Yesterday, while on Facebook, our friend Ruth's status update gave us pause. She was canning pickles and dilly beans. Never has Facebook elicited such jealousy! We can handle hearing about our friends' new BMWs, pregnancies and favorite '80s hair bands. But enough vegetables to can? In Maine? This summer?


It's obvious that Ruth's garden is better than ours. Maybe the grass (and green beans, and cucumbers) really is greener on the other side. She does live in farm country (Appleton), while we live in Orono, home of Maine's crappiest soil. But if we do manage to coax a few non-blighted tomatoes and un-waterlogged cukes out of our little plot of misery, we're ready.

We usually buy our canning supplies at Parks Hardware in Orono, which has a phenomenal selection. Blue Seal in Bangor is also a good bet. But during a visit to Portland last month, we were impressed with the jars and lids at LeRoux Kitchen (161 Commercial St.,, pictured above. In particular, we liked the classic lines of the Quattro Stagioni jars from Italy. They'd be perfect for gifts, which is what we do with our raspberry jam each year.

As for recipes, we're sticking with our friends at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. They're such a great resource, Whole Foods Market tapped their food preservation expertise for a nationwide in-store publication. Plus, their Web site has everything you need to can.

We'd love to know where you buy your canning supplies and where you find your favorite recipes. Please post below or e-mail us at


Post a Comment