Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The 5 and Dime - Keezletown Cannery

Please be certain to read "The 5 and Dime" dated 8/18/2010, 1940's Farming, before this one.

(A sister showing off her Grand Titons and one to spare!)

On August 17, 2010 at 8:30 am four of us headed to the Keezletown Community Cannery to can 5 bushels of tomatoes. Under normal circumstances this would be a daunting task, taking untold hours if prepared in our home kitchens. I ask you to only imagine the amount of tomato seeds, skins and juice that would be concealing the floor by the end of the day? I literally get the nervous tremors at the thought. I have to admit it makes me want to just sew that bomb in my underwear thing . . . . some of you remember the underwear bomber right!

Few people seem to know about our local cannery and that is an immense loss for them. Although home canning has been losing favor through the years it is slowly coming back into vogue with many families choosing to buy local foods then store them up for the winter. Recognizing the call, we four sisters excitedly headed out to process our local tomatoes for the fifth year.

(The shorter, dark haired girl in this pix is not a sister but a magazine writer. The other sister would be me and I am taking the pixs.)

I could go on for pages explaining to you the speed in which a project like this can go due to the aid of massive cook pots, pressure cookers the size of which could preserve a human being and steam tables equally large but you can't fathom the camaraderie and accomplishment gained if you never tried. No canning experience is necessary as Trudy and RT Hammer, the cannery operators are consistanly by your side making certain you do things right to stay safe and be successful. Also they are the only ones allowed to operate the more risky equipment. (Thank goodness for that blessing.)

Be prepared to have a day you will always remember. A day of meeting and working with new neighbors and feeling a complete sense of accomplishment when you cast a view over those colorful jars of food just waiting to be enjoyed during the cold winter days.

Hey and you know what else? After our day of working together, sharing lunch with fellow

canners, eating gingersnaps and reading magazines we arrived home at 3pm (to our clean kitchens)

with 76 quarts of pure gold!!!

(This is just some of the stash - the others jars were still in the cooker at pix time.)

BTW, you will never guess who stopped by for 10 minutes (not to get her hands dirty nor to stay too long due to the sweltering heat) none other than.........QGG!! We suppose she is expecting at least half of the production from this day of work.


  1. WHAT FUN and hardwork! Don't let OGG run off with the goods. I want some. 10 minutes! I would have lasted longer than that!

  2. Are all of those tomatoes from your garden? We've only had one tomato this year and it was pithy. :( And is teton really a tomato variety?

    TT- I like the do-rag. It really puts you in character :)

    BTW thank you all for not canning anymore chicken rice soup. Das muss einfach nicht sein. Although apple butter would be appreciated!! Maybe you should do that in the fall for Xmas gifts and/or we could start an import business here.

  3. Kay (and sisters!) - thanks so much for your support of the Cannery and your wonderful sharing of your experiences there. I just read this and your other entry (about the Cannery history). We at the Horizons Learning Foundation (, owners of the Keezletown Community Cannery (www.KeezletownCommunityCannery) appreciate your tribute and shout out to the Cannery. I hope others will read and want to come visit/use the Cannery. I encourage anyone who is interested to be added to our "Friends of the Cannery" mailing list (email or snail mail) and/or to let me know if you know of places we could send some of our brochures to help the public learn more about us. Thanks again Kay. It was a pleasure meeting you and your family! - Mary Chris (

  4. Hey, Carolyn, at least I went to offer support!! Ask Sarah if I didn't help!!


  5. It was a grand fun day at the cannery. Was glad to finally learn about it and its history. Weren't you lucky to have the help of your Grand Titon seestur from CO?