July 23, 2014

Summer canning...55 jars of homemade goodness

Summer around here means tending to the garden, pulling weeds, keeping everything watered and then waiting for everything to grow and ripen.  It's that time so I've been busy canning.  I wasn't quite sure I'd find a canning pot that would work with my induction top stove but I found this large size, stainless steel one at Walmart.  Works like a charm.  If you use an induction top stove, just make sure you see the induction compatible icon on the sticker.  Then you'll know you're good to go.

Good canning supplies and clean jars are a must.  I use only sterilized jars that are meant for canning.....no mayonnaise jars or cleaned up pickle jars.  Usually I stick with Ball or Kerr and Ball lids.  I like Certo Sure Jell for my liquid pectin but I tried the powdered version this Summer with good results too.
There's always a little pan of simmering water ready to warm up the lids.  This is key as it gets the rubber on the lids softened and makes for a perfect seal every time. First up was the fruits and Peach Jam.  My local grocery store had some nice, ripe fruit this year that was really sweet.
 This is a favorite and probably reminds me of Summer the most come Winter time. Nothing like it on homemade biscuits.
 My mom always freezer Strawberry Jam but I opted to can mine.
 My jars ended up a little foamy but there was just too much to scrape off.  Tastes just as good on some toast made from homemade bread.
These little jars of Blueberry Peach Preserves will be yummy warmed up and poured over a bowl of vanilla ice cream....or over homemade yogurt with granola.
I spent two full days in the kitchen canning.  Temperatures were very mild so I didn't mind heating up the kitchen for a while.  My kitchen usually looks like this during canning season.  The stove is a boiling, sticky or bubbly mess, the countertops are lined with clean towels and cooling jars.  There's fresh picked zucchini, cucumbers and the like laying around....and there's always that wonderful sound to any canner's ears....the pop, pop, pop of sealing jars. 
Next up I moved on to some sweet green peppers that I picked from the garden.  I purchased the colored varieties at the store. 
 This beautiful mixture is Picked Peppers & Onions with a garlicky/peppery brine.  I added in a few jalapeno slices for a little heat. I plan to dump these over a roast, use on hamburgers or maybe mix some into some salads.  Lots of possibilities here.
 Loved how these turned out straight from the canner.  So bright and fresh looking.
 As always, the heat always turns the veggies a little muted color but these are still so pretty.  I might even enter one of these in the fair this year....just to relive my 4-H days.
Next I picked a variety of hot peppers from the garden.
I was just about out of Candied Jalapenos.  My family loves these over cream cheese with crackers, some dips and in Chili with a cool dollop of sour cream. 
 These are more mild pepperoncini peppers. I sliced some and left some whole.  I'll use these over salads and will dump some over roasts in the slower cooker this Winter.
 That's my beautiful bounty so far.  55 jars of homemade goodness.
It feels so rewarding to grow your own garden goodies, preserve them in fun ways....and then reap the fruits of your labor come Fall and Winter.  All the sweat and hard work pays off.  I have lots of veggies still in the garden so most likely I'll be canning up more jars for Christmas gifts this year.  

Haven't tried canning?  Think it's too hard?  It's not.....just get the right supplies, use fresh ingredients, follow the instructions exactly and you'll be on your way.  Hope you give it a try and that we start a new canning revolution!

26 comments:

Jac said...

I would love to hear more about your canning process. I have starting making more from scratch...but have stuck with freezing. I am intimidated by the canning process....

Jessie said...

Michelle how do you do your candies jalapenos? I am growing those and not sure what to do with all of them!

Cindy said...

I love the look of all your canned goods! I used to do more canning than I do now - the boys are grown:) But I still do some jam and pickles, and grape juice. I like to freeze more than I used to also. Just easier I guess!

Dawn F. said...

I also like to can. My friend and I do dill pickles and icicle pickles (my favorite!) but in New York State that won't happen until the end of August when our stuff is ready. Love your pictures!

Chris said...

i have been canning for about 4 years now and i am hooked. i would love your pickled pepper and onion recipe, please! also do you have a favorite canning cookbook?

so far i have done 2 batches of dill pickles and 1 strawberry jam. my big thing i can is salsa and spaghetti sauce.

Elizabeth V. said...

Your pictures are so gorgeous...makes me want to grab some jars and start storing away some goodness! Have you ever canned dilly beans? They are a fun addition to a relish tray in the middle of winter. As a pickle, it's a water bath process and super easy.

Sandy McClay said...

Would love the recipe for Candied Jalapenos...:)
I wish I could do this, but I just don't have the room to store them...but I could give the sweet Jalo's for gifts!

anya said...

I made my first strawberry jam this year and loved it! I can't wait to try something else - the peaches have been phenomenal, so I'd like to do something with them. Your jalapenos look delish, too!

cathy yosha said...

You're canning and quilting and doing project life. You are super woman. I am very impressed. You go , girl!

Anita Rex said...

Wow they look great! For the foamy strawberries I learned from my friend who makes jam and sells it at shows to use a bit if butter while your cooking it, it really cuts down the foam!

Love your veggies canning too!

linda cencelewski said...

Beautiful!! I pickled some okra this year for the first time. They were so good I bought 3 more pounds yesterda and I'll be pickling them today. Just waiting for the pickling cukes and tomatoes to be ready. I pickled some banana pepper too. It will all be so good this winter. Michelle, please share your recipe for peppers & onions and candied jalepenos. I'd like to try those. Thanks for sharing your pictures. Keep 'em coming.

Laurence W said...

I'm impressed by so many cans and so much work done. That´s great !

Tina Campbell said...

Love the pic of all the cans together. Yes we can too :) You must be more south than us to have the peppers ready, were still waiting on the 1st batch of corn. We split some canned and some frozen but it's always nice to open a jar of goodness in the dead of winter :)

Amber Sheaves said...

What a fun post! Your jars look fabulous. All I've managed so far is some raspberry jam. I still don't have much of anything else ready (except zucchini and summer squash) here in the NW. I'd love it if you shared some of your recipes!

Andrea said...

Wow!!! Those look AMAZING! You must feel extremely proud and accomplished! I AM too scared to can. I've done a little freezing and have done apple jelly (my absolute favorite) and strawberry jam. We always put a couple of tablespoons of butter in our strawberry jam - my great aunt Marge says that it keeps the foam down. Love your site - thanks so much for sharing and inspiring!!!!

Ann said...

Michelle if you add a tbsp of margerine to your jam you will elliminate the foam problem. Happy canning Hugs Ann

Jen Deal said...

Wow, Michelle! That is awesome! I have done marmalade and am looking forward tonstrawberry.

lisa westphal said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! We came home from vacation to two loaded plum trees. I plan to start making jam in the morning. *BUT* your peach jam has me wanting to run out and get some to make that too! YUM!

Humble Bee said...

Well done! I love the last shot where all the jars are lined up on the bench. I would love to try candied jalapenos. Never heard of that before and sounds delish. Yummy!
~Becki

linda cencelewski said...

What kind of rack did you buy for your new pot and where did you find one that fit. I might get one of those pots myself. Saw it at Walmart today.

linda cencelewski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy B Designs said...

What a fun blog post to read! I loved your canning and the veggies look so yummy and I still don't eat my vegetables, but I would yours! I better brush up and start post hunting on your canning. This looks like something so fun to do with my daughter next week!

Amber said...

WOW! Everything looks deliciously amazing! Would you be willing to share your recipes... :)

crazymom said...

Wow! They look beautiful! I wish I was on your Christmas list! ☺

Jen said...

Good job!! It's always a job well-done when you hear the jars pop and seal. We love to can, I think it's the highlight of my summer! Can you give out the recipe for your pickled peppers and onions? I love the colors together and would love to try it. Every Christmas I give out baskets with baked goods and canned things to my husband's family - they're hard to buy for, but everyone likes to eat!

Denise E said...

Awesome job! Your cans are beautiful. I love to can too. Need to get busy with some jams/jellies from fruit I prepped and froze last year. Thanks for the motivation! Your cans are beautiful. Would love your recipes too! Thanks! :)

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