning rules, you prevent bacteria, yeast, and mold normally present in the air, soil and on work surfaces from causing spoilage or illness. You destroy the enzymes that cause bad color, texture and flavor changes in uncooked produce and meats. There are two basic kinds of canners and you have to match the right canner for each food.. For fruits, pickled vegetables and tomatoes use a boiling-water- bath canner. You can either buy a kettle made especially for canning, or just use a kettle you already have and put a rack on the bottom. You must make sure that it is deep enough to allow one or two inches of water to bubble over the top of your jars during processing. For all common vegetables except tomatoes, you need a steam-, pressure canner. To process these low-acid foods safely in a reasonable length of time takes a temperature higher (240 degrees) than that of boiling water. Check to be sure that the gauge on your pressure cooker works properly and be sure to follow the directions that come with your canner. Always remember that canning requires a little know-how, good- working equipment, top quality fruits and vegetables and a little work. The shorter the time between the garden and the canner the better the final canned goods will be. Be sure to wash off the fruits and vegetables thoroughly, but gently, doing small lots under running wa ter. You can begin your adventures with home canning just as soon as your first vegetables begin to ripen. Then add to your storehouse throughout the summer and fall as each fruit or vegetable reaches its peak of flavor. . ;\ You will be proud and especially pleased when you pull some of that home-grown flavor off the shelf on a cold day next winter. If you would like more detailed information on the "how-to's" of canning, send 25 cents and a long, stamped, self-addressed envelope to The Mother Earth News, Sunday Gazette-Mail, Charleston, W: Va. 25330. Ask for Reprint No. 146, "Home Food Preservation." 'Twelve Steps to The author withet to remain anony- - mom "Hello!; I'm Joe, and I am an alcoholic." Words similar to this across all America and around the world open another meeting of. an Alcoholic Anonymous group; From Long Beach to Lewisburg, Milwaukee to ,' Miami, persons who were hopeless drunks -- alcoholics who had written themselves out of the race--are slowly finding a way back from the abyss. . ' · " . " ' . Despite the tremendous number" of men and women with serious drinking problems, I will not dwell on numbers and statistics.- Far more important is the innerwork- ings.of AA -- the reasons for the .great success of this unorthodox, free-wheeling fellowship. AA isn't a promotion, nor is this article meant to be. Ads in the phone book are only for availability purposes, because you must want AA -- not merely need it. Alcoholics Anonymous is a program of principles, not personalities, and thus the rule of anonymity. In recent years, AA has increased in influence as society has come to recognize alcoholism as an illness rather than a decaying morality. No one has been able to pinpoint why AA works when all else fails. For once in my life, I am not concerned with why something works. I am just grateful that it does. "No dues, no fees," will be among the first words you will hear at an AA meeting. That alone defies belief. By any contemporary measurement, AA should have disbanded years ago: It is not allied with any other group, is totally self-supporting, involves no religious denomination -but it continues to cope effectively with alcoholism. What is.Alcoholics Anonymous? . It is a fellowship of men and women who share their experiences, strength, and hopes to solve" their common problem. Their primary purpose is to stay sober and help others to do the same. AA began over 40 years ago when a small group of drunks from all walks of life drifted togetheT along one of America's many skid rows. They were desperately searching for a way to change their lives -to beat this sickness, moral or psy- siological. In those early days when the problem was just beginning to surface at all social levels, experts were debating what it was, not what to do about it. From those early drunks came such suggestions as: "If we could just make it sober . for one day," "It is the first drink that makes the drunk," and "Admitting we are alcoholic seems to be the first step." In the bible of AA, the big book titled "Alcoholics Anonymous," some of these pioneers tell their stories, with vivid and often painful candor. They remember the stench of two weeks "on the bum" without water,-sleeping in vomit, the delirium tremens--when ugly, vile forms emerge from booze-scorched brains . . . They recall the normal things they once had -- jobs, families, homes -- even positions of great prestige -- in medicine, politics, and religion. From this first meager beginning, has come the group Alcoholics Anonymous. A. 30-year-old man who has sparred with alcohol from an early age -- each time the result being far more serious than before -tells his listeners: "I had given up any hope of a solution. I tried psychiatrists, who usually told me alcoholism is merely symbolic. 'Once we unravel the underlying trouble,' they said, 'the problem of alcoholism will disappear.' " Members of AA see alcoholism as a disease with no real cure. It can only be arrested by admitting you have it and learning how to regain control of your life. AA members see their problem as two-fold: an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind. We long ago found it wasn't important which came first Research points out that physical as well as mental deterioration results from excessive and longstanding drinking habits. The disease comes in all shapes and sizes-small malt liquor bottles, crystal martini glasses, and gallon jugs of cheap wine. Alcoholics come from all stations in life: the White House, the sharecropper's shack, the publisher's office, and the minister's study. Alcoholism creates a hell on earth not only for the alcoholic, but also for his family and friends. · The only requirement for membership in AA is a desire to stop drinking. Most of us won't believe that "something for nothing," can help us. After all, look what it costs to become a qualified alcoholic: jobs lost, nights in jail, or a hospital, or a mental blackout--not knowing where you are or why. How many families are discarded in favor of a night, a week, or a month of making the rounds of favorite bars? Desperately, we seek a way out of the frightening compulsion of alcoholism, but ignore the existence of AA. Tragically, some of those closest to us discourage our joining AA rather than face embarrassment. They send us to rest homes, private wards of hospitals for nerve pills or kraut juice, and then sadly watch us relapse into binges worse than before. My first AA meeting was a letdown. I expected some instant answer, forgetting how many years I had spent wrecking my life. The way they talked--those people who called-themselves alcoholic! Some of them even laughed about it.. They told tales of their drinking days, of how they could con money when they needed it, and how they sneaked around the house hiding their liquor bottles. None of this meant anything to me. There was talk of a higher power who would help us return to sanity. That made me angry. I was going through godless years,. rebelling against an upbringing of Sunday School and Bible reading. When I heard the word "God", I knew this crowd couldn't help me. I'd gone to Sunday Gazette-Mail. July 13,7975

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