My sister Ranee and I attended a canning class in Battle Creek last Saturday. It was a combination of hands on and observation. We observed pressure cooker canning and performed the hot water bath/steaming method by canning bread and butter pickles and bruschetta to take home. We also made carrot and fennel soup for lunch and freezer jam to take home.The soup was ok, not something I would make let alone take the time to can. I think the soup would have been better served with a little cream mixed in more like a volute. The freezer jam was very delicious. It was a Lemon Raspberry Strawberry Jam. Very tasty but I don't understand why anyone would go through all that only to freeze it for up to 6 months. I really don't have space in my freezer and would much rather use the traditional canning method that would allow me to store the jam on a shelf for up to a year.
The bread and butter pickles were also tasty but both my sister and myself along with the other women at our table all felt that the pickles needed to be sliced very thin. Their recipe called for 1/4 inch thick slices. You cannot fill the jars completely when the slices are that thick. All the bread and butter pickles I have ever tasted were all thinly sliced. I think that the thin slices would work better on sandwiches and burgers plus it better utilizes the space in your jar.
The class lasted 3 hours and along with several jars of pickles, bruschetta, and freezer jam we also received a tote bag, Ball Recipe book, several canning utensils, and an apron.
Fun was had by all...then it was on to shopping because it's a law of nature that when two sisters get together....they must shop.