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The "Boggs Home Canning Center" might not be available to you unless your neighbourhood is connected with Downtown (HD).
Preserve Green Sims Delight Apples
with Boggs Home Canning Centre!
(HD) Are you tired of preserving the same red apples over and over again? Try something new, switch to Green Sims Delight! Please click the image to get this new Canning Center from Simmerville's STUFF section.
Extras for your canning station!
(TS) Here are 2 extras to go with your Green Sims Delight canning center. Each of them can be put on either a table or the floor. Decoration only. Click image to find them in the STUFF section.
Coming soon; More Canning Centre
I'm seriously working on some new canning centres for you, introducing preserving Green Sim Delight apples, Orange Marmalade and Blueberry Gel. Please check back early December, new items will be available here as well as on the STUFF section.



Making preserves at home
November 24, 2002 - by Johanna Grumblin

Besides keeping an old Simmish tradition alive, home made preserves make the perfect gift. As a girl I watched my grandmother make preserves, just like she used to watch her grandmother. And I learned some secrets.

I'm now an grown up woman myself, and because I have no grandchild to pass my knowledge on to, I want to share it all with you. I recently built my own lovely apple tree garden, a great source for peace and recreation - and of course for delicious apples. This Autumn gave an extremely good harvest, which naturally inspired me to start preserving, just like Sims have done for generations. I bought a canning centre, the needed equipment and looked up my Grandmother's old recipes.

It's quite easy to get started, all you need is a stove, a pan, some jars and the apples, all of which comes with the recommended Boggs Home Canning Center (§815) that are available in the SimNation catalogues. In addition you will need a knife and a dipper which you will find in your kitchen, but if you plan to make preserves often, or if you place the canning bench far away from your kitchen, you might prefer to get a separate set of kitchen tools for your canning bench. It's a good opportunity to buy some brand new stuff for your kitchen, and use the old items for your canning centre!

Cooking preserves do include hard physical work, and in the start you might find it a bit difficult. The preserves will naturally be better the more experienced you are, and if you already have studied cooking that will help on the quality of your preserves.

Some practice will make the process easier, but there's a few things you can note even before you get started.

A way of storing fruit
I've heard of Sims boiling the apples far too much, forgetting to lock the jars while the jam is warm, or even not having enough apples to fill the set of 6 jars. Another misunderstanding is that you can preserve red apples only.

The basics about preserving, is a way to store the fruit for a much longer time than if it was not preserved. When you buy jam in the store there's always an expiring date, meaning the product ought to be consumed within a certain date. When you buy an apple, it will be fine for a couple weeks. If you slice it it will become brown within minutes. When preserving we make sure the apples can be stored for months, just like the jam you buy in the store. The difference is that your product will be a lot healthier than the jam you get in a regular store, because you will add nothing but sugar. So, it's important that you do this the right way, or your preserves will be wasted after only a few weeks.

One thing that is needed to make an apple rotten, is air - or oxygen to be exact. If you do not fill up the jars with apple jam, there will be room for air in the glasses together with the apples. The less jam, the more air. If you fill the jar properly, there will be no air, and the heating process will press any remaining oxygen out of the glass. I'll not go further into details, but you see there is a reason why the can must be full. If you have less apples than needed you should rather try to skip 1 or 2 jars than to allow air in all 6.

My Grandmother's recipe
Well, I must be honest, I will not give out my very best secret recipe, but the second best. I do sell the jam to the market, so a few of my secrets must remain secrets. But the second best recipe is also a very good one, and I guarantee your preserves will be very much appreciated gifts!

Apple jam is made of apples and sugar. As simple as that. The secret is how you treat the apples, and how much sugar you add at what point. In addition you can use spices to add a personal taste. In general the jam will be better the less sugar you add, but as the sugar helps on the preserving process, this is a matter of for how long you want to store the jars.

Johanna Grumblin's Grandmother's Second best Jam:
  • 1 bucket of green apples
  • 1 handful with sugar
  • 1 fingertip with your secret mix of spices (vanilla, cannel, herbs etc.)
  • Boil the apples carefully for 5 minutes, stir regularly, do not allow too much heat
  • Add sugar and spices, and boil/stir for 5 more minutes. 
  • Fill the heated jars
  • Wait 1 minute before canning
  • The jars should rest until they get cold (temperate).
  • The jars can be stored in your inventory or sold at the local market.
You can use all kinds of apples, although some apples are better suited. Personally I prefer Delicious Red Mini or Green Sim Delight. Note that you can use damaged apples too. If you have an apple tree garden, apples that you find on the ground are great for preserving, just cut away real bad parts before boiling.

The more you boil the apples, the less fruit pieces in your jam, besides it's easier to burn it all. If you burn or boil too much the natural taste will get ruined. And what townie would appreciate burnt apple preserves for Christmas?

It normally takes 65 minutes to preserve a set of 6 jars. Unfortunately you will not be interested in eating the jam yourself, but the response from your friends and customers will tell you how well you succeeded.

Selling your preserves

I like to give my preserves as small gifts to neighbours and townies. But I also make some for the local market. Very soon I will also sell them from my new restaurant. Everyone can start their own home business canning preserves, the extra earnings will add nicely to your household budget.
If you are fully skilled (cooking level 10) you will earn §10 per jar, meaning preserving 4 sets of 6 jars daily, will bring in about §240. If you are not yet that well skilled, you will earn less, but as skills will improve as you preserve, it shouldn't take more than a week to reach the max. price. On a good day it should be possible to earn at least §300. If you want to know how much your produce will be worth, you will normally get paid §1 multiplied with your skill level, per jar (§6 per set). For example if your cooking skills are at level 5 you will normally earn §30 per set, which is still a nice extra income.

Note that you will earn less from selling preserves which made your skills jump one level, because the first preserves when using a new technique often give less quality, but that will pay back later on. Personally I recommend you to add those new technique preserves to your inventory instead of selling them, because the earning might be very little and they can still make nice gifts.

Running your own canning business at home is a nice way of combining a quiet life at home with enough income for keeping up with bills and food costs. The catch is that it is a rather lonely business. I think this kind of business is perfect for you if you are active and shy.

Top photo show me preserving apples from my garden.
Bottom photo shows a couple TestSims checking the Boggs Home Canning Center.