Growing up, I remember my Grandma spending what seemed like months in her basement kitchen canning everything she had grown in her backyard garden. She stored it all on long wooden shelves in a cold, dark cellar and used it to prepare huge Sunday suppers for 15 or more all year long. I miss those Sunday dinners and my grandma. I wish I had taken the opportunity to learn to can way back then. Instead I let years pass intimidated by what seemed to be an overwhelming process.
I finally got brave last summer after picking over 5 lbs of strawberries. I knew we couldn’t eat them all and I really wanted to make freezer jam. It was time to give canning a try…and you know what…it’s really not that hard. Since then I’ve canned strawberry freezer jam, over 100 quarts of spaghetti sauce, peaches, pomegranate jam and lots of salsa. If you don’t have a garden, don’t worry. Local farmers are a great resource. I can usually get 25 lbs of tomatoes with 24 hours notice at a great price. Pick your own farms are really fun too and a great way to get the family involved.
If you don’t want to jump right into the boiling water canning method, check out my recipe for Strawberry Freezer Jam here. If you’re ready to go all out, start planning and join us for National Can-It-Forward Day sponsored by Ball brand canning. On August 17, Food Network star Ted Allen will be live on www.FreshPreserving.com demoing his favorite canning recipes for viewers. You can join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook all day August 17 using the hashtag #canitforward.
Ball has put together an amazing giveaway to help one lucky reader start stocking their shelves with fresh, canned goods. The giveaway includes:
- The Ball Canning Discovery Kit – A kit designed to demystify the home canning process and make fresh preserving accessible for even the most novice canner.
- The Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving – It’s loaded with recipes and easy to follow directions for a variety of canning methods.
- One coupon for a free case of Ball brand canning jars.
I used my kit and my FreshTECH Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker to make these delicious peach and pomegranate jams. It is insanely easy and takes about 25 minutes from start to finish to have a freezer full of jam. I’ll be sharing the recipes here on August 17 so be sure to check back. In the meantime, enter to win this fabulous Ball prize pack and get ready to #canitforward.
Let’s all learn to can because this tastes so much better than store bought jam!