The end of summer, and it’s time for canning. Can my son stay away? Of course not! And while we’re still washing fruits and vegetables, he has already canned twenty jars!
A lot of the posts in my blog are ideas of what parents can do for kids. This one is not. From start to finish, this is Anselm’s idea of having fun.
He saw us making cherry jelly a few weeks ago. That time he just watched. But when we started preparing for preserving plums this weekend and all the sealers were out again, he decided to take matters into his own hands and fill them up. You could tell he was enjoying himself immensely, walking around with jars filled right up with plums, sticking them in boxes, and proudly announcing that they’re processing in a pressure canner… not ready yet… just a minute, and… done!
We’re probably not far off from the first frost here, so we’re trying to enjoy flowers while they last. In my and Anselm’s world, it means using them for playing as much as possible. So in no time, the idea of canning flowers came up.
Anselm took the task pretty seriously. He sat on the step and depetalled flower after flower, sorting them into different bowls at the same time. Dahlias are a great source of petals, and so are poppies!
Inside, I gave him a ladle, a canning funnel, and a pot full of water, while Anselm gathered jars in three different sizes. The rest he initiated, blissfully ladling water into the jar, throwing petals in, adding more water, then more petals, and finally closing the jar. If there is water involved, Anselm is always game. The funnel helped to keep the water from spilling too much, while he was learning to estimate how to not overfill the jars.
Being very light, petals seldom break surface tension surface, but if you shake them up the petals float beautifully.
Here is the whole batch of our “canned” flowers. They decorated our table for a few days before wilting away. It would be so great if we could really can all the summer scents and colours for the cold months! As it is, we’re canning beans, tomatoes, plums, and just finishing making a batch of ground cherry jam with a hint of lemon. Anselm is as interested as before. I wonder what he’ll can next.