Adventures in Canning

I crossed an item off my bucket list this weekend! You all know how I love my Bucket List – and if you don’t well, it’s not for lack of trying to educate you about it!  If you don’t have a bucket list, get one.  If you have one, get on it! (I think this was originally said by Catherine Ryan Hyde, but can’t seem to find it right now!)

I canned my own jam! And it was awesome!  I’ve always wanted to learn and finally had the opportunity this weekend.  Mom bought extra blackberries and we dug the supplies out of the barn and got to it!

IMG_2980That is what happens when you dump blackberries into a pan and turn the heat up!

IMG_2981There is all of the sugar that goes into it.  Not as bad as it looks once you consider how many it makes.

IMG_2988That’s me concentrating really hard!

IMG_2989And there I am being really cute!  You’ll notice that you don’t stop stirring when you are making jam, so while I could pose, I couldn’t stop stirring! And yes, I pulled all my hair back so there weren’t any surprises in the jam.  I’m just very thoughtful that way.  Plus, we had spent a few hours working outside previously and my hair was a mess.  🙂

IMG_2990Here is my work space as I am canning.  Funnels are a great thing, funnels are our friend!

IMG_2996Look!  I did that!  I made that! And let me tell you, there is such satisfaction in hearing the jars “pop” as they seal.  Every time I heard one go pop, I would yell “pop!”.

Even more magical than that was sitting around with my parents and my son and hearing them tell stories.  Dad grew up canning and was sharing stories of how the garage floor would be covered with cans and all evening long all you heard was pop-pop-pop.

While I was busy making jam, the rest of the family, in between telling stories, were prepping 25 lbs of rainbow carrots for canning.

IMG_2985Dad and Mr. T prepping the carrots.


Here is another picture because it warms my heart!

IMG_2991Here is mom and her super sonic speed chopping the carrots that dad and Mr. T prepped.

IMG_2992Aren’t rainbow carrots beautiful! Raise your hand if you didn’t know rainbow carrots existed.

As we were canning the carrots, dad mentioned that my grandmother used to can carrots with potatoes and onions, and then when it was time to make a stew, she would grab a jar and add it to the browned meat.  Mom looks around and goes “We have the carrots, we have the potatoes and onions – do you want to can some like that?”

IMG_2994Of course we did!


We even had two pressure cookers going at once!

IMG_2997 IMG_3002Mom and I had fun taking pictures of some of our work.  We still had two pressure cookers full of product!

Dad loves the idea of canning, it does remind him of his childhood, but also, he really thinks that Obama is going to kill the country and he wants a stockpile!

Mom posted on FB “We had a great time. Nothing feels more like connecting to Mother Earth than to take good care of the products she provides us. Kate did a great job on the jam. We had to go ahead and try some!”

Mr. T doesn’t like blackberries, but he loves the jam.


68 thoughts on “Adventures in Canning

  1. Wow! That is awesome! I’ve never tried canning! I need to! How long does it last you? Thanks for sharing on Whatever Wednesday at Thank You Honey! Hope to see you next week!

    • It was fun! And they will last years and years – it’s a great way to have a food storage back up without a lot of cost!
      And I’m in love with Whatever Wednesday! Everyday I’ve had to go check out someone new! But, I feel silly, I should have check out the host first!!

  2. That was some serious canning! 2 pressure cookers! LOL I have tried making our own jam only twice. The first was pineapple jam, which was soooo tiring because I did not have a food processor then and I had to cook it for several hours because I did not a pressure cooker. The last one was the taro jam that I posted on the blog. That was easier to make. I’d really like to make strawberry jam but strawberry only grows in one region here in the Philippines and quite expensive if we buy from the supermarket so I guess I will have to settle for store bought strawberry jam for now.
    Thanks for linking this up at the Whatever Wednesday bloghop!

  3. Vickie says:

    Holy cow – you have blackberries already? I’m jealous. That jam looks really good, but what I am really impressed about was the guys pitching in! Hmmm…. do you give lessons on how to get guys in the kitchen – especially canning? I am just learning the how-to and wherefore of pressure cooking. I may have to try your potato/ carrot/onion mix because it DOES sound perfect for a stew! Thanks for all the inspiration.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! Yes, we started getting blackberries a few months ago – one of the perks of living closer to the equator! 🙂 My dad grew up poor, and so he has tons of canning stories, they lives mainly off of what their garden produced, so I guess that is why it was so easy for him to pitch in. My son, well, I’m just blessed that he didn’t even question, he just jumped in and helped!

  4. I’ve been making my own jam since the kids were little. Rian won’t eat jam with chunks in it so I have to puree it. I’ve been wanting to can more, but haven’t done it yet.
    And, yes, I had to raise my hand about the rainbow carrots. 🙂

  5. *StrongNewMe* says:

    I adore blackberries, so that sounds heavenly! I have never canned, but my boyfriend has a lot of memories of canning with his parents. I might have to find something for us to can so he can tell me more stories 🙂

    • I loved hearing mom and dad tell stories while we worked, so yes, you should can something just to hear him talk! And, the jam wasn’t that hard! Fruit, pectin and sugar, and then jam only needs a water bath, not a pressure cooker, so that is something even a novice like me can handle!

  6. Renee tried to can some grape jelly a few years ago, but found a recipe without pectin. Needless to say, we had grape syrup! Nice work little lady!!;)

  7. What an awesome post, great pics, and good times. I grew up gardening with my folks (that’s parents for you city people) and canning or freezing enough for an entire year! The garden has gotten smaller since my childhood, but I still love to can and freeze some of the fruits and veggies! I love to hear the ‘pop’, but always secretly hoped that at least one can in each batch didn’t seal so I could have an excuse to eat it!
    The rainbow carrots were so beautiful! I have seen them at the co-op but wasn’t brave enough to try them. I think I will have to try them now! I also thought it was totally awesome that your mom matched the rainbow carrots with her tie-dye shirt!
    Thanks for sharing the canning adventure! I can’t wait to hear what you do next!

  8. Congratulations! Where the heck did you get blackberries? It’s February?!? My mom and grandma used to do 2-quart jars of stew with the meat in it to send with the guys when they went on logging jobs far away. I would really love to do some soups and stews because it is so nice to just pull a meal off the shelf and heat it. I have always stuck to single foods. I have never canned carrots either because I have always thought they would be way too mushy. How were they?

      • Haha. I always forget to remember or forget to look to see where people live ;). We won’t have blackberries for canning until, at the earliest, July, but I usually shoot for August.

        I will look forward to your report!

  9. I so love your posts and humor. thanks for pointing out you were posing WHILE stirring. That was key 🙂 I have to admit I was being a bit of a snoop- trying to see if your purple Keurig was lurking in the background of any pic. 🙂

    • LOL! That was all done at my parents house, so no purple Keurig making an appearance! But, I have really been thinking about buying my own supplies… and when that happens, you’ll totally see my baby making cameos in the photos! 🙂

      And I cracked up when I saw the picture of me posing – I looked so cute, but my hand was all a blur!

  10. Oh, well done you! Don’t like jam either, but my husband and daughter does, so it would be really nice if I could do this too 🙂 And no, I’ve never heard of rainbow carrots till today. Now I’ve learned something 🙂

  11. Wow! Just wow! That is so impressive. I’ve never canned a thing ever! I love the redness of the berries once cooked. And hell to the no I have never seen rainbow carrots!! I love the idea of canning the veg for stews too. Sheer brillance. There sure was a lot of sugar in the jam bit whoever said jam wasn’t sweet? Is that how you preserve it??? Looks gorgeous. I totally wish I could have some of that fresh homemade jam. Well done!!!

    • That was four cups of sugar… and that was the low-sugar recipe!!! I loved the idea of canning the combo of veggies, too!
      Thank you, thank you! I’m thinking of getting some of my own supplies… that is a huge step for me!

      Good luck with your business thing – can’t wait to hear all about it!

  12. Saving My Belly Button Ring says:

    Pop! And I did not know that there was such a thing as rainbow carrots. Consider me schooled. I too will never make jam or can BUT so enjoyed watching you! Looks like you all had a great time. Yay for the bucket list cross off!

    • Super happy about the bucket list cross off – and my mom was a really good coach. She didn’t grow up canning, but one of the few things dad asked of her when they got married was to learn how, so she did!

      I didn’t know about the rainbow carrots either, aren’t they beautiful? 🙂 have a great day!

  13. I raised my hand. I don’t know rainbow carrots.
    Anyway, that is a ton of jam. That could make a heck of a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
    Curious: What exactly is the difference between jelly and jam?

  14. Ok first of all, I am still really sad Landon ruined my ability to stop and get one 😦 Secondly, I’m cracking up that your Mom is in tie-dye! She’s going to have to be herself for halloween this year now!!! And third, I didn’t know about rainbow carrots. Thanks for the education! Can’t wait to see what you do with the strawberries 😉

    • Lmbo! Yes, as much as she laughs at me about wearing it -she’s just as bad! Today she goes “I’m headed to Seattle, that’s where I get all of the good tie-dye, do you need anymore?” I was like “YES! I’m down to only three!!!”
      I hate you couldn’t stop by either, but I’ll grab one and save it for you, and one of the strawberry, too. 🙂

  15. I have wanted to learn how to do my own canning for a long time!! Sure wish I lived near family or had friends that did it! I’m kind of in agreement with your dad. Gotta stock up and be prepared! 🙂

  16. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Jam on it!

    We had wild blackberry bushes growing up, I miss those in the summer.

    Glad you had a good and productive time 🙂

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