With everything moms are juggling these days, finding time to make healthy meals can definitely be a challenge. So I was really happy to meet Jenny Gomes who created a canning course for Busy Beginners. I wanted to learn more about canning and share this information with busy, stressed moms as I know so many of us would love to make healthier, fast meals.
Stressed Mommy – Hey Jenny tells us a little bit about you and how you got into canning.
Jenny Gomes – I’m an English teacher by day and blogger by naptime, which is how I started my blog, The Domestic Wildflower and created my canning course at www.startcanning.com I love teaching others that handmade and homemade isn’t hard at all, that they absolutely can create things with their hands for their homes and families, and that home cooking and handcrafted is much better than anything you can buy in the store.
I used to work at Joann’s Fabrics while I attended college and day after day, women would tell me that they were amazed that I could sew, crochet, can, etc. That just blew me away. These were smart, capable, savvy women claiming that they “could never” sew their kid’s Halloween costume or decorate a cake. That is bananas and that experience stuck with me.
I have been blogging about homemade and handmade living for about a year and a half and I love it. I love sharing DIY, craft, sewing, and canning tutorials with my readers!
Stressed Mommy – there is definitely something so fun about making things yourself. Was starting a family the reason you really got into canning?
Jenny Gomes – When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I nested by learning how to can. I had watched my mom and grandmother can as a kid, and helped of course, but as a teenager I had way cooler things to do than hang out in the kitchen. Flash forward a decade and I wanted nothing more than to preserve healthy, wholesome food for the baby I was about to deliver. I called my mom and grandma, poured over cookbooks, burned my fingers, broke jars, and scorched applesauce, and generally made a ton of stressful mistakes. I not only learned, but got pretty good at it eventually. I canned over 100 pounds of apples that year and my little girl loved the applesauce!
Stressed Mommy – I always assumed Canning was hard work. Can anyone learn how to do it and is it very time consuming?
Jenny Gomes – I help busy beginners, even those who have never cooked, learn how to preserve food in jars. I have 10 years experience teaching public school so I feel like I’m pretty darn good at making simple, clear lessons that anyone can understand. I love choosing recipes that are the easiest for a beginner to tackle because the best part is succeeding and having that delicious jar of jam to share and enjoy.
Specifically, I teach beginner friendly recipes and techniques to busy people who want to eat better, save money, and have more control over their diet.
Stressed Mommy – So how does canning fit into the routine of a busy mom?
Jenny Gomes – Well let’s take the new mom for example. She is utterly inundated with marketing messages that she needs to buy one gadget or another to feed her baby. Those fancy baby blenders that are actually quite expensive promise to make perfect “baby food” and of course every new mom wants to do exactly that. What they are really are primarily plastic, made overseas, small blenders. That’s it. They blend food into a puree and then it is up to you to purchase an overpriced accoutrement like a set of tiny plastic containers to freeze the food. Many new moms don’t realize that Baby is only eating mushed up foods for about 6 months before they are moving on to solids. It is a huge investment for an appliance and accompanying gadgets with very little longevity.
Canning, by comparison, is a technique that applies to every stage of eater. The tools you use are almost all applicable to other cooking tasks (a saucepan is a saucepan, and a funnel is a funnel, right?) and the durability and certainty of heavy glass jars being carcinogen free cannot be denied. With a few simple pots and pans, a busy beginner can learn to preserve apples into apple butter (low in sugar and doesn’t drip the way jelly does!) for their toddlers, sophisticated pickled pearl onions as a hostess gift (right at home in a martini!), salsa that pleases a crowd, tomato sauce to pour over pasta for a 10 minute dinner solution, and perfectly smooth, 1 ingredient pear butter for Baby. Learning to can met my nesting instinct but it has done wonders for me in all stages of motherhood and it will for you too.
Stressed Mommy – That definitely makes complete sense and I love the easy 10 minute dinner solutions. Today’s moms are really into ingredients too.
Jenny Gomes – Canning makes perfect sense for the modern homemaker because it gives you choice. If you stroll down the supermarket aisle, you certainly feel like you have choice, right? Wrong. You don’t get to choose the produce inside the package, you don’t know where that produce was grown or how, you don’t get usually know much about those ingredients with the very long names on the label…you have fewer choices than ever before. Canning allows you to CHOOSE that specific flat of peaches to can and you get to choose the recipe, the honey, and then you get to CHOOSE to feed it to your family as a snack. I’m all about choice, and canning is the single thing that has returned choice to me as a mom, wife, and consumer.
Stressed Mommy – So your course blends a mom’s need for healthier meals with time savings. Who would most benefit from the course?
Jenny Gomes – I’d love my Start Canning course to be in the hands of a mom who feels like she wants to learn to prepare healthier foods for her family but either thinks she can’t or thinks it is too hard so she can learn that canning is pretty easy, and it is totally safe.
Canning saves money, time, and the resulting food in jars is miles better than anything you can buy in the store.
Stressed Mommy – What is included in The Start Canning Course?
Jenny Gomes – The Start Canning Course is over ten high quality videos that SHOW in a way a cookbook cannot HOW to can your own jam (strawberry jam is THE go to for beginners- you can’t make a mistake with those high acid berries!) tomato sauce (so versatile!) and more. Included with the course is something I am really excited about: a private Facebook group where I will be live streaming to help students troubleshoot and apply their new skills to their kitchen routine. It also comes with an ebook, a private Pinterest board, and more.
The course is self paced and can be taken 10 minutes at a time or devoured over a weekend. It is up to you. Those who purchase have forever access and any and all future modules that are added. I am working on a pectin lesson that should be really valuable and will be released in the spring, for example.
Stressed Mommy – where else can people learn more about you and canning?
Jenny Gomes – I host a really fun facebook group called Grow Like a Wildflower and it is your go to place to ask why your sourdough isn’t rising, where you can learn about second fermenting your kombucha, and what kind of no-aluminum deodorant to try. Join here!
My instagram shares photos of canning, gorgeous textile projects, and more.
If Pinterest is your favorite place to plan out all the things you’ll create, follow me here.
Be sure to collaborate on the group board
Thank you so much for having me and I look forward to teaching the busy beginners out there how to can!