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{Giveaway} Are You Ready for Summer Canning?

July 14th, 2012 · 12 Comments

We take a brief intermission from our FRESHFARM Markets Week to share the news of National Can-It-Forward Day, sponsored by Ball. Today, experts from Ball are sharing canning tips on live WebTV and on Twitter (search: #canitforward). While I’ve averaged just one or two batches of preserves each of the past couple summers, I can assure you that the preparation really is the hardest part. If you’re new to canning, Ball offers a Canning Discovery Kit with the items and instructions you need to safely preserve at home. Once you have your equipment (large pot, sterilized jars and lids, and a jar lifter), find the freshest local produce you can and set aside a block of time — you do need to attend to the jam while it cooks, and will want to avoid distractions while processing the jars.

jars ready for canning

And yes, it is possible to can with kids. You’ll want to keep them away from boiling pots and hot jars, of course, but little helpers are perfect for the preparation phase — rinsing, de-stemming, pitting, etc. I’ve even employed a child-safe-knife-wielding toddler to dice tomatoes for our tomato jam. (Since they’re going into the jam, preciseness of the cut doesn’t matter.) And kids love to see their hard-earned produce (in the case of picking it ourselves, or even better, home grown) turned into something that they can enjoy later in the year.

micro-batch plum vanilla jam

If you don’t have time to pick your own produce, farmers markets of course are the perfect place to source produce at peak flavor — and many farmers will gladly offer a discounted price for a flat of “seconds,” the slightly blemished fruit that is perfect for jam and preserves.

GIVEAWAY: Ball has generously offered a case of jars to one lucky reader. Just comment below with something you have canned (links to posts welcome!), or the first thing you’d like to, and be sure to include a valid email in the comment form (no need to put it in the comment itself). Comments will be open until 11:59pm Eastern on Friday, July 20. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

Additional canning resources:

Disclosure: I received a Canning Discovery Kit from Ball for review purposes, and Ball is providing the giveaway prize to a reader. No other compensation was received and all opinions, as always, are my own. Please always follow safety instructions and professional recipes when canning.

Tags: at market · giveaway · preserving

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Meghan Finley // Jul 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I’ve always loved to can apricots

  • 2 Pam Bianco // Jul 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Just canned some roasted tomato soup!

  • 3 Sarah Cox // Jul 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    We go berry picking in Pescadero, CA every summer during ollallieberry season. We pick strawberries too. In the past we’ve done freezer jam, but this year we tried canning our jam for the first time. It turned out great!

  • 4 Holly // Jul 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I have harvested my first batch of blackberries from my thornless vines, and I will make Marisa McClellan’s recipe for blackberry sage jam from Food in Jars.

  • 5 Amanda // Jul 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    The first thing I canned was a jar of strawberry apricot jam as a gift for someone and they loved it. I found a recipe for peach pie preserves that look yummy too.

  • 6 Sara G // Jul 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    In the last few months, I’ve canned strawberry jam, tomatoes, orange-fig jam. And just yesterday I bought 4 lbs of strawberries and 8 lbs of cherries to can tomorrow!

  • 7 Julie // Jul 16, 2012 at 8:45 am

    like to can tomatoes and green beans

  • 8 Nutella // Jul 16, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I adore apricots and I bought a crate of seconds online from my local vendor, to be picked up at the market, not realizing just how many apricots it was going to be. Good thing I had a stroller and my kid is old enough to walk! I’ve got plans for a tart and some apricot chicken, but I think the rest will become preserves. I can borrow canning pot and jar lifter fro ma neighbor. It will be my first solo canning adventure

  • 9 Barbara // Jul 17, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I love canning dilly beans best of all

  • 10 meredith // Jul 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I’ve canned raspberry jam and want to try some fig jam this summer!

  • 11 Sara G // Jul 19, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Just wanted to say that the cherry plum jam turned out delicious! I love all the beautiful colors in my cupboard full of jars.

  • 12 Lethea B // Jul 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I canned 8 jars of Honey Fig Jam last weekend! I dabbled with jam making about 10 years ago and yes, I enjoyed it but my kiddos were younger & needed more of my time. This year I’ve had an absolute blast testing and sharing with family, friends and co-workers=)
    My favorite so far is a peach jam recipe that I’ve tweaked and call ‘Christmas in a Jar’!
    Thanks for the chance at an awesome giveaway~those jars will really help out the lucky winner!