Category Archives: Canning 101

Canning Year 2017 – WOW!

They say whatever you do on New Year’s Day you do all year long; well, we must have canned New Year’s Day 2017.  John and I canned something almost every week; oftentimes, two to three times a week .  There was never a “season” for canning with us, we canned ALL year long and ended up with 1,319 jars canned in 2017.

We’ve canned for years, but this is the first time that we’ve actually kept a list of what we’ve canned.  This is a year’s supply for our family of four plus we often feed our in-laws, family and friends.  Some things will carry over another year or two, some things will run out.  We don’t waste anything and the neighbors know it.  There’s several times throughout the year that things get left on my front porch because people know that we don’t waste, we’ll put it in a jar.  We’ve canned a lot of “old faithfuls” and we’ve experimented.  We enjoy canning.  Some folks enjoy reading, crafting and outdoor sports, we enjoy all of that too, but we LOVE canning.

Here’s what we canned in 2017:

  • 43 ~ Greens – Pints
  • 18 ~ Greens – Quarts
  • 10 ~ Strawberry Pie Filling
  • 11 ~ Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
  • 6  ~ Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling
  • 10 ~ French Onion Soup
  • 22 ~ Pintos
  • 17 ~ Navy Beans
  • 12 ~ Red Beans
  • 20 ~ Black Beans
  • 12 ~ Baked Beans
  • 4 ~ Chickpeas
  • 7 ~ Watermelon Rind Pickles
  • 51 ~ Pickled Beets
  • 32 ~ Squash
  • 14 ~ Zucchini
  • 21 ~ Blackberry Jam
  • 28 ~ Blackberry Pie Filling
  • 134 ~ Green Beans – 98 of those in 36 hrs!!
  • 10 ~ Garlic Dill Pickles
  • 13 ~ Garlic Dill Zucchini Pickles
  • 9 ~ Mrs. Patty’s Bread and Butter Pickles
  • 21 ~ Mrs. Wages Bread n Butter
  • 5 ~ Slaw
  • 42 ~ Cabbage
  • 19 ~ Pickled Okra
  • 15 ~ Peach Jam
  • 14 ~ Peaches – Pickled
  • 14 ~ Peaches – Cold Packed
  • 7 ~ Peaches – Hot Packed
  • 7 ~ Peach Cobbler Mix
  • 4 ~ Peach Syrup
  • 14 ~ Pepper Jelly
  • 38 ~ Cranberry Sauce
  • 8 ~ Cranberry Juice
  • 62 ~ Potatoes
  • 24 ~ Sweet Potatoes
  • 27 ~ Apple Sauce
  • 8 ~ Pear Sauce
  • 16 ~ Stew Meat – Deer
  • 6 ~ Stew Meat – Beef
  • 25 ~ Pork Loin
  • 7 ~ Chicken
  • 23 ~ Hotdog Style Chili
  • 36 ~ Creamer
  • 6 ~ Ground Beef
  • 10 ~ Swedish Meatballs
  • 17 ~ Meatloaf
  • 87 ~ Sausage
  • 36 ~ Vegetable Beef Soup
  • 24 ~ Spaghetti Sauce
  • 53 ~ Tomatoes
  • 21 ~ Tomato Jam
  • 15 ~ Tomato Basil Soup
  • 12 ~ Tomato Soup
  • 34 ~ Salsa
  • 16 ~ Oatmeal
  • 20 ~ Dried Apples
  • 8 ~ Spice Cake
  • 14 ~ Tea Concentrate

Plus we froze over 250 ears of corn!  Needless to say, it was a good harvest year on the family farm.  Approximately 90% of our produce comes from Marshall Farms.  We joke that I will work for food, but I literally do.  I work in exchange for produce, one of the benefits of being a Daddy’s girl who lives close to home.

Now, let’s get canning, 2,018 is going to be an AMAZING YEAR!  Seriously, I’m going to make some coffee creamer today – inventory is low.

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Canning Jar Storage

Do I need more jars? YES!  Always!

Do not laugh or judge.  I know I am an OCD organized nut. Especially, when it comes to stuff around the house; canning jars and canning supplies are no exception!

This is just one corner of my basement, one corner of my stash:


All washed, turned upside down, sorted by size and ready for canning.  I do run them through the dishwasher the day of canning.

Did you notice the bungie cords holding all of those rings?  No more digging through boxes, they’re easy to access and much neater.  I picked the bungie cords up at the local dollar store and they work great!



Water Bath Canning vs Pressure Canning

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Water Bath Canning and Pressure Canning?  There’s a big difference between the two processes and when each method should be used.

Water Bathing is used mainly when canning food with high acidity such as:  tomatoes, fruits, pickles, jams, jellies and other preserves.  During the water bathing process, the jars of food are sealed and are covered completely with 1-2 inches of water, brought to a boil and then boiled for a specific amount of time.  Water bath canners are large pots with lids and wire racks inside.  The racks allow water to boil underneath the jars and keep the jars from bumping each other and breaking during the boiling process.


Pressure Canning is used when canning foods with a low acidity such as:  vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood.  During the pressure canning process, the jars are placed in the canner with 2-3 inches of water, the canner lid sealed and then brought to a temperature of a least 240°.  By bringing it to this temperature, it kills the bacteria (clostridium botulinum) that causes botulism.  Pressure canners are heavy pots with lids that can be sealed off to prevent any steam from escaping and allow the pot to build pressure.  Some canners have gaskets like the Presto.  And some are metal to metal like the All American.  I have used both and both will come with a weighted pressure gauge and a wire rack.  NOTE:  Do not pressure can on a glass top stove.  I’ve heard of horror stories!

Other things you will need for canning:

Jars – the older the better, raid Grandma’s basementMason, Ball and Kerr jars are specifically made for canning.  Try to stay away from mayonnaise jars, baby food and pickle jars. They can’t withstand the heat during pressure canning.  Mayonnaise jars are ok for water bathing but not recommended.  They come in all sizes from 4 oz jelly to 1/2 gallon.


Jar Lids and bands – Flat metal disc or “lids” with a rubber-type seal around one side near the outer edge, and a separate screw-type metal band, often referred to as rings. The flat lid may only be used once but the rings are reusable as long as they’re not dented or rusty.  Lids come in two sizes: regular mouth (like the ones pictured below) and wide mouth.  I have seen all kinds of lids.  I’ve had success with BALL and KERR.


Jar lifter: perfect for removing hot jars from canners. Jar funnel: helps in pouring and packing food/juices into canning jars.  Lid wand: magnetic wand used for removing jar lids from hot water.  Clean cloths: for wiping jar rims and spills.  Narrow, flat rubber spatula or butter knife (not pictured): for removing trapped air bubbles before the jars. Laddle: a must for spooning hot liquids into jars. You can purchase a “canning kit” that will have the lid wand, jar funnel, jar lifter and spatula at most places that have canning supplies.


Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s start canning with confidence!



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