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All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams and Jellies

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posted on May, 21 2011 @ 06:30 AM
I'm going to try canning this year. I'm going to get one of the canning cookers. My mom and aunts used to can, years ago. Mostly tomatoes, green beans, and blackberries. Looking forward to giving it a try. Good thread, by the way

posted on May, 21 2011 @ 06:31 AM

Originally posted by bozzchem
reply to post by jude11

I bookmarked that link the day you posted it!!

Bread is a comfort food and just the smell of fresh baking bread can make someone's mood perk up a bit.

I am often asked to bring a loaf of my Italian herb bread when going to someone's home for dinner.

Yum... the Italian herb bread sounds great. I'd love to have the recipe if you care to share it.

posted on May, 21 2011 @ 08:55 AM

Originally posted by maybee

Originally posted by bozzchem
reply to post by jude11

I bookmarked that link the day you posted it!!

Bread is a comfort food and just the smell of fresh baking bread can make someone's mood perk up a bit.

I am often asked to bring a loaf of my Italian herb bread when going to someone's home for dinner.

Yum... the Italian herb bread sounds great. I'd love to have the recipe if you care to share it.

Scroll further down that thread. I also asked for the recipe and it got posted.


posted on May, 21 2011 @ 08:59 AM
reply to post by bozzchem

this is proabably one of the most useful pieces of information you need, and it is one of the pieces my pack requires still

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 12:42 AM

Originally posted by TiredofControlFreaks
reply to post by xxclaro


I thought about using a deep-fried turkey cooker as well but there are drawbacks that you maybe haven't thought of.

1. You need lots of heat for canning and the wind will cool the flame and the pots, thus requiring you to use far more energy than you would inside.

2. If you are canning veggies and fruits, you need to blanch and cool them quickly. To blanch properly, the water must be boiling when you put the product in the water and you must wait until the water boils again to start the timing (anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. When the timer goes off, you must cool the product as quickly as possible, which means you need a handy water supply and lots and lots and lots of it. This step is very very important and you must do it to exact instructions because the quality of your preserves will ultimately depend on it (texture and taste).

3. You need water that HOT to put in the jars and you will need space to rotate the jars quickly once you start filling them. You need HOT jars as well (you can use cold jars in a process called a cold pack but it will affect the quality). A stray breeze of wind may crack your hot jars.

I don't know what set up you have in your yard but if these are things you may wish to consider when planning out your steps.


Very good info,and thanks to you for posting it. Your right, I hadn't thought of all that,and upon considering it I think you may be right and I'd be better off doing it inside. The garage might be an option,but settign it all up to work may be more trouble than it's worth. Guess I'll just deal with the heat in the kitchen!

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 02:06 AM
I was looking for something like this. I am going to want to can the excess from my garden this year, so this came at perfect timing.

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 09:14 PM
Well I just finished canning asparagus for the first time. I did 56 pounds and here are the lessons I learned.

1. I cut the woody ends off the stem and threw it away. Then I cut the stem again to make the remaining spear the exact length I needed to fit into a 1 litre jar. I put the second cut aside to make soup.

2. I used a raw pack (which means I did not blanch the asparagus. I just placed the spears in the jar with a tsp of pickling salt and boiling water. Then I heat processed the jars for 30 minutes. (heat processing means I used a pressure canner at 10 lbs pressure).

Lesson 1 - leaving the asparagus as a spear made it difficult to put in the jar, although it looked really pretty. If I was to do this again, I would cut the spears into pieces about 1 1/2 inches long.
Lesson 2 - the asparagus was mushy after heat processing even though I did a raw pack. Because I did a raw pack, not all the jars sealed properly and I lost a few when the canning fluid was sucked out of the jar in the pressure canner. I don't like raw packing. If i was to do this again, I would blanch first to get enough heat in the food to seal the jar.
Lesson 3 - I don't think canning asparagus is worth the trouble. In future, I think I will simply blanch and freeze.

However, the soup I made was very very very good and I know its going to be popular with my family. I made the soup but left out the cream. That can be added when the jar is opened and the contents re-heated for eating.

This is the cost of doing business - you experiment and not everything you do works out the way you want it to. I knew that asparagus was difficult to can because it is so delicate but I wanted to try it anyway. I think in future, a good alternative might be fiddleheads, which taste somewhat like asparagus.

They also say not to bother doing mushrooms because mushrooms that sit in water lose flavor. I did the mushrooms anyway (50 lbs last year) but instead of using water, I used a vegetable broth. The canned mushrooms were absolutely delicious and very popular. This year I did 100 lbs.

Next up will be blueberries, cherries and snap peas in June.

Tired of Control Freaks

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 09:51 PM
reply to post by bozzchem

S & F.

I finally bit the bullet and I am going to put in raised beds/homemade green house this year.

With the "Food Safety Modernization Act" just being passed Food costs are going to sky rocket and farm stands vanish. Setting up a "supply line" make very good sense. We have the year 2011 to practice because the FDA will be going after farmers come 2012 and 2013. I always was an avid "caver" and enjoyed going underground.

On the premise that it is always good to be prepared, Here is the "Official" information about what is in store for us in the not too distant future. Useful for convincing family or friends that you really are not crazy.

Links: FDA website:
Full Text of the Law
See the left side bar for information like Frequently Asked Questions

The law references the World Trade Organization and Good Agricultural Practices by NAME

These are from FAO and OIE (Good Farming Practices)

FAO GAPs (fruits and veggies)

What are Good Agricultural Practices?

A multiplicity of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) codes, standards and regulations have been developed in recent years by the food industry and producers organizations but also governments and NGOs, aiming to codify agricultural practices at farm level for a range of commodities.... [has links]

This is a University PDF with Links to outside documents or web sites are marked in blue. Good Agricultural Practices. A Self-Audit for Growers and Handlers.

OIE Good Farming Practices: Livestock

Good Dairy Farming Practice.

Short Report of what the S.O.B.s are up to: OIE WORKING GROUP ON ANIMAL PRODUCTION FOOD SAFETY Report to the 77th General Session of the OIE International Committee - Paris, 24–29 May 2009

posted on May, 22 2011 @ 09:55 PM
Damn, you are my hero! Thats a ton of canning,how long did it take you you and how big is your canner? What are the simpler things to start learning with? I remember my mom doing jams and fruits quite a bit, but where I live now,fruits are not locally grown much so they are somewhat expensive and not always fresh.
I really would like to can a bunch of stew and chili,as they would make a good meal all by themselves. Are these reasonable things to start with? I plan to pick up a pressure canner soon,as I know I will need one to do meat. What else could I do with meat,as far as canning goes? I hope to get either an elk or moose this fall,and I'd like to put up a fair bit by canning. Stew and chili are the first things that come to mind, but perhaps there's other things I could do?

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 03:17 AM

I started the asparagus at about 12:00 noon and finished at about midnight but please remember that I have family helping and they all know their jobs. I chopped asparagus while my daughter and sister-in-law filled the jars. My brother does all the processing for me. The grand kids do the lifting and shlepping of jars etc.

I have two pressure canners that fit 16-500 ml jars or 8 1 L jars.

To make chili's and stews, I do have a few tips

1. Buy yourself a couple of stainless steel pots (about 16 - 18 quart pots) at a canadian tire or home hardware store. Any bigger than this and you will destroy your stove. Don't use restaurant equipment that is available in larger sizes.

2. Also buy 16 quart bowls to keep fruit and veggies fresh while working (soaking in vitamin C)

3. Buy cheap vitamin C tablets instead of buying the little jars of fruit fresh its cheaper.

4. Use dried beans and soak overnight. When starting your chili, drain the beans and boil for about an hour until they are tender. Then add the remainder of your ingredients, without draining the cooking water (it make look unappetizing but it is part of the full flavor of your chili).

5. You will need a digital kitchen scale and a couple of good digital timers.

6. When you are making chili's and stews., you will find that with a 16 - 18 quart pot, you can make about 24 to 30- 500 ml jars of food. I always pack the dishwasher with 48 jars to be sure to have enough.

7. Using 500 ml jars is best because you will often find people in your family want to open a jar as a snack. If its a 1-L jar, the remainder will go to waste. With 500 ml jars - open as many as you need to feed the number of people you have to feed the moment.

8. When translating a normal sized recipe for 8 servings to such a big pot, you generally need to triple the recipe. I find that 3 lbs of meat works well! I usually use a full 4 cups of each type of veggie (onions, celery, green peppers, red peppers and zuchinni in my chili)

9. Watch out for adjusting spices and herbs. You will need to use your judgement here as you can't just triple the amount. That doesn't work! Neither does substituting dried herbs for fresh. Be careful and add a little at time throughout the cooking process to your taste!

10. Used jarred garlic, it works well and saves the chopping

12. When a recipe is tomato based, remember that there is an enzyme in tomatoes that causes the water to separate from the tomato, after it sits in the jar for awhile. To destroy this enzyme requires high heat over a long period of time, so simmering is crucial - don't skip simmering in any recipe that uses tomatoes. Simmer your chili or spaghetti sauce until the volume in the pot has dropped by a couple of inches or your product will be watery by the time you go to eat it.

13. Tomatoes are a low acid food and must be heat processed in a pressure canner. In order to ensure the quality of my product, I always add about 1/2 cup of pure white vinegar to a 16-18 quart pot.

There are 3 things that you should never try to add to a recipe before you jar it down. POTATOES, DAIRY and PASTA. The potatoes and pasta will simply cook to a mush and make the food really unappetizing.

I generally cook a stew / soup without adding these ingredients and then add them when I am re-heating the food to eat. I find that 1/2 cup of pasta is sufficient in a 500 ml jar of soup. Don't do the final step of making gravy for the stew. The gravy will separate in the jar. Instead wait until you are re-heating the stew and simply finish the stew by adding potatoes, simmer until cooked, then make your gravy as you normally would.

When filling a jar with stew / soup, first fill the jar halfway with the chunky stuff and then fill the remaining jar with the broth to get a nice proportion of "stuff" to broth/gravy.

I find that "cream of" soups like asparagus, tomato, broccoli as well as any soup with beans or peas works really well when being jarred. Just add the desired amount of cream when you are re-heating heat and don't bring to a boil, just simmer until it is hot and serve.

If you use broth cubes to make your soup - remember that the cubes contain bits of meat. Any meat must be process for at least 75 minutes. So if you use chicken broth cubes to make cream of asparagus soup - then you must process 75 minutes as for meat and not just 30 minutes as for vegetables.

Despite not adding potatoes to a recipe and trying to jar it, it is quite desirable to jar potatoes separately. My family and I do 300 -400 1-L jar of potatoes every year. Don't peel the potatoes, just use the thin-skinned variety. Dice into large pieces of at least 1 inch in thickness all the way around. Blanch very very carefully and do not over-blanch. Pay very strict attention to your timing in the blanching step. And most importantly - COOL IT QUICKLY AS YOU CAN. Your potatoes will be fine for home fries, mashing or roasting but will only need 1/2 the cooking time.

When dicing vegetables for jarring - try to keep the 1 inch rule in mind. 1 inch wide, 1 inch high, 1 inch deep. Size really matters in this process.

Follow the canning directions CAREFULLY and don't think to skip steps. Keep everything clean and sanitized. Throw some javex in your dishwasher and wipe down your counters and equipment with a bleach solution. Canning is fun, you can save a lot of money but none of it will be worth it if anyone gets sick!!!!! If a question pops into your mind about whether something is still good or not after it has been in a jar for awhile - THROW IT OUT! Better to be safe than sorry. Always date your jars and after a year - THROW IT OUT! Jarring will only preserve food for about a year.


posted on May, 23 2011 @ 09:04 AM
I haven't found that to be true about potatoes when canning stew. I just put up my second batch. I raw packed everything in quart jars. 1/3 Meat, 1/3 potatoes, 1/3 carrots. I added a packet of onion soup mix to each jar and then added boiling water, then canned in the pressure cooker according to meat instructions. The potatoes held together real well, even after reheating to eat.

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 09:13 AM
reply to post by chiefsmom


I never even thought of raw packing meat!!!! What a great idea

here is a link for instructions.

oh what wonderful things happen when experienced people start talking.

What about the rest of the vegetables Ie rutabaga, onions, celery, brussel sprouts.

Tired of Control Freaks

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 10:04 AM
reply to post by TiredofControlFreaks

I love raw packing meat, as you don't have to add water, and it is so flavorful!!! Although, I've learned I like the hamburger better pre-cooked, especially when doing taco meat, due to the amount of fat you have to skim off around the top of the jars when opening them.

If you mean for all of those going into stew jars, throw them in raw!

I love learning new stuff too!
Also, to save on the expense of canning jars, go to garage sales!!! They might not have any out, but when they ask you if your looking for anything in particular, tell them. I did and the women had her husband and mine clean out all of them in her basement!!! There were 50-75 jars, and she would not take more than 5 dollars!!!
She said she was happy that someone else enjoyed canning.

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 10:10 AM
reply to post by chiefsmom

I completely agree about enjoying canning. With the right planning, it can be relaxing and it has side benefits you cannot foresee!

For me - its about the family togetherness and bonding. Its about knowing what is in my food! and its about the money (all in that order)

And yes - many people start canning and then drop it. It is alot of work. So deals are available at garage sales. Scoop them while they are available.

To do what I do (canning for 12 people) takes about 3 months of weekends a year.

Tired of Control Freaks.

posted on Aug, 15 2011 @ 10:45 PM
There's nothing like home canning for food preservation. Imagine how much you are saving instead of just letting excess fruits and veggies rot. People originally do this to save food for the rainy days, and it's still applicable now. Anyway, here's an article on the do's and don'ts of residential canning. I think anybody who wants do canning should learn from this. Residential Canning Post

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 08:13 PM
I am getting ready to do my first attempt at canning. I will be doing green beans. in the next few days I want to do tomato sauce. Any last minute tips for a first timer?

posted on Aug, 16 2011 @ 08:19 PM
I never took the time to make jams/jellies but seems well worth it if you have the time. I've canned salsas, my own pasta sauce, and even home-made soups over the years. I very good endeavor while relieving stress. Pressure cooking is also worth the time, but I would recommend starting with canning first, it can be dangerous. S&F!

posted on Aug, 19 2011 @ 03:57 AM
Just to update this thread

The canning continues. I have done green beans, yellow beans, snap peas and english peas. The english peas were alot of extra work (shelling a bushel of peas) and I swore I would settle for doing snap peas in the future because you can just slice them up and put in the jars. However, now that I have tasted the english peas - by god - I have to say that it is worth the work.

I did corn and corn relish. The corn relish tastes far better than anything you can buy! I used flour to thicken the relish. I have now bought a product called ClearJel starch. Its a starch that is specially formulated to withstand high heat in a pressure canner. It was hard to find. I had to search the net to find a specialty store that sold it but it only costs 6 dollars for 500 grams. I will be using it in the future as I believe it is a far better thickener for this purpose.

Did blueberries and cherries - cherries lost a lot of flavor and were mushy. I won't bother in the future but blueberries do very very well.

I did pineapple-strawberry, strawberry and blueberry jam - all tastes better than store bought!

I am preparing to do peaches this weekend. My neighbour has a tree full of pears that are just getting ready to ripen so I will be doing fruit cocktail and pears by the end of the month.

Chili has all been eaten so I need to do more up. That is ok though as we are coming to the fall and tomato season.

I cut up 2 bushels of red and green peppers, 20 heads of celery and 30 large onions for the freezer. I will be using these veggies to make chili and pasta sauce in the the future. Far far cheaper than buying fresh in the store.

Tired of Control Freaks

posted on Sep, 20 2011 @ 07:12 PM
Thanks for such great information. A neighbor was letting a pear tree go to waste. I got brave and asked if they were gonna harvest. Lo and behold they said take the whole lot! So now I have 3 five gal buckets of pears to put up in pear butter, spiced pears, and just pears! And more coming in a few more days.

My honey said I am a forager. I told him to be brave, never know what I might come home with. Just found a farm cooperative. You buy into shares with the owner, they bring produce to you once a week.
County Extension Services are a wonderful resource of information and local produce connections.

posted on Sep, 20 2011 @ 07:34 PM
Great post ...and very relevant whether there is a disaster or not. Everyone should be home canning their garden produce!! It's a great way to supplement your grocery bill, and preserve healthful reserves of food which you can control the salt, sugar and preservatives.

I can every year - tomatoes, peppers, peaches and pears. My family cannot stand to eat store bought spaghetti sauce....they love my homemade sauce.

Sanitation is the MOST important thing to successfull canning. All jars, rings, lids, and utensils MUST be cleaned in hot soapy water and then boiled for at least 20 minutes. I also line my jars with lime juice (a natural preservative) before flling the jar. If later you open a jar that is not sealed or doesnt smell right - discard it!!

It makes growing a garden worthwhile......

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