Monday, August 12, 2013

let the canning begin!

Most people in Maine would probably say that canning starts with rhubarb and strawberries.  In fact, I was that person back in June as well.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen for me.  I was able to freeze a lot of rhubarb, which I plan to make into some point...but the strawberries were missed entirely this year.

Instead, my canning started with pickles and dilly beans.  This is my first year making pickles.  More specifically, bread and butter pickles.  I never actually liked sweet pickles growing up, always preferring dill pickles, or fermented pickles.  But  a few years ago, we got a couple jars in our winter CSA.  I decided to try them, and what do you know, I loved them and ate the entire jar!  Having them on hand wasn't a priority for me until I realized that my kids developed a taste for these pickles.  The ones from the store just don't compare!

I have made dilly beans before.  One time.  And they were mushy.  I was not impressed.  I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.  I followed the recipe to a T!  This year I am trying a different recipe.  One that I think will change things dramatically.  Why?  Because it didn't call for me to blanch the beans first.  I think that one little change will give me the crisp dilly beans that my children least that is the hope.

This year I also had my very first broken jar.  I think I had a pretty good record, 5 years of canning with no broken jars!  And it wasn't an exploding jar, so I was thankful about that.  When I put the dilly beans into the canner, I heard a little pop.  I thought nothing of it until I lifted the lid to see if the water was indeed boiling and instead of 7 pint jars sitting nicely in the canner, there was a jar floating.  And of course when I tried to remove the jar...all of the contents ended up in the canner.  I scooped out as much as I could though, and I think for the most part the jars sealed ok.  We shall see how they do!

What are you preserving right now?  Have you missed any "seasons" for fruit/veggies like I have?

Linking up at Clever ChicksHomestead Barn Hop, Homemade Mondays


  1. Yummy! Well done my friend! I have yet to can a single item yet but have frozen raspberries and hope to get blueberries and peaches in there this week. Baby steps! I may do some salsa in early September but not sure yet.

  2. I really want to do some canning I have stuffed pinned on pinterest I just need to do it!! I really want to make jams. Looks like you got quite a bit done
    ~Candice @

  3. Your post both makes me happy, and gives the me cold sweats. I decided this year to not can as much as last year (for my own mental health), but I still have a bushel of apples sitting downstairs waiting for me. Sigh.

    I'd love for you to share this over at Homemade Mondays:

  4. I have canned blueberry jam and three new things; kale, cherry-almond conserve, and rhubarb marmalade. Today I'm going to try canning beef broth. I hope it works because I love making soup in the fall and winter.

  5. I just finished putting up some plum butter and some peach jam. I also did some pickled beets. I think I will be doing some green beans and tomato sauce next week. I want to try canning nuts - just read about it on another blog. Sounds interesting! I have never canned meat either and I think I would like to try canning salmon. My husband just caught one last night!

  6. We are getting ready to can a bunch of peaches and applesauce. Otherwise, I have mostly been freezing or drying!

  7. Lots of good food there! I wanted to put up some strawberries as well, but just didn't get around to it this year. Right now I'm working on my tomatoes and hopefully making some puree tonight.

  8. I missed the strawberries too, but froze lots of blueberries, marionberries, and peaches. Have now canned peaches and dilly beans, and am anxious to can salsa! :) Have been trying to decide if I want to try rhubarb jam, or to see if there are still plums available. Glad you're getting some good canning in!

  9. These look great. I bet the kids will love them :) I think I'm going to try making some jam sometime soon and slowly ease into canning!


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