May 29, 2012

Well, who would have guessed? Nearly 600 of you entered the giveaway! Amazing. I’m really thrilled you all read the blog. I’m trying not to sound goofy here, but it does mean a lot that you come here and read what I’m writing. Thank you.

Lucky Jennifer from San Francisco is the winner of the Le Creuset 7 quart round oven. I hope to have more fabulous giveaways soon, so stick around.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some of my favorite quotes from the terrific comments you all left on the last post.

from Abby K – A smidgen of butter will keep foam down while canning strawberry jam.

from Elizabeth and Karin – After putting the canning pot on to boil, fill and heat a full electric kettle, in case extra hot water is needed.

Eric (a student of mine!) declared me the George Gipp of canning. I’m cool with that.

Cathy said “… like my Grandmother and her Grandmother walking down the steep steps of the root cellar to choose which delightful jar of many she might share with us as we visited … now I find myself waiting for my organic garden to produce it’s first crop, building a root cellar and canning for the first time, just like Grandma and her Grandma.”

Mary Beth reminds us all to wear shoes, “I burned my feet with boiling water once that spilled over the sink. I had to go to the Emergency room and it was so painful.”

Then there were the sweet stories

Sarah who wrote “Oh my heavens, I’ve always wanted a Le Creuset. I’m a University of California Cooperative Extension Master Food Preserver — volunteering to teach low-resource communities how to preserve good food. My 60th birthday’s coming up and retired now, I’ll have lots of time to put Le Creuset to good use, personally and in the community!!”

Terri reminds us.. she will “prepare one more jar than I think I will need. Nothing worse than having to run downstairs to grab more jars and rings right when you need to get things in the bath.”

I like how A.L. goes right to the eating “Hard to beat the combo of cheese with preserves. Love manchego with fig or mango and any triple cream with cherry or apricot.”

Amrei just started canning “I just love having little go to treats in my pantry. They perk up even the most exhausting day, and on a good day they are the icing on the cake!”

Rachel adds the sensible advice “label those jars. You may think that you’ll remember what’s in each batch of jam and the date you canned but come late winter, those details might be a long lost memory. I prefer to label the lids so I don’t have to remove stickers from the jars.” I hate labeling the jar, too. Those sticky labels are a pain to get off the glass. If you want cute labels on the lid, check out Etsy for some great looking labels.

Ali’s right – “Find a friend! Either one to teach, one to learn from, or simply one that inspires you! The best is when each of these is found in one person!”

Ambre asked ” Does the syrup covering fruit have to be so sugary? Looking for options, suggestions…” Sugar is what preserves the fruit, and you need to create a syrup, so a certain amount is necessary using my method. You can use Pomona pectin to create jams and jellies with little or no sugar at all.

Thanks, everyone, for your great reminders!

Back soon with some new recipes to take advantage of berry season, coming right up.

9 Responses to “more canning tips, this time from all of you”

  1. Allison

    Mrs. W — Quick question – what if my strawberries macerate in the fridge a day or two longer than 24 hours….are they still ok to can?

  2. Jayne

    I write on my jars with a Japanese paint pen, (available at most art supplies stores,) or with a gel-ink pen. Both come right off with a swipe of steel wool.

  3. Gayle

    I *just* discovered your blog (while hunting up a dilly bean recipe and waiting for jars to come out of the dishwasher prepped for my first-ever jam experience), and wanted to chip in my two cents for jar and any other kitchen labeling: blue painter’s tape and a sharpie. The tape sticks great but is designed to be kind of like Post-It adhesive and peel off with no tacky residue.
    And into my RSS reader you go, Mrs. W!

    • Cathy

      Hi Gayle, glad you dropped by and left such a great tip! I have masking tape, but that doesn’t retain the stick in the freezer…. The blue painters tape just moved into the kitchen drawer. Thanks!

  4. Galatha

    I was just reading your information on canning tomatoes and want to try your tomato jam. I have a ton of cherry tomatoes do you think the cherry tomatoes would work for the jam? If not, do you have any suggestions as to how I could use them in canning some delicious something or other. 🙂


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