Plan Before You Can AND Canning Supply Give Away

June 26, 2012

With Farmers’ Markets and roadside stands beginning to burst with summer fruit, I know I am not the only one who feels giddy dreaming of putting up some luscious jam for the winter.  I already pumped out a batch of Cherry Rhubarb Jam and Three Berry Jam (subbing in blueberries for the raspberries) and am working on some apricot jam today.  While there is nothing wrong with impulsive food preservation, diving into canning season with a plan based on what you and your family needs and actually wants to eat through the winter ensures you will have enough and not end up with a load of jars that go past their prime.

I finally got my act together and created a simple spreadsheet to record what types of canned foods I made, what quantities, how much is left now (or when we ran out), and notes about each item (loved it the way it was, too sweet, not sweet enough, add a bay leaf next time, etc.)  It is here for you to download in both Microsoft word: canned goods inventory form and PDF: canned goods inventory form format.

New to canning? Check out this post waxing on about the glory of preserving food.  Heed the Call of the Jar! (great read for beginners)

Also check out my page: Home Canning Basics that explains the basic process and equipment for canning.

Our favorites from last year that I am definitely making again include:

Three Berry Jam– it is hard to beat the trifecta of summer fruit in this deeply colored, intensely berried jam

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam– the strawberries and rhubarb are both slow roasted here allowing the fruit to maintain its shape and texture nicely

Mixed Berry Syrup– I need to make  a quadruple batch of this lovely syrup.  I could live on this stuff (and maybe these pancakes to go with it.)

Peppered Peach and Rosemary Jam– This beautiful delicate jam is my knock-out back up appetizer for any last minute event through the year.  Excellent on a cheese plate.)

Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Pickles


Dilly Beans

On my list to try this summer are:

Smokin’ Strawberry– I am a sucker for chipotle and the Tigress is genius when she suggests pairing that smokey pepper with strawberries.

Cardamom Peach Pie Filling– Mrs. Wheelbarrow struck a chord with me when she paired ripe summer peaches with cardamom.  Yum!

Classic Tomato Ketchup–  Last summer my ketchup, though delicious, was not really “ketchup”.  My son dubbed it “Rojo Sauce” and we gobbled it up none the less, but this time I want to try Local Kitchen’s recipe. Kaela claims it is “deep, dark red and seriously tasty”.  I am intrigued.

Chocolate Plum Jam– Caroline at Grow It, Cook It, Can It came up with this one, and truly, she had me at chocolate.  I dream of smearing this on French Toast in January.

Roasted Red Pepper Spread: Canning Homemade’s recipe sounds like a delicious addition to the pantry.

Now for the Canning Supply Giveaway:

The Canning Supplies Give Away has closed.  Winner will be announced July 6th.  Feel free to comment about what you plan to can this year.

Ball Canning provided me with a Home Canning Discovery Kit, a Utensil Set for Preserving, and a  copy of Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving to give away to a lucky reader.  New to canning?  Need some fresh supplies?  Know someone who wants to get started canning?  Share this post!


71 Responses to “Plan Before You Can AND Canning Supply Give Away”

  1. lizthechef Says:

    I’m just getting going on my summer canning – posting my new tomato chutney tomorrow. I so enjoy your site – very inspiring. I have all the stuff in your lovely giveaway – just wanted to comment on your helpful post.

  2. laura Says:

    I love to put up fruits and jams. My favorite go t is Chili Sauce. This last year I roasted the Tomatoes first. It cut my prep time down and a sweeter sauce.

  3. Patricia Crowley Says:

    I’m hoping to grow enough tomatoes to make some spagetti sauces! Also, I want to make some strawberry jam!

  4. Patricia Crowley Says:

    I signed up for your emails! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  5. Liz Lockett Says:

    I have a fear of canning (the getting the seal right and getting jam to firm up), but I need to get into it. I would love to start with something like apricot halves or jam since the prep is easier than something like peaches. I have a feeling our garden is going to produce a ton of tomatoes, so I love your ketchup idea. We also have a field of blackberries behind our house. Yummmm. Anyway, I will definitely share this post! Thanks Karen!

  6. Hannah Says:

    Thank you for sharing all of this helpful info, Karen! You’ve inspired me with canning in the past, and I hope to do more this summer. Tomatoes are top on my list…I’m sure I won’t grow enough with our drizzly, chilly weather so will have to rely on 2nds from the farmer’s market. I just got the new “The Preservation Kitchen” and have marked lots of recipes to try, too. Thanks for all the great recipes, too. I look forward to sharing this post!

  7. Megan Holt Says:

    Yesterday I made apricot jam and raspberry jalapeno jelly. The apricot I tried without commercial pectin and I think I’m going to end up with syrup but I’m making a 2nd batch today and will add more lemon juice and cook longer. The raspberry jalapeno jelly did not have the heat level my husband wanted, so I’m on the hunt for some habaneros for him and will try those with maybe some blackberries. Happy preserving and canning!

  8. Amy Zimmer Says:

    Yum! Wish I could send tou a box of tomatoes from Spain, and another of the biggest figs from Portugal I have ever seen. Bringing home salt from Portugal. Everything smelled like smoked sardines when we returned from Portugal!
    I plan on taking any zucchinis I am offered to put up your amazing zuke pickles. I also will put up golden raspberry jam and apple sauce…things that I didn’t need to plant as we were out all of June! I would love to win and have converted my friend Rose in Holland to a “my pantry shelf” follower! Yay for the Internet and hurray for the the best food blog ever!

  9. Glenda Says:

    I will definitely be canning Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Pickles. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  10. Angela Watts Says:

    I plan to preserve whatever I can pick locally this year. Last year I was lazy and cheated with produce from the market (although much was locally sourced from my favorite market). This year I intend to pick it myself and pack it afterwards as well. Might have to cheat on the marmalades though. First up will be strawberries if I ever get my behind in gear for the weekend.

    BTW-your chocolate plum link has a spare http on the end that makes it think it doesn’t exist.

    • Sounds like a great plan! I do my best to forage, beg, or trade for whatever produce I can gather as well. Makes the canning process feel a bit more adventurous! Nothing wrong with supporting the local farmers though.

      Thanks for the heads up about the link, Angela. It is fixed now.

  11. purplefdu Says:

    I also followed your bog by e-mail. And will now search it out on Bloglovin. :)

  12. JamieAnne Says:

    I’m going to be canning many pickles this season!

  13. Kate H Says:

    I’m going to try tomatillo ketchup this year.

  14. carrie s Says:

    I am canning tons of things this summer mostly veggies like green beans, corn and beets. I love my veggies

  15. carrie s Says:

    liked the site!

  16. Bobbie Henry Says:

    Sometimes my aspirations are bigger than what I actually accomplish, but these are #1 on my list: I’d love to make my mom’s End of the Garden Pickles, Bread & Butter Pickles, Peach Preserves, your Three Berry Jam, and definitely Strawberry Jam. My canning supplies are pretty antiquated, as old as my daughter who just turned 37, so think I’m due for something new. Thanks for the wonderful ideas! Love being inspired to try new things!!

  17. krissybolt Says:

    I would LOVE it if my garden produced enough green beans for me to put up a mess of ’em… I’ve never canned before, but my sister is super at it, and has inspired me to give it a try!

  18. Cara Says:

    I’m new to canning and LOVE making jam. Once you’ve had fresh… You never want store-bought again!!! Currently my favorite is Plum jam…. But I would love to try the pepper and onion spreads. Canning has allowed me to seek out friends that also can, and build a comraderie!! It’s so satisfying. And I’ve been inspired by these awesome people to really get into the “making” spirit with my friends and family and community. Who knew it could open so many wonderful doors??!! :)

  19. Ms. T Says:

    Gorgeous photos! I’m still gaining confidence that I’m “doing it right” on the canning thing. I’ve given some canned gifts recently and every time the recipient tells me they opened the jar, I hold my breath a little, hoping they don’t tell me they got violently ill ;) I’ll definitely check out your links for tips on the do’s and don’ts.

  20. Corinne Knapp Says:

    right now the canner is bubbling away with todays gardening harvest. I have put up about 20 jars of pickles (spears, chips and whole) and 20 half pints of mixed berry jam. I am looking forward to spaghetti sauce, salsa, salsa verde, corn, and green beans.

  21. Marilyn Foster Says:

    My challenge this year is to branch out from pickles, jams & fruit and start putting up high pressure foods. Chili, spaghetti sauce, meat stocks, etc. I’ve always been paranoid about canning meats and hope to conquer my fears this summer.

  22. Cory Says:

    Looking forward to trying some new recipes this summer! Definitely some interesting ones here! Thanks!

  23. I’m making lots of tomato sauce!

  24. Cynthia Says:

    I am planning on making lots and lots of tomato sauce. I have 15 tomato plants if they would just start bearing fruit…….

  25. Janice Says:

    Thanks for the download of your great chart for recording the canning season. I also like to note who are the biggest fans so there is a jar or two for them.

  26. Liz Renshaw Says:

    This is my favorite time of year! I love watching my garden grow and canning all of the wonderful veggies!! I’m getting ready to do a batch of pickeled jalapeños! I’m drying some of my habeneros for some spicy pickled garlic! And my favorite (and my coworkers) zesty dill pickles and bread and butter pickels!!! It makes my mom giggle how I’ve gotten into canning, but I LOVE IT!!! Going to try some pickled green tomatoes this year if anyone has a good recipe! Happy canning!!!

  27. Kristin Ausk Says:

    I’d like to try canning homemade maraschino cherries

  28. Kristin Ausk Says:

    Signed up to receive your emails!

  29. Joanne Says:

    Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes

  30. Shaz Says:

    I’m kind of new into canning and preserving – started last year, and loved it! I’m hoping to make some smoky chipotle cherry preserve from localkitchenblog


  31. Kristin Holden Says:

    I make applesauce from our gravenstein apples every year, but I’ve always freezed it. I would like to try canning this year. I also hope to make jam and syrup from our raspberries and blueberries.

  32. Kristin Says:

    I already receive emails on your new posts.

  33. Melissa Says:

    Just made strawberry vanilla jam this morning! But I do believe this summer will be the “year of the pickle.”

  34. Lemon fig jam, Wild cherry plum jam & syrup, and pickles. This is my first summer knowing how to can So I am pretty excited :)

  35. JE Says:

    I’ve got my plan in a spreadsheet, too. So far this year – pickled asparagus, zucchini, and green beans & cherry jam. Can’t wait for peach and tomato season where I’m putting up double digit quarts of both.

  36. natalie gullish Says:

    planning on making some awesome raspberry jelly

  37. carol thomas Says:

    I have made so far.. strawberry tequilla jam.. mmm good stuff.. This weekend I am doing carrots and beets.. but am planning on my applesauce as well. Oh yeah I also canned candied jalapenos1!! I love canning!

  38. Karen Says:

    Last summer’s raspberry jam is a favorite at our house. I made a balsamic strawberry freezer jam last year that was divine on English muffins. Looking forward to preserving applesauce, peaches and lots of jams this year. Thanks for the great resources.

  39. Mitzi Says:

    Yesterday, I made your Cherry-Rhubarb Jam and Rich and I loved it. I am now getting inspired to try new and different flavors described by your other readers. What a fun time! I also made Chili Sauce last year and will have to make more this year as it is almost gone. Karen, keep up the good work and always enjoy your blogs.

  40. Winona Says:

    This will be my first time canning in about 20 years – so I’ll be doing whatever my heart desires as things come into season. :) I’m excited!

  41. Julie Says:

    jam,peaches, green beans thanks

  42. Julie Says:

    email subscsriber

  43. freckled1 Says:

    I am brand-new to canning this summer. Thus far, I have made bourbon cherry jam, cherry bounce. Last night, I put up peaches in a bourbon light syrup (I am nervous as the peaches floated to the top during processing). I want to try putting up peaches again. I am also keen to make blackberry jam!

  44. Lisa Hill Says:

    I plan to put up tons of tomatoes and spaghetti sauce since we didnt have tomatoes last year.

  45. Lisa Hill Says:

    Email subscriber

  46. joey taylor Says:

    Canning peas, tomatoes, salsa, pickles, relish, jelly, jam, okr and many more.

  47. Caroleigh Says:

    Have you checked out Paul Virants ” Preserving kitchen”? I made his strawberry and Pinot noir preserves ( with rhubarb too!) and his pickled baby artichokes. They are incredible! My pantry is looking much less anemic already…

  48. Debra Lee Says:

    I’m looking forward to making Chutney!

  49. C.Maria Says:

    I love to garden, but never have canned before. I just ordered my first canner and can’t wait to try it out. I’m a little nervous that it might explode, but I hear canning is very safe. I am looking forward to preserving my harvest so I can have home grown food in the winter.

  50. kalamckala Says:

    I’m a newbie with the whole canning and preserving thing but I made an apricot preserve with vanilla and cinnamon – I may have fallen for the entire process! I only hope to can more and more this summer! I plan on making a plum and star anise jam, zucchini pickles, peppered peach and rosemary jam, and blueberry ginger compote. Come by my blog and check out my apricot jam recipe –

  51. cucina_kristina Says:

    I received a pressure canner as a wedding gift this year. I am so excited to make and can my own spaghetti sauce. We have 2 tomato plants and tons of fresh herbs that I would love to stock away for a cold winter’s night. So glad I stumbled upon your blog, there is a lot of really great information for a newbie like me :)

  52. Lina Says:

    Thank you for the PDF! This is my second season canning and it will be so helpful! I made some great rhubarb BBQ sauce a few weeks ago, but my absolute favorite thing to can is mixed veggie pickles. It’s a simple recipe, but so delicious and goes with everything! I don’t have a link, but it’s the Jardiniere recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

  53. Lina Says:

    I signed up for email updates!

  54. Winona Says:

    I also signed up for email updates.

  55. Erik Says:

    I want to preserve hot peppers and pickles. And pickled peppers.

  56. […] 4th is the last day to enter the Canning Supplies Give Away!  Always wanted to learn how to can?  Need some new […]

  57. […] how much preplanning the home canning allows me to become more efficient.  I found a printable Home Canning Inventory form on a blog called “My Pantry Shelf.”  If you scroll down the page you will find both a […]

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