Every year right around this time I start to get really excited. Just the other day we had our first 80 degree day (nevermind that it dropped back down into the 30’s last week). The kids get excited, they start asking if they can wear short sleeves (Crazy!), mom gets happier, and we all head outside. There is just something to be said about those first 60 degree days of spring. Instantaneously the mood is lifted.
One of the main things that I get excited about this time of year is canning. I get it, weird. *Please remember, this is why I titled my blog The Vintage Mom (because I get excited about stuff like canning). The winter season comes to a close, my mason jars stored in my pantry for the last year become clear, the places where tomatoes were stored in the freezer become pockets of cold air again, and I can just start to smell the green again. The start of canning season has officially begun.
Last year a wrote a post on making sure you have all of your canning needs ready before you actually need them, so I started to go back through that list again.
Here are the top things that you want to make sure you have:
- A Waterbath Canner (the one I use is HERE – and is super cheap for all the use it gets you:)
- Mason Jars – I am stocked up on Ball Jars. I make sure I have ALL different sizes from 4 oz. jars for my jalapeno jelly to quart jars for my applesauce.
- Lids – You can reuse the jars and rings from year to year but the lids need to be replaced every time you can (there is wax that helps seal the jar and after one use, it is compromised). The good thing is that it is one size fits all (mostly) so stock up on a sale.:)
- Pectin – I use this for my jams and try to get it ahead of time because I ALWAYS forget when I am about to make some jam.
- Pickling Salt – This is another one I like to have right in my cabinet.
- Vinegar – If you are planning to can pickles, you can never have enough!
I suggest making a list of all the things that you would like to can this year and writing down ingredients so that you can keep your eyes out for them in the coming month. My rule of thumb is to try one new thing to can each year.
For me, last year’s new try was pickles. YUM! I made these delicious refrigerator pickles and then canned some too. They were a favorite for the summer!
This year, you’ll catch me canning some apricot jam. C has developed this love of all things apricot and our favorite spot, Weaver’s Orchard has pick your own so we’ll be traveling back to do that this year grabbing enough apricots to make some jam!
It’s also a good thing to know when the estimated seasons are for the things you want to preserve. Check out your local pick your own and farm websites for that info. And if you haven’t discovered any of these places yet, check out LocalHarvest.org for information!
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