My mother and I are learning to can our fresh produce. We’ve had two canning sessions so far–the first time we canned salsa and yesterday we canned pickles, pickled carrots and grapes. Yesterday was quite the learning experience. ; )

Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

1.) The FIRST thing we need to do is to put our water bath on to boil – it takes a long time for that big pot to get hot enough!!

2.) That REALLY BIG POT can only get so hot without the lid on. Put the lid on – that thing will BOIL.

3.) My mom’s new stove makes the kitchen REALLY HOT. But it works well. =)

4.) Overestimate the amount of time we think it will take, it probably will take longer – at least until we get more comfortable with it.

5.) Even though the directions say to pack the jars loosely, judging by the amount of empty space after our jars were processed.. I don’t think they meant *that* loosely.

6.) Even when you think you’ve packed a jar full but not too tightly, you’ll be surprised at how much it all shifts and floats the to the top and how much empty space is left afterward.

7.) Don’t splash the boiling water on your leg. (Ask my mom.)

8.) We need to add vinegar to our water bath next time, we’ve been told that will reduce the hard water residue on the jars.

9.) Read the directions beforehand. “Oh, this recipe says to let the cucumbers marinate in the seasoning overnight. Guess we won’t be using THAT one.”

10.) We need to brush up on our units of measure – how many cups in a pint? Oh yeah. Two.

Our final count from yesterday: 1 quart pickled baby carrots, 7 quarts + 8.5 pints of pickles in various cuts & seasonings, 4.25 pints of grapes. The numbers are a little funny because I accidentally bought some jars that hold a cup and a half… don’t think I’ll be doing THAT again… Make that the 11th thing we learned. 😉

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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!