But....then I did the math.
I am the CEO of a household with 5 children and 2 adults. This was not so large of a family for the years when Hazel was canning, though by modern standards I am seen as a bit odd for my family size. So the seven of us probably go through 2 quarts of green beans a week (twice a week x 52 weeks =104 a year). We like spaghetti sauce for pizza and pasta dishes so I would say at least 2 times a week we use a jar of some type of pasta sauce (another 104 a year). We love applesauce which when I leave it unsweetened also serves as a great baby food. Probably 2 jars a week as 1 quart jar is just enough for a meal...thats roughly 104 more jars. I usually freeze corn when I can get it farm fresh and that is another staple veggie that I would put to the tune of 104 jars in a year. We also go through a jar of pickles monthly, another 12 jars. Tomatoes for Chili and other dishes...weekly at least 52 more jars. So far I am up to 480 cans...whew!
When I stop to consider that Hazel was likely also canning meats and many other veggies as one didn't just run to the grocery on a whim, that 1000 cans does not seem so far fetched any longer.
It makes me kinda curious how much I can put up this year.
I have always hot water canned (for those of you who have no idea what I am referring to you can put mason jars with acidic food like tomatoes and pickles in a large pot of boiling water to seal for storing). However, for less acidic foods like green beans or foods that may have oil in them (meats, sauces with oil base) you need a pressure canner. I have never used a pressure canner as I always freeze my veggies that would require such. But, in the past I have lost a freezer full of food so I am more inclined to work towards canning the items I used to freeze, now that I have an even larger garden to harvest.
I was just blessed to aquire a pressure canner so I will keep you posted. I so far have 10 quarts of green beans harvested and frozen (see my post about this process in the Organic Gardening side bar). That is 1% of grandma Hazel's stored bounty!