Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Five Favorites {Vol. 16} :: The Canning Edition

It is summer time, and in this house, summer time = canning time! I love the craft of canning. I am by no means a pro, but I love the simple process of preserving our own food and having to put in a little dirty work for the sustenance of our family. This is one of the few ways as a family living in a city apartment with no yard that we are able to do a little urban homesteading.

My first experience with canning was only two summers ago, but since then, it has become a regular occurrence, happening often throughout the harvest months. As I still consider myself somewhat of a newbie to the whole canning process, I will not even start with the "How Tos" of canning, instead I am going to share five of my favorite things that make Canning a little bit easier.

Also, a piece of advice from one amateur canner to another potential one: Go for it. If you're interested in canning, purchase or borrow some supplies, and go forward. I honestly had no idea what I was doing the first go round (I actually did two things wrong), and amazingly enough my beginner's strawberry jam was still pretty delish, so I say Try It! You'll learn as you go.


Of course, I'd start with a book. YouTube videos and countless web articles also are super helpful, BUT I love books, so to a book I went. I found this one: Better Homes and Gardens You Can Can: A Guide to Canning, Preserving, and Pickling to be super helpful. It has lovely pictures of all the steps, tons of recipes, supply lists, and so forth. For a beginner, it's perfect.

I have also heard wonderful reviews about the following and considered buying them when I was in the market:
Put 'em Up! by Sherri Brooks


One can get quite overwhelmed with all the racks, lid lifters, and bubble poppers out there that you, the canner, are told you must have in order to make perfect jams and pickles. I've done without many of these items. However, I do love my jar grabber. The idea of reaching in barehanded to grab a boiling hot jar o' jelly just didn't appeal to me.


Another finger saver, and yes, I use both this and #2 together. A Canning Basket is the perfect way to lower your jars into the hot water for sanitizing and then again when full of yummy goodness. Right now the Ball® Home Canning Discovery Kit, which includes the basket AND some jars, is cheaper on Amazon. So, if you're interested, I obviously recommend the better deal. 

Plus, as an added perk, these make excellent space masks: see sample scenario below.



Love, love, love my Canning Funnel. Not only does it get a great workout during the canning season, BUT I can also use it to fill up the mason jars I use to store many of my dry goods, nuts, dried fruits, and so forth. For canning, this helps keep mess to a minimum, which for sticky things like jams is so helpful.


A helper. LegenDaddy is my ever gracious canning buddy. Annnnnd, he's more than willing to do all the stirring over the hot pots of goo if I do all the filling of the jars. It pretty much works out perfectly.
But, seriously, grab a friend, husband (or wife!), or your kiddos if they're old enough, and make the experience a fun time all around. It's great to have the extra hands, and if you're anything like my somewhat Type A self, it'll help you relax and enjoy the moments rather than over-worrying about each step.

Enjoy your 4th everybody! 

Linking up with the ever fab MoxieWife today! 

Also linking up with Frugally Sustainable this week!

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This post Five Favorites {Vol. 1} :: Canning Edition first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 3 July 2013


  1. I'm a newbie. I just posted a post on my first try!

    Hope to be more experienced like you two years down the road!

    1. Just checked out your adventures - yours looks yummy! Love that beautiful red that comes from strawberries. Keep canning, and I'm sure you'll learn all kinds of tricks + techniques!


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