Reminiscing About Canning

Canning jars of dilly beans and carrots

Canning can be a fun family activity,

whether I do it with my mother or my husband (my husband enjoys canning with his mother’s old recipes), it is an intense, involved, but fun experience in the kitchen.

People used to can in the past as a way to preserve food.

Many folks today still like to can and it is an activity to try with a loved one if you both enjoy it. There are so many recipes on line or in cook books (you can find canning cookbooks at your local library), that you will likely find something you enjoy. Or, you may have canning recipes in your family cookbook collection.

Here are some ideas and questions to get you and a loved one started on your way to canning, OR just talking about canning!

Activity Ideas:

  •  Search for old canning recipes in your recipe collection. Pull out any recipes that your older family member made or one that was a favorite. Talk about the ingredients, why it might have been a favorite, and how the recipe came to be in your family. If you do not have canning recipes, talk about other recipes in the family collection.
  • Talk about whether you would like to try canning and what you might need to purchase for it. Then plan a day to can. What can your older loved one do to help? You might plan this ahead as well, since it can be such an involved process.

Reminiscing Questions

  • Have you ever canned?
  • What kind of food did you can?
  • What was your favorite thing to can or eat that someone else may have canned and gave to you?
  • Who did you can with? Or did you can by yourself?
  • How did you learn to can? Did you learn from someone?
  • What recipes did you use to can? Were they family recipes passed down or did you get them from a cookbook?
  • Did you use produce from your own garden to can or did you get it from somewhere else? What produce did you use?
  • Did you can vegetables such as cucumbers (pickles), beans, carrots? Did you can fruits such as peaches, strawberries, raspberries, cherries? Did you ever make jam or jelly?
  • Who else in your family canned?
  • Did you enjoy canning?
  • Did you always have good experiences canning? Were there ever any undesirable turnouts?
  • Did you ever give any of your canned goods away as gifts?
  • What is your best canning experience?


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