Read With Us: My July Pick

August 2, 2010

To be honest, I really didn’t get to have a lot of reading time in July. If you’ve been following the Coupon Geek Facebook Page at all, you know why. I’ve spent a good portion of the month decluttering our house. I’m not talking simple de-cluttering but all out “everything will have a place” de-cluttering. I’ll share more on this with you all in another series but I did want to mention my book pick for the month, even though I haven’t finished it in its entirety.

One of my goals for this year was to learn the canning/preserving process. When I go to the farmer’s markets and farm stands, I’m always drawn to those little Ball jars full of good foods. So I told myself that before the summer’s over, I’ll figure out how to do this, if even just one or two items. You have to start somewhere, right?  In the end, I’m hoping to make up some salsa, tomato recipes and jams. We’ll see how it goes.


Thanks to several of my Facebook Friends, I’ve was steered towards the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving and Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

The Ball Blue Book actually comes in the Ball Home Canning Kit if you needed one of them and can find a good deal on it. (It went as low as $39 on Walmart.com but sold out so fast!)

But overall, I wanted to make this my monthly book pick in hopes that it might encourage others to check it out at the library and possibly venture into the world of canning/preserving, too. I have a feeling that once I put the investment into the supplies I need, that it will save me money over the years. (and definitely get us some yummy foods on the table!) Stay tuned for the upcoming giveaway for this book!

I’d love to hear what things you’ve had good luck canning/preserving.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Missy August 2, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I grew up on a large farm with two huge gardens and spent a good part of my summer helping mom can and freeze yummy goodies. Back then, green beans were one of the favs but store bought green beans have come a long way in the last few years, so we don’t bother doing it anymore. The other fav (still is today) is homemade ketchup! It’s a long two day process, and it ends up having more of a barbecue sauce texture, but it’s SO good! I can’t eat meatloaf without it lol

We canned beans, whole tomatoes, tomato juice, tomato sauce, venison, jelly, and froze corn, apples, tomatoes, peas….the list goes on and on. My aunts also can spaghetti sauce and salsa. We also made dozens of apple and cherry pies and froze them uncooked. We had the best apple trees and a neighbor had cherry trees.

I was in elementary school before I ever ate canned veggies at school lunch.

My dad, in his retirement, cans all kinds of jelly! Apple, grape, raspberry, apple butter and peach. Considering he never cooked a single thing until he was in his 60′s, it’s a big family joke now lol

Good luck, it’s really not at all difficult once you do it the first time. Even with all that hard work as a kid, I still miss those garden goodies. You will really appreciate it in the winter!!

2 Marilyn Dean August 2, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Jaycee,
Try the Mrs. Wages Salso mix. You can either can it or freeze it. Add hot sauce to make it hotter. It is delicious!

3 coupongeek August 2, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Missy,

Thank you so much for sharing your memories with me! When I hear things like this, it encourages me all the more to learn how to do this and pass it on down to my kids.

With the way my kids eat ketchup, I might have to try that one, too! :)

Jaycie

4 coupongeek August 2, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Thanks, Marilyn! I will keep my eyes open for it! Salsa is one of my favorite things!

Jaycie

5 Jessica G August 3, 2010 at 3:35 pm

hi there,

This is my first time canning. I have a TON of tomatoes about to turn and I would really like to make salsa and stewed tomatoes. Wondering what I need to get started..I hear all these things..such as a pressure cooker..do I need this? Also would just a big pot do? I was hoping not to buy a ton of stuff to get started.

Thanks
Jessica

6 coupongeek August 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Jessica,

See if your library has the Ball Blue Book available to be checked out. It’s a really good source. I think you can use a boiling water canner because of the acidity levels of the tomatoes I’m not sure how it all works as I’m new to this myself. I’d hate to tell you wrong so definitely see if you can flip through the book. It tells everything you’ll need and how to do it.

I just picked up a boiling water canner at Wal-Mart which came with all the tools and book. Since I got a good deal on it, it’s where I’m starting.

Jaycie

7 Andrea August 4, 2010 at 8:46 am

Last yaer was my first year canning and it was all trial and error! I made a dozen quarts of appleasauce a dozen pints of freezer jam, and my kids proclaimed that it was the best applesauce ever and they refuse to eat any other kind (I don’t mind, since it is literally just apples…no added sugar and the texture is much different)

This year I decided to go “all out” and have canned green beans, pickles, pickled green beans (which my husband doubted, and now is his new favorite food), peaches (didn’t turn out so well…it was a bit early), blueberry-peach jam, strawberry jam, and will be adding appleasauce, tomatoes (hopefully theres some readers who are going to share their recipes!), and pears.

I ave found that canning is so addictive…I LOVE that I know exactly what is in my families food, and where it came from.

Andrea

8 coupongeek August 4, 2010 at 8:59 am

I am becoming an addict for knowing where my foods come from, too. I’m guessing canning will be my next addiction. :) Thanks for sharing, Andrea!

Jaycie

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