Canning Supplies Shopping List

Growing up on the West Coast of Canada, we spent a lot of time fishing for salmon in the Summer and canned several cases of it a year.  My grandparents had cherry trees and I always enjoyed my grandmothers canned cherries.  Since moving to the Okanagan, we have been doing a lot of canning to take advantage of all the cheap (and free) fruit we have access to.

I was fortunate enough to be able to buy both an 11 and a 21 quart, seven jar, black enamel canner on sale for cheaper then the regular price on the larger sized canner.  Both canners came with a rack in them and I picked up one of those five piece home canning kits which has come in very handy.

Essential Canning Supplies:

  • Hot Water Canner and Canning Rack
  • Stove (or other heat source)
  • Canning Jars, Canning Jar Rings and Canning Lids
  • Canning (wider mouthed) Funnel
  • Magnetic Lid Lifter
  • Jar Lifter
  • Tongs
  • Canning Recipes!
Useful Supplies:
  • Tea Towels
  • Cutting board
  • Baking sheets
  • Pearing knives
  • Cooling Racks
Optional Canning Supplies:
  • Jar Wrench
  • Cherry pitter
  • Air Conditioning (certainly nice to have in Summer heat)
  • Sturdy Shelf (no sun exposure)

We have been fortunate enough to get a lot of jars given to us by family and have found boxes of them by our mailbox.  We also re-use a lot of jars that our food from the stores come in.  I have heard people say they have had nothing but problems (cracking jars) from using them but we have never had a problem.  My MIL has jars that are probably 20-30+ years old from store bought items and they work just fine.

My mom always made raspberry jam (sealed with wax) and strawberry jam (sealed with lids).  We have found in making apricot jam and sealing with wax, that our jars of apricot jam have gone moldy underneath the wax even a few short months after they have been processed. (anyone have any tips or suggestions on this?) Because of this, we have started sealing them with hot lids instead to ensure they don’t go moldy.

When it comes to canning and the lids need to seal the jars, do not re-use the lids!  The lids are only meant to be used once for sealing.  But you can re-use the lids in between the jars in the hot water canner (to reduce them bumping together in the boiling water) or on the tops of jams that are sealed with wax.

Have any tips or tricks for canning?  Leave a comment below!

Cherry and Apricot Canning

Growing up on Vancouver Island, I was used to canning salmon every Summer with my family.  This was back in the day of great fishing and being allowed to catch and keep up to 4 salmon and 3 cod a day.  Pre mid 1990’s, you could fill up the boat with four people and come back with 16 salmon within the hour which of course made up for the days you caught absolutely nothing.  We always had an abundance of salmon to last us through the non-Summer months including: smoked salmon, canned salmon, salmon steaks and of course, whole salmons.

My partner and I started canning fruit the Summer after we moved to the Okanagan.  My grandmother always canned cherries but growing up, my family did not do a lot of canning.  Every few years, my Mom would make raspberry jam, strawberry jam and zucchini relish.  When I was in college, Dad and I would make dill beans (which I really need to get the recipe for).

In the past three years, we have canned:  pears, apricots, cherries, peaches, tomatoes, green ketchup, red ketchup and peach salsa.  So far this Summer, we have canned closer to 50lbs of cherries and yesterday we picked closer to 75lbs of apricots – less then half of which was canned as of last night.  There is a good chance that we will go and pick more apricots next weekend and we are only two fruits into our canning season.

Last year, we took down closer to 80lbs of seconds (produce they can’t sell for premium price but is great for canning) for about $23.00 (there was another six boxes of tomatoes in the backseat of the car):

Trunk full of Peaches, Apricots and tomatoes.

Above are the peaches used in our first attempt at canning Peach Salsa.  Because we went through about a jar a month, we were almost out by the Solstice!  I am hoping we can at least double (if not do four times) the amount we did last Summer!

When my MIL cans apricots, she shells the kernels and places the almond like seeds into the jars to add flavour.  Last Summer, I tried one pre-canning and holy crap was it an awful, bitter taste!  Fresh from the kernel, they taste nothing like they do after they have been canned with the apricots.  In my Googling, I discovered that in central Asia and the Mediterranean, the Almonds are much sweeter then they are in North America.  I also came across this great article on Apricot Seeds Kill Cancer Cells without Side Effects:

Keep in mind that the cancer industry world wide is estimated at a 200 billion dollar a year industry. There are many in various associated positions within that industry who would be without a job if that cash flow dried up suddenly with the news that there are cheaper, less harmful, and more efficacious remedies available. Big Pharmacy would virtually vanish.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/027088_cancer_laetrile_cure.html#ixzz23LpOndsk

Doing what I do these days, I was very happy to read the health benefits to those tiny little seeds we can with our Apricots.

Do you do any canning?  Got any favourite recipes you want to share?