Canning at home is one of those things that makes you seem like magic.
Making your own jams and spreads, pickles and chutneys, sauces and delicious things, and preserving them for another season is a fantastic combination of art and science, frugality and fanciness, and demonstrates your mastery over death and decay. At least of the fruit and vegetable variety.
Basically, home canning relies on a couple basic scientific processes–sterilization and oxygen removal. Heat and water are the mechanisms by which these processes work. Whether you’re canning by boiling water bath or pressure canner (the only two methods recognized as safe in the United States), your goal will be to create an environment in which bacteria, including good ol’ deadly Clostridium botulinum which can trigger botulism and KILL US ALL, just like in East of Eden, when Kate covers up her slow poisoning of the madam at the brothel by making it look like the home canned green beans weren’t safe. Canning is Steinbeckian, y’all.