Adventures in Canning

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on July 17, 2009

I made the “executive” decision to invest in some canning equipment…because I am the CEO in my kitchen.

I have fallen in love with my garden…and have wildly elaborate plans for next year’s expansion…which I hope to put into place this fall, so it’s all ready to go in the spring!

In order to preserve and protect my garden’s harvest, I thought it wise to start canning. I’m most looking forward to making salsa and spaghetti sauce. I’ll use the tomatoes from my garden, as well as from a nearby “you pick” market that practically gives the tomatoes away at the end of the picking season!

In the meantime, I’ve made a few jellies, as the prices on berries have been LOW!

canning-part-1

Blueberries and strawberries with some lemon juice

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A few of the jars “in the bath”

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Round 1…of hopefully many!!!  Blueberry-Strawberry Jelly!

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

carrie July 17, 2009 at 10:18 am

hey, love your site! would you be willing to share your blueberry-strawberry jelly recipe?

thanks,
carrie!

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I'm The Mom July 17, 2009 at 10:20 am

I’d love to hear your recipe and cooking times. I made raspberry jam so far this season.

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Jodie July 17, 2009 at 10:49 am

Oh I just did 2 whole posts on pressure canning! My Mom taught me how to do it this summer and I love it. I feel like I have so much more control!

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Amy July 17, 2009 at 10:49 am

Welcome to home canning! It’s a lot of fun. Lately I’ve been making batches of zucchini pickles. My DH doesn’t like zucchini. Too many zukes for me to eat alone, so I figure that I might as well make pickles for a cold winter day.

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Jen July 17, 2009 at 11:03 am

Please share your recipe! I just started canning as well! :)

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Erin July 17, 2009 at 11:17 am

I’ll post it next week!

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Cathie G July 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Congrats on learning to can. I love cannning! Every summer I can tomatoes, pickled veggies, and pepper jelly. Makes me feel a little secure to know I have food put away in the pantry. Stop by my blog and take a peek at my garden.

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Rebekah July 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm

i too have fallen in love with canning. i’ve made a bunch strawberry jam this season (because of the LOW prices at my store) and will soon be doing salsa, pickle relish, pickles and anything else I can think of. Makes for great food storage and saves tons of money in the end. Good luck with all your canning adventures!!

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OldNuffToKnoBtr July 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm

I miss canning. I downsized to a condo several years ago and have no access to a garden nor the space to store the canning supplies or the finished products. What a great way to feed a family at little cost–except for the time and energy.

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Org Junkie July 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Love to know what type of equipment you bought. I’m just coming around to the idea of canning myself so any info would be great. Thanks!

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Poltzie July 17, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Aww, I’m jealous, I’d love to know how to can! Next year for sure!

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Melinda July 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm

I’ve been debating this myself…I’d also love to get your recipe/s! Hmmm, cherries are on sale here now….cherry jam? : /

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Hilary July 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I love canning. I grew up doing it all the time. I just spent the day picking cherries and making cherry jam. I made 28 half pints, not bad for one days work. Plus, they make great Christmas gifts. Last year I gave crab apple jelly. I also love doing peaches, and pears.

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Hilary July 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Hey, I just read the post above mine and thought I’d share my cherry jam recipe.
1 quart chopped and pitted sweet or sour cherries
6 1/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice (use only with sweet cherries)
2 pouches liquid pectin

Combine cherries, sugar and lemon juice in large pot. Boil, stirring until sugar disolves. Stir in liquid pectin, Return to rolling boil. Boil hard 1 min. stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim foam if necessary, ladle into jars and process. ***I put red food coloring in to make it a prettier color. I figure with the free sour cherries and already owning my jars, it was about $0.68 per half pint.
** The Ball liquid pectin has a coupon inside for $0.50 off next pectin purchase.
The Ball Blue book of canning is a great reference.

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Teri Scholl July 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Yum! I told my mom that I would like to learn more about canning so we might try some of that later in the summer if we can manage to squeeze it in!!

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Teri July 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Yum! I told my mom that I would like to learn more about canning so we might try some of that later in the summer if we can manage to squeeze it in!!

PS – can you not post my last post? It accidentally had my last name on it! Thanks :)

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Nique July 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I love canning! Welcome to the dark side!!!

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cassie-b July 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm

I canned 2 batches of blueberry jam this week. And am planning to make some holiday gifts of blueberry jam, orange marmalade, applesauce, Vid. onion relish (already made-delicious) and whatever else I have the opportunity to make this year. I’ve been out of work for a year, and enjoying the freedom to make my gifts for the Christmas season. If you have any more recipes, I’d love it if you’d share. Thanks,

Cas

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CathyA July 17, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I love your adventures. This one caught me eye especially because I am looking for a freel template for oval jam labels so I can print my own. Would you know of a source??

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Erin July 17, 2009 at 9:21 pm

I don’t Cathy! I was thinking the same thing as I was drying off the jars! Will see what I can find!

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Kristi July 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I’m so excited to see your progress!! I hope to can salsa and spaghetti sauce this summer…please continue to share!!! I need to learn!!!

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Mother Chaos July 17, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Awesome! I’m planning to do some of that too this season – between our own garden and the “loss leaders” at the farmer’s market, it seems like a thousand pities NOT to be preserving all this good stuff for the chilly winter days to come.

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CathyA July 18, 2009 at 5:30 am

Thanks. The Ball Jars I bought came wth 12 on a 5×7 sheet but had no instructions for a Word template that would work with them. My handwitng is shakey so beijng able to print them on he computer would be great.

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Jackie July 19, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Here are some templates that might work.
http://www.worldlabel.com/Pages/wl-ol6050.htm#templates

Just choose what program you want to use them with.

Good luck,

Jackie Lee

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Alea July 19, 2009 at 11:51 pm

I have always enjoyed making jam, but my husband (the health nut) didn’t like how much sugar went into my jam. This year I switched to Ball’s No/Low Sugar Pectin and now everybody is happy!

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Erin July 20, 2009 at 6:51 am

Great Alea. I’ve got a box of the no/low sugar pectin and plan to use it on the next batch!

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Jean July 20, 2009 at 9:00 am

Since you are a newbie at canning, you probably don’t know that there’s a difference between jam & jelly. From the looks of your post, you made jam, not jelly. Jam has parts of the fruit in it, and jelly is just the juice – nice and smooth, with no pieces of fruit in it. :-)

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Erin July 20, 2009 at 9:38 am

Thanks Jean! Jam it is!

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DeAnn July 21, 2009 at 2:58 am

Your jam looks great! I made the same kind except I needed a little more fruit since the strawberries were from my garden, so I added some very ripe nectarines to the batch. It is so delicious! Enjoy your jam…we sure are!
My other favorite thing to can is apple butter. I have a really easy crockpot recipe (so it makes it very simple to make, plus my house smells like a country store every time I make it). I’d be happy to share the recipe if you are interested. :)

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Karyl Lee July 21, 2009 at 8:01 am

Followed you here from a link at Recipezaar.com where I am a forum host. I am also in Ohio, in Oberlin. :) I’ve made blueberry jam with honey and very little sugar and pectin, with added chia seeds for body and texture. It’s thick enough it looks commercial. I am just doing freezer jam for now.I love to read about culinary adventures, it seems you have a lot of them!

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Diane July 21, 2009 at 10:25 am

I too am interested in canning. I am going to try the jam recipe soon. I look forward to more recipes for salsa and spaghetti sauce too!!

Diane

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charna July 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Wow, it’s like you read my mind when you blog lol jk.. I been interested in canning.. prob because I been home and I am a creative person, so this stuff is great for xmas gifts. Would you mind sharing the recipe for your strawberry/blueberry jam??

Deann would you be interested in sharing your apple butter recipe??

Charna

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DeAnn July 21, 2009 at 8:10 pm

I would love to share the apple butter recipe…it’s so easy. Here it is:
Easy Apple Butter

apples to fill crock pot
4 c. sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves

Peel, core, and slice apples to fill crock pot.
Cook on low for 16-18 hours (Don’t lift lid!)
Remove lid and stir well. Add sugar and spices. Cover and cook 3 more hours on low. Take off lid and cook on High for 1 more hour.

Notes :
This is such an easy recipe because you do just leave it- not messing with it AT ALL for 16-18 hours.
I use this recipe with my biggest crock pot– so, smaller crock pots may need less sugar and spices.
This is a recipe that we have canned in a hot water bath, frozen, or served fresh. We have really enjoyed it!!!

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Terri July 22, 2009 at 9:23 am

I’ve never canned but I would love to learn how!
I also love apple butter so I’ll definately be trying this recipe. What kind of apples work best?
Thanks!!

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