Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Canning Cuties

Does this box look familiar?
These are mandarin oranges from my local warehouse club where we get most of our fresh produce.

The children helped to peel and get all the stringy stuff off which is important so as to not make the citrus bitter. My theme today is 'Many hands make light the task'. Everybody pitched in and helped while we watched an old b&w movie. We were done within the hour.

I have never canned citrus before so I explored the internet and found some information on how to can citrus here. There was a choice to use orange juice or a light sugar water solution. I have tried it both ways and the sugar water makes the fruit much sweeter, however, I can use the leftover orange juice to make pumpkin bread from my frozen pumpkin so there is no waste.
I cold pack canned them and then added the boiling sugar water or juice, placed the lids and rings then water bath processed for 30 minutes.
Now for the math, which, by the way, I am not very good at. These are very rough figures:)

1 - 11oz store bought can mandarin oranges - actual weight, syrup drained is 6 oz
1 pint home canned mandarin oranges - actual weight after canning, juice drained is 14 oz
The pints contained more than double the actual weight of store bought oranges and very little juice (less than 1/2 cup)
For our calculations, we will use the pints at 12 oz.
In order to buy the same amount of store bought canned oranges, we would need to buy 22 cans at .89 cents each would cost $19.58.
10# of mandarin oranges made 11 pints and cost $13.76 for the oranges. Add to that, the cost of orange juice $1.88 and lids $1.79 and we are up to $17.43 (I already had jars and rings).
There is still a cost savings but consider how mandarin oranges are commercially processed. You can read about it here. Lye is caustic! Like crossed bones kind of caustic!

I am beginning to use my home canner more as I realize the cost savings and health benefits can be significant.

Blessings to you this beautiful spring day,


Gerky said...

Excellent! I had no idea that one could can those. What a great idea for when I get them on clearance. Thanks for the heads up!


Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Wow - you go, girl. Canning is one of those homemaking skills I haven't mastered, but sure would love to learn. How wonderful that you are passing on this skill to your kids. :)