Learn to Can (BBB)


I didn’t grow up around home canning. I viewed the entire process as somewhat mysterious up until a few years ago when I moved to the country. I never even thought about canning when I lived in the suburbs-–even though I kept a vegetable garden. I didn’t know how to can and I was slightly afraid of it, to be honest. But I like to try new things and I was eager to learn when Yoda presented herself. Georgia taught me to can during the two and a half years I lived in the old farmhouse. She had a cellarful of tomatoes, relishes, jams, jellies, butters, green beans, and more. She kept all her canning in the old cellar in the farmhouse and I enjoyed “shopping” there the first (excruciatingly cold) winter I lived there. By spring, I was helping her plant her garden and by summer she was teaching me how to make jams and butters and put up green beans and tomatoes. She also made me hoe, but let’s not go there. The hours I spent learning to can with Georgia will always be some of my best memories of living in the old farmhouse.

If you haven’t started canning yet, what’s stopping you? Are you scared? We’ll hold your hand! Here are some of the canning resources available on this site for tutorials, questions and discussions, and recipes:

How to Can: Boiling Water Bath Method
How to Can: Pressure Method
The Canning Pot on the CITR forum
The Preserving Section on Farm Bell Recipes


Ball Blue BookIt’s a Ball Blue Book Project day! Today’s Ball Blue Book is sponsored by Alton Wright in honor of his mother and grandmother, the canning queens. Visit Alton at Life at Shadow Woods.

For a chance to win: Leave a comment on this post and let me know you want it. You can just put (BBB) at the end of your comment or otherwise note that you want to be in the draw. One winner will be drawn by random comment number to receive a Ball Blue Book. Eligible entry cut-off is midnight Eastern (U.S.) time tonight (January 11). This post will be updated with the winner by 9 a.m. Eastern (U.S.) time tomorrow (January 12). Return to this post to claim your book if your name is drawn (or check the BBB Winners List).

Find out more about the Ball Blue Book Project and become a sponsor.

UPDATE 01/12/11: The winning comment number, drawn by random.org, is #111, Grammie Earth. Email me at CITRgiveaways(at)yahoo.com with your full name and address for shipping!



  1. Mim says:

    had to stay up late to see the baby goat video….enter me for the book

  2. Lindsay says:

    Second me for the baby goat video (ew and awww at the same time!). I love canning now but it did scare me at first. After my first batch though, I was hooked. I wish we could have a cellar to put our canned goods in! BBB

  3. Patty says:

    I’d be lumped in with the ones who’re scared. I actually grew up with canning, but I was too busy being a tom boy, and I didn’t want anything to do with kitchen work, but now I would love to go back to those days and listen and watch and learn all I could. Now, at 40 years old, it’s time to figure it out myself. Even going to start a little raised garden this year. Anyway, I’d love the BBB book 🙂

  4. cricketjett says:

    BBB, please!!

  5. Richelle says:

    Yes, BBB please!!

  6. Kathy in FL says:

    BBB, please!

  7. Renee says:

    Cute baby goat! Here’s to another year of adorable farm babies! BBB, pls.

  8. NorthCountryGirl says:

    Please enter me in the Ball Blue Book drawing. Thank you! BBB

  9. ChicagoGal4Ever says:

    Count me in!BBB

  10. Barbara at AtLast says:

    Please enter me for the BBB, please.

  11. Kathryn says:

    I would love to can, but I don’t have a yard at the moment. I have been getting the various items needed for it, except for a garden from which to to get the produce and a BBB. So please enter me to win this lovely book. Thank you Suzanne and thank you Alton Wright.

    P.S. Congratulations to Nutmeg. Does this not make you a goat great-grandmother?

  12. Jana NC says:

    I would love to win the BBB!

  13. justdeborah2002 says:

    as some of you might have seen on the forum, I’ve just ventured forth into the world of canning, and would love this…BBB

  14. Dina says:

    Hubby and I have begun our quest towards more sustainable living. I am working on my home goods stockpile. We are currently perusing heirloom seed catalogs and have made arrangements to “lease” a parcel of land from our neighbor to grow our vegetables. He agreed to allow this for payment in the form of vegetables as his wife is a vegetarian. BBB me baby!

  15. Gem says:

    I’m SCARED too! So, please pick me for the BBB! (Thank you)

  16. Karen Green says:

    BBB Please! :snoopy:

  17. jim brannon says:

    gonna have to get it anyway hoping to win it BBB

  18. Amanda says:

    Please enter me for the BBB.

  19. Deana says:

    wanting to learn this year!! BBB :shimmy:

  20. Hamp Girl says:

    I’ve always helped my mother can, but never really learned how to do it. BBB

  21. Teri says:

    would love to win a BBB

  22. Connie says:

    I’d love to learn how to can but I’m terrified of it. The whole process scares the bejeebies out of me…LOL Please enter me in the draw. BBB

  23. Pam says:

    Maybe the BBB Gods will shine down on me today! I want that BBB, please!

  24. Amy I. says:

    Love to can! Start today if you haven’t tried it yet….just jump in with both feet! BBB please.

  25. Zusiqu says:

    BBB please? I am canning more and more and loving it.

  26. Mafong says:

    I grew up helping my mother can. I still really enjoy “putting things up” for the winter. Please enter me in the drawing for BBB.

  27. Patricialynn says:

    BBB! Still planning to garden this spring and can the produce.

  28. windspiritwhimsies says:

    I would love to learn! Please enter me for BBB-thanks! :happyflower:

  29. Linda Goble says:

    I grew up watching my mother and helping out in the garden. All of us kids were assign row to weed. And my mother loved my grandfathers carrots to can. some how he grew carrots that were so large around an long. Didn’t take much to fill a jar. Love those memories. please put me in for the drawing :snoopy:

  30. Denise says:

    Please enter me for the BBB. :wave:

  31. langela says:

    Enter me please! I love canning and would love to learn more.

  32. Marjorie Wolson says:

    I love canning and want to do more. I gave almost all of my jams and preserves away as holiday gifts. Tons of salsa and pickles, too. Please enter me to win a BBBook! 🙂

  33. annabel52 says:

    I enjoy canning. I have done some in past years and really need to do more. I need to know if I did it right. I need BBB.

  34. Maria says:

    I use the water bath method, but I will be gettin a pressure canner this year!!! YEAH! BBB

  35. Teresa in GA says:

    My mom did all the canning when I was a girl, but I never learned how. Never was still long enough for her to teach me. I have my garden plot ready and have ordered my seed catalogs. You are such an inspiration to us all.
    Please, enter my in the BBB!

  36. BethAnn says:

    Would love to have the BBB!! Congrats on your new baby!

  37. susan says:

    Please enter me in the Ball Blue Book drawing. Thanks!

  38. Kathleen says:

    I’ve got the pressure canner and the jars and lids, but I am paralyzed with fear! Please pick me for the BBB, and come and hold my hand, too? 🙂

  39. Shelly Messier says:

    BBB. I want to can! It makes great gifts too. :pinkbunny:

  40. Brigitte says:

    I would love to learn to can! BBB

  41. andrea pierce says:

    Count me in! I have the jars, I have the pot, and I have….a ceramic top stove. Which I hear I’m not supposed to can on. But I’m thinking I would probably be okay if I was water bathing and only doing a couple jars at a time. I really want to make something delicious out of my raspberries this year!

  42. beverly says:

    Please enter me in the BBB drawing.

  43. Mary Hall says:

    Hi Sue, Mary here, I would like to say thank you to my friend Linda for showing my how to can…Now I am a canning addict!!! :hungry:

  44. Mary Hall says:

    Sorry, please enter me in the BBB contest :shocked:

  45. Anke says:

    Please enter my name into the BBB drawing,

  46. Kathleen H in Indiana says:

    Enter me in the BBB!

  47. Bonnie says:

    Maybe this is my year – BBB, please!

  48. Krista says:

    BBB please!!! Also nutmegs baby is really cute.

  49. prayingpup says:

    Looking out at the snow makes me really wish for canning weather! BBB please!

  50. LeAnn says:

    BBB please :woof:

  51. rachel says:

    :wave: BBB Please!

  52. Kelly Gregory says:

    :sheep: I would love to learn to can! Please let it be my number! BBB Thanks!

  53. Sherri says:

    I’ve been looking for this book for a couple months now. Everyone is out of stock! BBB please.

  54. Debra says:

    I would love to learn how to can ~ and yes, I’m afraid of the whole process. I need my own “Georgia” to come live with me on Long Island! BBB me please.

  55. Deb says:

    I love canning, I grew up with it and never thought I would like doing it myself because using Mom’s old pressure canner was scary to me. She always stressed how we had to keep an eye on the gage, and make sure it didn’t get to high. I purchased a canner several years ago, but sure wasn’t looking forward to using it, because of having to watch it so closely along with worries about it getting away from me and exploding.

    The thing is, I got one of those that doesn’t take a gasket, it has things that screw the lid on. It’s also got a weight that you put on the vent, depending on how many pounds pressure you want, depends on what side of the weight you put down. I didn’t realize that the kind I got would be SO much nicer to use than the old kind my Mom had! I don’t have to sit in front of it watching it, I just have to listen to the sound, and turn it up or down, depending on how it sounds. It’s so much easier to use, and safer that I now LOVE to can! 🙂

    I’m the winner of the last book, and have to thank you again for it, it’s got some interesting looking recipes in it. I’m really looking forward to next canning season!!! 🙂

  56. Lee in KY says:

    I would truly enjoy this book (BBB). Thanks for the chance to win it.

  57. lavenderblue says:

    I used to can at home with water-bath. My mom had peach and plum trees that always yielded some fruit, so I would do jams and jellies. I was the only one in my family that was interested in it though, my mom and grandma felt the had done their time. My sister, at the time was career girl and thought I was just plain silly. “Buy it in the store, it’s easier.”

    Now, I live in town with no garden and have to buy anything I want to can but my sister and her husband have an acre or more of land and a huge garden. They can everything they can get their hands on. He even makes a canned fresh tomato soup that his grandchildren beg for when they come to visit. He gave me a can of it that I am hoarding.

    I still do some water-bath canning occasionally but got so excited about all of the canned goods recipes around here that I went out and bought a pressure canner but now I’m afraid to use it. My sister and her husband live too far away for me to go there for lessons everyday. I would love a BBB to guide me through.

  58. Judy D says:

    I have been canning my whole life…first helping Mom and Gramma and then being Mom and knowing that it what you were supposed to be doing. Now DD2 is carrying on the tradition. I would love to win the BBB for her. Thanks for the opportunity.

  59. Rhonda says:

    Would love a BBB 🙂

  60. kindigo27 says:

    I am among the uninitiated wrt canning. I would like a one!!! Thanks.

  61. Miss Becky says:

    I’ve been canning for years and years, but not as much these past few years. I don’t like buying fruits and vegetables to can, I’d rather grow my own, as it’s much cheaper. I no longer have my farm, so my gardens are small in comparison to when I canned all my own food. I love looking at the jars of pickles and tomatoes all lined in a row on the shelves in the basement. My favorite thing to can? Pickles. Love making pickles. And when I lived on a farm I had wild cherries and blackberries for making lots of jams. The country life is the best. Thank you Alton, for sponsoring this Blue Book giveaway in honor of your mother and grandmother. that’s very sweet. BBB!

  62. Gerry says:

    Yes I can, my mother taught me when I was very young. BBB for me please?

  63. brookdale says:

    Thank you, Alton, for sponsoring the BBB. Would love to win it!
    I tried canning string beans once many years ago but they didn’t seal. Never have done it again but you CITR folks have inspired me!

  64. Patchkat ~ Susan in TX says:

    Canning was something my GGMothers did…Grandmother and Mom seemed to have missed the canning genes! I didn’t start canning until my kids were nearly grown. Now there are only 2 of us, but I still can what we grow. I dehydrate and freeze some foods. I would love *LOVE* to have an updated copy of the BBB.

  65. Amy says:

    BBB please!! Want to do more canning this year:-))

  66. kathy McCallister says:

    I wanna learn to can…so enter me in the BBB pleeze? :snoopy:

    Loved the video on the bith of the new baby goat! And guess what!!! I found the cookbook you were talking about in your blog… I love heirloom cookbooks… tableclothes..hankies…and all.

  67. Terri Draeger says:

    Please enter me for the BBB draw! Greatly enjoy your adventures!

  68. Kelly A says:

    I just got a can boiler, now I want a pressure canner and then I’ll start…………unless I make some jellies. the last thing I canned was corn cob jelly.

  69. Ashlee M says:

    I’ve always been kind of scared of canning…but you’re tutorials have given me some confidence! I’m really excited to try it out this coming summer! BBB Please =)

  70. Kelly A says:

    BBB too duh lol

  71. ladychef says:

    BBB!! Thanks to Suzanne and Alton Wright. What a nice way to pay tribute to your mother and grandmother.

  72. John says:

    Please enter me :wave:

  73. Kathryn T says:

    I’d love to give canning a try. BBB please!

  74. Russel Madere says:

    Canning never scared me. Too bad Hurricane Katrina took my pressure canning attempt and the canner. I’m still using the boiling water bath for what I do safely can.

    Please enter me.

  75. Linda Segerson says:

    I love canning, learned it from my mother-in-law years ago. I would love to win the book. :sun:

  76. Jeanne says:

    Love your blog! And congrats on the newest member of the goat family! : )
    Please include me in the BBB drawing, thanks!

  77. BethieofVA says:

    I have made jams and jellies for the holidays as my first canning experience. I am hooked. I don’t own anything special other than a large stockpot!! I do however love my canning funnel!!! BBB!!!

  78. Rosemeri says:

    I would like to be entered in BBB please. Thanks

  79. Shelly says:

    Yes Please! I need to get over my fear of pressure canning.

  80. Victoria N says:

    Got my seed catalogs on the way and I can’t wait to let my fingers do the shopping. This year will be my first endeavor into the canning world, but I used to watch my grandmother do it for many years. Please enter me to get the book :)BBB

  81. Amber says:

    I’d love to learn to can! BBB

  82. T M says:

    Yes Canning is much better for you no unwanted or unknown additives.I’ve been canning for 35 years

  83. marymac says:

    i’m due for a new canning book! BBB

  84. Diane says:

    I would love to learn canning, BBB

  85. Nadeanne says:

    I would love that book!!

    P.S. Your blog is one of my favorites…cant get enough! 🙂

  86. CrystalGB says:

    There is nothing better than home canned fruits/veggies. I definitley want the BBB.

  87. Ramona says:

    I have canned and enjoy using what I’ve made.

  88. Diane says:

    oooh, I would love to have the BBB!! Canning is fun!

  89. Kathy Chaney says:

    I came upon your postings while looking for a recipe for bread dough enhancer. What a great place to visit and I love getting notes on FB from you. I have canned in the past and would enjoy having a copy of BBB. Thanks!

  90. 0rlasha says:

    Count me in, one day I’m gonna win.

  91. sal says:

    I’m one of those scaredy-cats when it comes to canning. I’ve used a pressure cooker before but even that was a challenge! So I’m mentally ~pulling~ the BBB toward me. Sal

  92. brianna says:

    i can but i have never been able to afford the ball blue book, please sign me up! bbb

  93. Kelly says:

    Please enter me in the drawing! Thanks!

  94. Paws_Bakery says:

    I taught myself to can and I love it so much that I’m still doing it all these years later.
    Hugs Cheryl

  95. Tricia in TEXAS! says:

    BBB for ME! I have to win one eventually, don’t I!?!?!

  96. Lisa says:

    Ball is having a contest on their Facebook page — post a photo of something you’ve canned and they are giving away 10 stainless steel canners.


  97. cin13 says:

    BBB, please :smilerabbit:

  98. Karen W. says:

    am planning to can up black beans today, please enter me for the BBB too, and congrats on the new baby!

  99. Chris says:

    Count me in – I love to can but only do the hot water canning – not keen of the pressure cooker – now I am finding a lot of recipes I want to do that means doing the pressure cooker!! So maybe getting the book will give me the initial boost to do it!! Love the animals photos !!! Congrats on the new baby!

  100. Grammie Earth says:

    BBB please!

  101. Sharon Palmer says:

    I would love to receive this book. I am teaching myself how to can and dehydrate food. Have a lot more to learn but I am having a great time learning. I am trying to teach my children (all grown) to can their own food. So far 2 out of the 4 are learning.

  102. Carol Radtke says:

    Oh, I’d love a copy of BBB. I’m totally self taught in canning and it’s so much fun. Please enter me in the drawing.

  103. ticka1 says:

    Please enter me in the BBB please.

    I helped my mom can when I was a kid – now I want to do it myself.

  104. Naomi says:

    :snoopy: I WANT TO LEARN TO CAN :snoopy: PUT ME IN THE DRAWING :snoopy:

  105. Melissa (N4M) says:

    count me in

  106. CindyS says:

    Please enter my name in the BBB contest, too! :yes:

  107. Patty says:

    I love to can and my canner has seen better days. I have even worn out my previous canner. Please enter me in the BBB.

  108. Melanie says:

    Me! Me me me me!! 🙂 BBB

  109. Penny says:

    I want to get started with canning. I didn’t grow up doing it, though I have made grape jelly. Something about the whole thing terrifies me that I’ll kill us all with botulism. I’d love learn get the latest addition of BBB.

  110. Marion says:

    I bought the seeds for the garden, dug everything up and added the horses contribution. I better learn what to do with the resulting produce, don’t you think?

  111. Glenie says:

    I love having home canned goods at my finger tips all winter long. BBB

  112. KaraLeigh says:

    I’d love to BBB! Maybe today is my day! ::crossing fingers::

  113. lilac wolf says:

    I’m so not going to win but…BBB. I want to learn how to can, but am slightly scared of learning on my own – and I have no one to teach me.

  114. Nikki says:

    My Mother-in-law show me how to make sour cherry jam! From there I’ve been teaching myself and my son!! :moo:

    BBB please!!

  115. Ruth C says:

    I think I’m a bit scared of it too, but I want to try. BBB, please!

  116. Wanda says:

    M BBB is very old & bedraggled–I’d love to win a new one.

  117. Jackie Georgiou says:

    Thanks for the post. BBB entry please!

  118. Megan says:

    Please enter me, I’d love the book. 🙂

  119. Debbie says:

    I’d love to win the BBB!

  120. Amanda,momof 3nOK says:

    Please enter me in the BBB giveaway!

  121. Tonya says:

    I used to help my Grandma get stuff ready to can and did a bit of it myself but it’s been years. I’m thinking about revisiting canning this summer. There never seems to be enough freezer space….

  122. melody says:

    I would love to win bbb. I can use all the help canning I can get..

  123. Lacey says:

    BBB, please. I’m gonna win- it’s my birthday so today’s my day.

  124. Christina S. says:

    I just canned my first things this year. Didn’t turn out real great, but I’m happy for the experience.
    I’d love the BBB – might help me improve my products! 😀

  125. Sheila says:

    I’d like to be entered into the drawing please 🙂 , btw I loved the goat video , the baby is so cute :).

  126. Jenny Sterling says:

    Would love to learn to can, BBB please!

  127. Laurie says:

    Hope it’s me…BBB!

  128. Carol H says:

    😆 BBB Please!!! Thanks!

  129. Jaynie says:

    Dear Suzanne….Yes, put me down to win the Blue Ball Book of Canning…my grandmother used to have cans of stuff underneath her house in the cellar back in Illinois in the 60’s…but by the time she died (Grandmother Cohn RIP) in the early 70’s, when my parent’s bought the house, they were still there since the 60’s…of course, I knew not to eat those things…in fact….they should have been disposed of….but…it was always a reminder to me of my grandmother’s golden days of canning three greenbeans salad and tomatoes…and I always wanted to learn how…but, was afraid to ask…and now…my heart is aching that I don’t know how to make my own canned goods…ps….Love the Nutmeg Story.

  130. Martha in KS says:

    I’d love the BBB. I baked a coffeecake with homemade cherry preserves for Xmas. Want to learn how to make pickles.

  131. Janice Jewett says:

    I read chickens in the road every evening to relax. Having a drawing makes it even better. Please enter me for BBB.

  132. rivergirl says:

    I would love to learn how to can.. I should have paid attention when my dad & nanny canned 😕

  133. LisaAJB says:

    This year I canned bwb tomatoes for the first time. Just large chunks of tomato in a touch of salt and lemon juice. They’re great for chili or tomato soup or pasta sauce… because not much has been done to them. I’m thinking I need to learn how to can more this fall. I was scared before, but it wasn’t so bad. (BBB)

  134. Rachel says:

    I’d love to learn to can!! BBB please!

  135. Vicki in So. CA says:

    I’d like to gift my daughter this book. BBB please.

  136. hawkswench says:

    Enter me into the BBB drawing please. I watched the birthing video but it was too gross for hubby lol.

  137. S.C. Pratt says:

    THANKX FOR THE CHANCE! I like to be in the drawing.

  138. Laura Pintor says:

    Please put me in for the BBB. Thanks, and have a great day, Maggie

  139. Brenda E says:

    Sure I’ll sign on for a BBB.

  140. Deb Klenke says:

    I would love to have a BBB. I remember my grandparent’s basement and the shelves with all the homemade canned goods. I hope to be able to start canning, this year.

  141. kerri says:

    I learned how to can here on the farm. Home canned tomatoes taste so much better than store bought. And peaches – yum!
    I’d love to wind the BBB. Thanks!

  142. Melanie says:

    BBB please! :wave:

  143. Shar says:

    Thank you to the sponsor for today’s BBB! I’d love to be in the drawing!


  144. Clarissa says:

    Thank you Alton Wright for contributing this book. I would like to learn how to can, too. So I could really use a BBB 🙂

  145. Lana says:

    Thank you, Alton Wright, and thank you CITR! Please enter me to win this BBB!

  146. farmershae says:

    I’m not afraid, BBB me please!

  147. Suzanne McMinn says:

    This giveaway is closed to entry. The winner is #111, Grammie Earth.

  148. Grammie Earth says:

    Yay!! It must be my lucky day! Thankyou so much Suzanne and Alton.

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