An August LA Times article featured blogs which specialize on the topic of canning. I liked the reason the article gave for the new craze, or resurgence of an old skill which our grandmothers had.
Is it really such a surprise, West asks, motioning to it all, that we're embracing our culinary heritage? He becomes quiet for a moment, then begins ticking off a list of woes facing the world today — the BP oil spill, Wall Street scoundrels, unemployment, voter skepticism, anxiety about the future ...Plus there's that Bisphenol A contaminate to worry about in canned soups and tomato products.
"If you're afraid, uncertain, ambivalent, what do you do?" he asks. "I think you look to the past, you look to find stability and reassurance where you can find it." He holds up a jar of asparagus spears that he pickled earlier this year, tucking in a few tufts of tarragon and green garlic for good measure. "This is stuff our grandparents were doing. And that is stuff that we can do in our own home. We can grow a zucchini in the backyard and put it up in a jar. And that is a certainty. That is a tangible, concrete certainty in this world of uncertainty."
Blogs on canning which were mentioned in the article are:
The best book of reference for step-by-step canning instructions is the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving.
Also, don't forget your local county extension office which may offer classes on canning, phone consultations, and free instruction pamphlets or booklets.
As for me, I've made Asian refrigerator pickles and canned pepper jelly this year from our own garden produce. I like to stay in practice a little each year just in case.