Canning at home isn't just for your grandmother anymore! It's a great activity to do with friends or even the kids and makes a perfect gift for all the holidays coming up. Most people think it's a hard hobby to take on, but we're here to debunk that myth. Canning is actually very easy and doesn't have to take up an entire weekend. We've provided some tips for planning a canning party and also recipes to try your first time out.
What you'll need ahead of time:
- Sterile canning jars with lids
- Slow cooker
- Large cooking and prep area
Home canning recipes:
Apple Butter - A favorite fall canning recipe, apple butter can be spread on just about anything.
- 5 1/2 pounds apples - peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 4 cups white sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. salt
In a medium bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt and place everything in the slow cooker and mix well. Cover and cook on high for about an hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown. Uncover and continue cooking on low 1 hour. Stir with whisk to smooth out. Pour into canning jars, cover and refridgerate or freeze.
Pear Honey - Tastes just like honey but made from fall pears. Yum!
- 8 cups of peeled, cored and cubed pears
- 1 cup unsweetened pineapple or apple juice
- 8 cups white sugar
Place pears into slow cooker and add juice to prevent burning. Stir in sugar, and cook on high for an hour. Stir often. After a full hour, reduce heat to medium and cook another 2 hours until the mixture is thick and syrupy. Pour into hot sterile jars, filling almost to the top. Seal and place in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Peach Jam - Great in summer or the fall, this jam can be frozen and is yummy in the dead of winter on a warm scone.
- 7 cups white sugar
- 4 cups peeled, cored, ripe peaches (finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 oz. liquid fruit pectin
In the slow cooker, combine sugar, peaches and lemon juice. Cook on high for 30 minutes and then reduce heat to medium for another 30 minutes. Stir in pectin and remove from heat. Spoon off any foam. Spoon into hot canning jars and seal. Set in boiling water for 10 minutes and then cool on wire rack.
Throwing a Canning Party: Use Punchbowl to send a fun, festive invitation for your canning party. Let guests know what kind of canning you'll be doing and if they need to bring any ingredients or supplies. Be sure to also let guests know how long the party will last. Depending on what you make, you may need several hours to get everything going.
On the day of the party, have all supplies set up and ready when guests arrive. Divide each task into a separate station (have a cutting station, a mixing station, a stirring station, etc.). Explain the process and what needs to happen in each station. Then, let everyone begin their part. Play music in the background and set out several appetizers and drinks so everyone can mingle in between tasks.
At the end of the party, let each guest bring home a jar or two of the creation!