Saturday, August 6, 2011

If You Can't Take the Heat. . .

A canning house was once a common addition to farms around here -- a way to keep the heat of canning (often on a wood stove) out of the house during the summer.  This fine example, which sits across the street from our driveway, even has a cellar to store the canned goods.

I don't have a canning house -- and I really don't want to use a wood stove in this summer heat.  But the kitchen still get horribly hot, even with the gas range, even with a fan going.

John to the rescue! He suggested that I move operations to the back porch. And with the help of this one-burner cooker, I canned tomatoes today. 

Forty-five minutes of a boiling canner and several hours of cool down for the jars afterward -- all done outside!  

This is the way to go!
 

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22 comments:

Ms. A said...

Brilliant! That man deserves an award.

Merisi said...

Yes, Ms A is right, brilliant, simply brilliant!
I am glad you got out of the hot kitchen and still have your tomatoes preserved for winter.

I don*t know of any canning houses here in Austria, but my grandmother had a small brick building at a distance from the house, with wood fire going to dry fruits. I can still remember the heavenly fragrance of slowly desiccating (or is it dehydrating?) Italian plums.

Canning houses probably were not necessary in the climate here. The heat in summer is dry and nights cooler. I know quite a few farmers who have a "messy kitchen", a second "working" kitchen were they would do canning and stuff.

Martin H. said...

Good thinking, John.

Miss_Yves said...

Interesting..."canning houses "are unknown in France.
Thanks for your "very loose "translation of my poem (not so loose)

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

I never knew of such "canning houses". New knowledge.

And the canned tomatoes... Wow! Home made are usually better...

Thanks!

JJRod'z

Pat in east TN said...

Two thumbs up for John! Great idea!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I had no idea those were canning houses. How interesting. Your canned tomatoes are so pretty. John is a clever guy.

When we lived in the Poconos, our house had a summer kitchen for canning downstairs in the basement. No wood stove of course, but the foundation of the house was stone and previous owners had used that kitchen for canning. It was cool down there all day long.
Sam

Anonymous said...

I love how people figure out ways to stay cool without air conditioning, both in the past and in the present.

Once again, I am so in awe of your boundless energy.

Deana the Queena

Friko said...

Give that chap a medal!

And you too, for doing all that work in high summer.

Mama-Bug said...

I've canned that way too, on the back porch in the summer. Sure beats a hot, stuffy kitchen.

Brian Miller said...

think i would def take the back porch any day....got you a smart one there...

Bouncin' Barb said...

What a great idea. I can't imagine all that heat inside during this sweltering summer we're having.

Thérèse said...

A canning house! What a great idea unknown to me... Are nights cold enough in Mashall county to cool tomato cans and living creatures? :-))

Deanna said...

I vaguely remember my grandma cooking on a wood burning stove in her very hot kitchen. Mom and dad somehow found enough money to replace that stove for her when I was about 5. You are married to one smart cookie. He's a keeper!

Louise said...

Canning houses are a new thing for me. It's a great idea. And, so is your own little porch canning house. That was good thinking on the part of your husband.

Darla said...

Excellent. Always enjoyable when someone thinks outside the box...or in this case, outside the kitchen.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Vicki, I'm working on a post with photos from the Monteith sisters canning house outside Sylva. The Appalachian Women's Museum opened it to visitors last fall, with a fine display of comments from local women remembering canning days. I loved the house, so cool, old-fashioned. Even an old hand-wringer washing machine in the corner. Maybe I'll get the post up before too much longer.

Brenda said...

Well that's a clever idea. Is John always this resourceful?? I made blackberry jam recently and whew, the kitchen was hot!

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

vicki -- Looks like you have beat the heat for your canning project. -- barbara

Desiree said...

Is there anything you don't do, Vicki? You are such an inspiration.

Kath said...

I was going to say our ancestors were pretty darn smart having separate cooking buildings, but they have nothing on you and your husband!

Vicki Lane said...

Another reason for separate building for cooking was to decrease the danger of burning the house down.

I love the idea of a second working kitchen! And the drying house sounds wonderful, Merisi!

Therese -- our night do cool down pleasant temperatures most of the time.

Kay -- I'll be looking for that post!