My Marathon Canning Weekend (41 Jars of Food on the Wall….)

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I got the itch to do some canning last weekend. A BAD itch.

So, I asked the Coupon Project Facebook folk where their favorite places were to get bulk produce at good prices for canning. (DO refer to that thread if you’re looking for some local recommendations – there are some great tips there!) Several people mentioned Foley’s Produce and reader Clara was nice enough to forward me an email with their prices for Labor Day – which included a 20 lb box of Bartlett pears for $12.95. HELLO?!

DSCN0906 (800x588)I ended up with a box of Gravenstein apples, Elberta peaches, and Bartlett pears for $49.85. That works out to roughly $0.83/lb total. What’s more, the farm this produce was sourced from does not use pesticides – it’s just not “certified” organic. Works for me!

DSCN0907 (800x600)Gravenstein apples are among my favorites – they have such a spicy, tart flavor and I can’t think of a better apple for pie or sauce making!

DSCN0911 (800x625)The 20 lb box of Gravenstein apples yielded me 6 quarts. I made 3 quarts spiced with cinnamon and sugar. The other 3 quarts are no-sugar added, so I threw in a few Gala apples I had handy to sweeten the batch.

DSCN0918 (800x744)I love serving homemade cinnamon applesauce at holiday dinners! It accompanies roast turkey or ham perfectly. The no-sugar added sauce is good for just eating or in baking.

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On Monday, I went to work on the box of peaches and pears. I started with the peaches, and canned 9 pints in a light syrup. They turned out sooo good!

Here’s a quick tip for peeling them: get a pot of water up to a nice boil and plop a few peaches in for about 30-40 seconds. Then, remove them carefully with a slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of ice cold water. After a couple minutes, remove the peaches one at a time and remove the skins. They will peel right off! The trick is to make sure your boiling water is truly boiling and your ice water, icy.

DSCN0929 (800x600)The peaches in syrup were one of the more time consuming recipes I canned over the weekend, but the effort was well worth it – they turned out delicious!

DSCN0936 (800x600)Even after 9 pints of canned peaches, I had enough peaches remaining to make a few jars of peach butter.

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Look at that pretty color!DSCN0937 (800x600)And Zesty Peach barbecue sauce! Would you believe that after all that, I still had a few peaches left over for eating? In fact, I had one just now with lunch.

DSCN0919 (800x600)Before tackling the pears, I canned up a couple pints of salsa from my garden tomatoes. After experiencing some issues with blossom end rot, it appears that my toms are starting to make a rally. I’ve not had tons of tomatoes, but definitely enough to make a few small batches of salsa and sauces!

DSCN0938 (800x600)Next, I canned up my very favorite jam: Pear Vanilla! It’s divine! If you make it, DO use the vanilla beans and not the extract. You’ll be glad for the final result. This jam got such rave reviews from my family last year, I’m just planning on making tons of it. I ended up canning 6 jars of it over the weekend, but ended up buying a second box of pears just to make tons of this jam which will be given as holiday gifts this year. I discovered that this jam is particularly good served as a sauce on top of ice cream. Or just eating by the bowlful!

Finally, I made several pints’ worth of pearsauce, which is actually the same method as making applesauce. You just use pears. Obviously. I really like pearsauce served alongside ham.

Here’s my final canning haul – just from this weekend:

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  • 6 pints pear-vanilla jam
  • 9 pints peaches in light syrup
  • 3 pints peach butter + one 8-oz jar
  • 2 pints salsa (I used the Ball Fiesta Mix, which I LOVE! Plus, it’s super easy!)
  • 3 quarts Gravenstein applesauce (no sugar added)
  • 3 quarts Gravenstein applesauce, spiced + sugar
  • 8 pints pearsauce
  • 7 8-oz jars zesty peach barbecue sauce

I feel accomplished, but I can’t say that I plan on doing this again anytime soon, nor do I necessarily recommend attempting a session like this. I was so tired and my kitchen a total mess at the end of it. AND, mind you, I still have that second box of pears sitting on the dining room table for more jam  – so I’m not even done!

All of the recipes came from this book:

BallCanningBookThe Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (currently $14.46 on Amazon) is a great resource and the canning recipes in them are tested & trusty! The only exception, the Pear Vanilla Jam recipe comes from Food in Jars, a canning blog I highly recommend. You can find some of the Ball recipes on FreshPreserving as well (if I was able to find a recipe there, I linked to it on my list above).

I know this post didn’t cover many tips or how-to’s, but no worries there – I’ve written similar posts in the past. You can also head to my canning category for more ideas.

Here are some related posts you might be interested in:

  • Learning how to Can Safely
  • Canning Strawberry Jam
  • Five Misconceptions I had about Canning
  • How to Can Pineapple
  • How I Canned my Garden Tomatoes
  • Saving on Canning Jars & Canning Supplies

Have you been doing any canning?

Disclosure: Canning is safe and easy, provided you follow the steps and recipes. Before canning for the first time, please read through The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, the Getting Started section at FreshPreserving, and/or take a class near you.

13 thoughts on “My Marathon Canning Weekend (41 Jars of Food on the Wall….)”

  1. You are a crazy canning lady. I have done multi batches of jams at a time but you really went all out. Your kitchen must have been exploded with sticky and juicy and you must have been a tad sore after all was said and done. One thing I decided I want in my kitchen is an anti-fatigue mat for standing while stirring and peeling and other canning and cleaning up steps. Sending u a couple ibuprofen and applause!

    • Wow, you pretty much described my kitchen to a “t.” Except you forgot the fruit flies!!!!!!!!!!! EWWW!

  2. Wow that a lot of hard work- way to go. I love canning. After I’m done I feel as if my pioneering ancestors are looking down on me with a big smile and a thumbs up. Plus I live in fruit country where I can gets cherries, pears, apples, and peaches (from my own tree) for free. I just need to put in the labor to pick and preserve. This weekend I canned pears, dried peaches and tomatoes, and froze apple/ pearsause.

  3. Hi Angela,
    Do you still want all the quart canning jars I have set aside for you (around 75)? They are left over from the time I canned over 100 quarts of applesauce…talk about crazy!!! I do have some smaller jars if you still need some. I tried to email you, but your email inbox appears to possibly be full. Just let me know-

    • Hi Diane! Sorry, I had issues with my computer over the weekend, which yes, involved email! I would LOVE LOVE the smaller ones and some of those quart ones, but man – that’s a lot! I know there were a few others interested on that other blog post too. Do you want me to see if they’d be interested in some of the additional quart size?

  4. Love your post. I’m new to canning this year and started small with just 10lbs of peaches. My family loved them so much I did another 10lbs two days later. Then my girlfriend and I got ahold of 6 cases of peaches! We needed up canning 26 quarts each, it’s so much nicer to can with a friend. I also tried some pickles, 6 quarts, from the cucumbers we had coming out of my eyeballs. Lol. And the last couple of day I’ve canned 11 quarts of tomatoes and 11 quarts of tomato sauce! At some point I expect to get “all canned out” but right now I’m just thinking of what else I can do! I was so intimidated for so long to learn how to can, and I’m proud to say I did it all on my own with the help from different books and blogs.

  5. When I was a girl my mom canned all summer in a hot, non-air conditioned Kansas home., and she stored them in a room under the stairs in our basement. She said she knew she was done when she had done 1000 jars. As a child that didn’t impress me muc
    h, but as an adult who has done her share of canning I can’t even imagine canning 1000 jars of anything!

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