I have a lot of the same memories of my grandmother that my sister talks about. She was a pretty fair cook, but she cooked for a farm family. I would think you would become good either in self-defense or just by sheer volume/repetition. But along with her cooking, she could preserve and can most anything you could come up with, and dehydrating was also no mystery to this woman. Most of my memories of the farm are intertwined with the wonderful smells that came from that kitchen most every day.
I remember our family always had a freezer and pantry full of the canned goods that came from the farm. Strawberry jam and raspberry jelly, green beans and such. The one that stands out for me was her wonderful tomato juice! That was such a messy process, but yielded such scrumptious results! Chili made with my grandmother's home-canned tomato juice...has...no...equal.
Fast-forward about thirty years and I'm about to embark on an endeavor that would make my grandmother proud. In self-defense, we're going to make homemade grape jelly. Why, you ask? Because I have a whole Nipsey Russell* of grapes growing on the arbor in my new backyard!
They are table grapes we were told by the original owner, and there are both red and green seedless varieties. There is no way we can eat them all before they get overripe, as there is probably a good twenty to thirty pounds of them! So we decided jelly or juice would be the best thing to do. After a little game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock to decide, jelly won (Spock vaporizes rock, BTW). But that means we need a canning outfit to help us put up our jelly.
I have been looking at several kits online, and I think I've narrowed it to this one. It has all the stuff (as I remember), seems reasonably priced and will work with our flat-top stove. I think we may look a couple of other places locally before ordering, but this gives me a good idea what we should pay for a similar kit, or for the individual pieces. It's been a long time since I've even seen this done, but between ESM and myself, I am confident we will prevail. *grin* We'll keep y'all posted on how well we do.
So wish us luck in our journey, and if you have advice, I would welcome it.
* - So, you didn't know Nipsey Russell was a measure of volume, huh? Neither did I, until a good friend of mine used that phrase in my presence many years ago. I liked it so much I immediately added it to my lexicon and continue to use it to this day. It is roughly equivalent to a "metric buttload."