I recently started canning. It was something I always intended but never got around to. My relocation to DC and complete lack of employment has given me the chance to finally try my hand at it.
Over the past five days, I have canned (in no particular order):
|Canned product||Estimated value|
|Peaches in syrup, 12 pints||$1.76 per = $21.12|
|Apple butter, 2 pints||$1.25 per = $2.50|
|Apple jelly, 2.5 pints||$5.12 per = $12.80|
|Superspicetastic habanero jelly, 2.5 pints||$4.67 per = $11.68|
|Superspicetastic habanero jam, 0.5 pints (the leftover after straining the juice for the jelly)||$4.67 per = $2.33|
|Peach marmalade, 2.5 pints||$4.96 per = $12.40|
|Boozy blackberry jam, 3.5 pints||$4.16 per = $14.56|
|Pear-ginger-lime marmalade, 2.5 pints||$4.96 per = $12.40|
|Roasted apple-rhubarb puree, 4 pints||$1.28 per = $5.12|
|Pear compote, 2.5 pints||$4.96 per = $12.40|
|Roasted pear-parsnip puree, 3.5 pints||$1.28 per = $4.48|
|Hot salsa, 3.5 pints||$1.99 per = $6.97|
|Dried Asian pear chunks, 3 cups||$2.33 per cup = $6.99|
|"Sun dried" tomatoes, 2 cups||$3.99 per cup = $7.98|
|Total generic value of canned products: $133.73|
The estimates of most of the products come from average price per ounce from Giant grocery store's Peapod service. Prices of products from other websites are linked--pear compote and habanero jam are just kind of winged. Which pretty much means the funky-freshness and organicality of my products aren't reflected in the prices. I'd probably add a couple of bucks on top of most items, ratcheting up the market value of these products to about $160 or so, I'd wager--farmers' market value would be even higher, likely around $200.
That's not a terrible price. And I had a bunch of apples and pears that weren't used in these products.
Now let's check out the expenses:
- Water bath canning kit (comes with rack, lid tightener thing, jar clamp, magnetic lid stick thing, and tongs): $35 (Target)
- 48 pint jars with lids and screw tops: $25 (on sale at Ace Hardware)
- 1 case each of peaches, pears, and apples: $100 (Black Rock Orchard)
- Blackberries: $25 (on sale at Giant 'cause there were tons of moldy ones)
- Ball Instant Pectin x2: $8 (Ace Hardware)
- Limes, ginger, sugar, onion, bell peppers: $18 (Giant)
- Tomatoes: $14 (Dupont Circle Farmers' Market)
- Habaneros: $4 (Petworth Farmers' Market)
Not included in the expense report are spices (that were already available or used in cent-quantities) and the hour value of my work (about 22 hours over 4 days could add up to several hundred or several thousand dollars, depending on how much I think my time is worth). Certain items, such as the jars and water bath canning kit, will not have to be repurchased, so future expenses will not include them. Taking those out, the total is about $169 for the stuff I made. Which, I guess if you factor in the organicosity and supercoolness of the recipes, it's totally worth it to me. As long as I can buy in bulk for cheaper produce (I really took a hit on those "on sale" blackberries from the supermarket), I'd say this is a pretty good use of my money.
Now I just need to figure out what the heck to do with all of these goodies!