Can you can it?

As much as 90% of the food canned at home in Alaska is salmon. I totally made that number up, but it is an educated fabrication, given my years of observation on the subject. Canning has a fascinating history dating back to the early 1800s in France. In fact, they discovered the process before they even understood why it worked to preserve food. Universities and government agencies continue to study, research, and test the process for safety with various foods. Please be sure to use up to date information from reliable resources on proper methods, processing times, and altitude adjustments. Reliable resources included the National Center for Home Food Preservation, ball (as in ball canning jars), and county and university extension services. 
My mom has spent a lot of time and effort keeping herself up to date on current guidelines, and I am excited to have her input on the matter. She is available to answer any questions you have in this section, and I will share things I have learned from her about the process of home preservation. 
Let’s talk about a few things that are fresh in the garden right now.
Zucchini and yellow squash- These act similarly when it comes to preservation, so we can talk about them together here, even if you only want to work with one of them. During the canning process, the texture and density changes too much which prevents heat penetration to the core of the jar. It is not recommended to can either of these veggies. However, you can use them with a relish recipe. 
Radishes- Unlike most root vegetables, it is not recommended to can radishes like you would beets or carrots. Sometimes these recommendations are based more on quality than safety. This could be the explanation as to why you can can other root vegetables and not radishes. You can, however, use them with a pickling recipe. 
Rhubarb- It is technically a vegetable, and there are several options for canning. It is commonly used in conjunction with fruits in jam, as a sauce, and it can also be pickled. It seems like most recipes are calling for copious sugar, which isn’t surprising considering how tart it is. 
Greens- beet, chard, kale, mustard, spinach, etc. can all be canned mixed together or on their own. In some cases like beets, the greens are considered waste and aren’t used. Others come on and you end up with way more than you could eat. Preserving greens is a great way to extend the time you can enjoy the harvest. 


Teriyaki Stir Fry

This dish continues to help use that old salmon, is amazing with fresh salmon, and is good in the winter with whatever veggies you can get your hands on. While we usually do salmon, you can add your choice of meat, and we always serve it over rice.

Teriyaki sauce

1/2 cup soy

Tbsp sesame oil 

Tbsp rice wine vinegar

Tsp granulated garlic

Pinch pepper

Pinch red chili flakes

Tsp granulated ginger

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp honey 

1 tsp cornstarch mixed in 1/2 cup water
Bring all but cornstarch water mixture to a simmer. Add cornstarch water slowly, stirring. Once mixture is back up to a simmer, turn it off. It will thicken. 

Stir fry

1 Zucchini cut into 1/8 inch thick half moons

1/2 head Bok choi, coarsely shredded

1/2 yellow Onion, sliced 1/8 inch thick

2 tbsp canola

Bring pan to high heat, add oil. Once oil is hot, Sauté zucchini and onion for one minute, turn heat down to medium. Add bok choi. Sauté on medium for one minute, then turn heat off. Add 1/3 of sauce to veggies. Toss everything together in the pan. It will still be hot enough to get some simmer, which is exactly what you want. The rest of the sauce can be used on the salmon and rice as needed.