Can You Can It? Yes, You Can!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
I'm pretty lousy at phone conversations. When people pose the inevitable questions of, "So, what's new with you?" I always clam up. "Work, make dinner, sleep, repeat" is all that ever pops into my mind as an answer. Luckily, when I was chatting with my friend Betsy, she helped me flush out my usual lame answer. "I notice that you've been canning all the food," she said.

Why yes, I did can all the food this summer. The proof is in the pudding . . .err, in the mason jars really. Here's a run down of everything that made a trip through my hot water bath canner in the last three months or so:

Peach Salsa

 8 pints. Recipe from yours truly, but with some pointers from Ball's Blue Book of Preserving to help ensure that it's safe for the hot water bath canner. I sure hope we don't get botulism. So far so good.

8 pints. No real recipe here- just a splash of water to get the apples cooking (and not sticking), then sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste. Applesauce has to be one of the simpler pleasures in life. So good when stirred into oatmeal, or eaten straight out of the jar.

Barbeque Sauce

6 pints. A double batch of the "Best Barbecue Sauce" from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. We use a fair amount of it during the summer grilling season and one pint jar is just the right amount for a batch of pulled pork sandwiches.

Blueberry Butter
8 half pints. Recipe from Food in Jars. I wanted to get some of the berry harvest into jars but I'm not a huge fan of just plain blueberry jam. (I mean, I'll eat it but . . . ) so this seems like a good, less sugary alternative. It really does taste like blueberry pie on toast. 

Blueberry Pie Filling
4+ quarts. Or you could just can some blueberry pie filling. This recipe merges my pie filling recipe and a recipe specially for canned blueberry pie filling.  Because I'm a cranky old lady before my time, I will not share the recipe, but will tell you that it involves sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.

Bread and Butter Pickles
5 pints. We had a bumper crop of cucumbers this year and I wanted to make pickles for the first time. This is my coworker's mother's recipe and it is delicious. I was especially pleased that the cucumbers retained most of their crispness. Not sure if that's because I added "pickle crunch" (calcium chloride) while they soaked, or if homemade bread and butter pickles just have less problems with getting "soggy." 

Dilly Beans
4 pints. We were also up to our ears with green beans in September, so when I could not chop, blanch, or freeze another green bean, I made a batch of dilly beans. (Recipe from Food in Jars.) I would have liked for the beans not to have floated, but oh well. Next year, I will definitely make more because Andy and I opened up a jar earlier this month basically inhaled the contents in about 10 minutes. I'm not proud.

Pickled Jalapenos
3 pints. Recipe from Food in Jars. A very simple recipe to preserve jalapenos for chilis, tacos, enchiladas and more all year. We actually don't use that many of these. I just feel bad letting jalapenos go to waste.

Dill Pickle Relish 
7 half pints. Another happy result of the cucumber bumper crop. Recipe from Tasty Kitchen. I did cut the amount of celery seed in the recipe in half because I don't much care for celery seed. It's definitely more like the sweet relish you buy in stores as opposed to store bought dill relish, but it is still darn tasting on a bratwurst. Which is a relief, considering that we have 7 jars of it.

Peach Jam
4 pints. Very basic peach jam, recipe straight from the Sure-Jell package. I love peach jam, but I'm feeling a need to shake things up a little next year and maybe try one of those bourbon vanilla peach jam recipes I see floating around the blogosphere. Funny, I was gifted with a couple jars of peach jam from other canners this summer, so we've got plenty of peach jam for the winter. (We still had some leftover from last year when I made this batch.) Quick, give me all your baking recipes that call for a jar of peach jam!

Raspberry Jam
4 pints. Oh beautiful, lovely raspberry jam. I love raspberry jam and yes, children of the 90s, I would marry it. This is another recipe straight from the Sure-Jell packet and I feel absolutely no desire to attempt to "improve" upon it. Raspberries, sugar, and a bit of pectin are all you need to make me very happy. Every summer I swap blueberries with my mom to get enough of her homegrown raspberries for a batch of jam. And then I don't share it.

Apple Cider Syrup 

6 half pints. I was hoping to find some "real" apple cider this fall so I could try out a batch of Marisa McCellan's Apple Cider Syrup. We made an impromptu trip to the big city last week and I got to stock up on cider. I'm not much of a coffee drinker and my favorite drink at Caribou is actually the Hot Apple Blast. This syrup can be used as a base for a hot apple cider drink - just add water for Hot Apple Blasts all winter long! The syrup is also very good drizzled over ice cream and I imagine would be pretty yummy on waffles or french toast too.

Pear Vanilla Jam 

4 pints. Final canning project of the year until marmalade season next January. Recipe from Food in Jars. It's a lovely gentle jam, which works just fine in a PB&J sandwich. However, I think this jam's true destiny is on the appetizer plate next to some baked brie.

Now all the jars are filled up (whew!) and I get to see back and nosh on the fruits of my labors. It's a very delicious feeling indeed.


  1. I want to raid your pantry, especially for some of that blueberry pie filling. I've never tasted wild blueberries. Never.

  2. I'm a little jealous. I was sick all summer so the only things I got to put up were cinnamon pear jam, some cherry jam and salsa verde. Next year though, I'll be back on track. Great job with preserving, I love seeing more and more young people doing it!

  3. holy cow- you could have a whole side blog just about canning! this is super impressive!

  4. Blueberry Butter? OMG, that loos sooo good. It all looks good!

  5. Oh Ada, that sounds so delicious. Never had heard of blue berry butter before. It seems you are well prepared for the winter.

  6. Vanilla Jam...yummo!! I just bought the hubs some can's and we're going to can (something) just not sure what yet :) I'm pinning this post for canning inspiration though!

  7. So I was just flipping through my pins and just saw that I pinned this and it got 199 repins! Wooo hooo, go ADA go! Can baby can :) :)

  8. Im so impressed!!!


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