The Ball Blue Book Project


Ball Blue BookI can’t stand to give away just one Ball Blue Book. Since the first day of the contest, I have been dreading the drawing because I want to give one to EVERYONE. I’ve never held a contest for anything before that has generated so much enthusiasm.

I love canning. It’s self-sustaining, wholesome, practical, and just plain fun. I learned to can at the feet of Georgia a few years ago when I lived in the slanted little house after I moved to the country. As this site grew into Chickens in the Road, I’ve enjoyed sharing my newfound love of canning with readers. I especially love to see new canners. To can is more than just to put away a jar of food. It’s a connection to the past and a hope for the future. It bring families and friends together, creates new memories and brings out old ones, and is one of the easiest ways anyone, living anywhere, can practice self-sustainable, green, and simple living. Canning changes perspectives and changes lives.

As I thought about this drawing over the past few days, and how much I didn’t want to give away just one book, I was struck by an idea that quickly turned into the Ball Blue Book Project. (I set up a page here with much the same information as in this post, as a permanent resource for information on the project, with a link in my sidebar.)

The idea behind the Ball Blue Book Project is to get more canning guides into more hands to promote healthy, safe canning–and the good food and fun that goes with it. I want to give away a Ball Blue Book every week. I can’t do this alone, though. In an “if you build it, they will come” moment, before I could even go live with this project, I had the first three weeks’ worth of sponsors lined up. I will be giving away a Ball Blue Book once a week, in one-day-only-entry posts (to spare you entering three days in a row!). These will be random giveaways, every week. I will continue to post my regular daily posts–look for the Ball Blue Book Project giveaway as an addendum at the bottom of one of my regular posts on randomly chosen days each week.

If you are interested in sponsorship: For $10, sponsor a 100th anniversary edition of the Ball Blue Book, the classic American guide to preserving food. Click here to email me for information on sponsorship and to give me your information and links. Promote a website, blog, book, product, or service! Your information and links will be posted in the Ball Blue Book post you sponsor. Sponsors (and their links) will also be listed permanently on the honor roll here. Ordering and shipping books to winners will be handled by me, no work for you! The $10 sponsorship fee covers the cost of the book and shipping. No profit will be collected by me for the Ball Blue Book Project giveaways.

*If you don’t have anything to promote but just want to encourage safe, healthy canning, you can still sponsor a Ball Blue Book. (You can even sponsor anonymously if you choose.)

Any week in which there is no sponsor, I will provide the book myself.

Instructions available on this site:
How to Can: Hot Water Bath Method
How to Can: Pressure Method
Pictured: Apples, raisins, and dried cherries in syrup.

Also read: The Joy of Canning.

And see: All my home-canning recipes and ideas.

You can also talk about canning with other canning enthusiasts and ask your canning questions in the canning section of the Chickens in the Road forums.

And now for the winner (of only the FIRST!) 100th anniversary edition of the Ball Blue Book of Preserving! “Jackie in FL” who is comment #79 on the Winter Comes Calling post. (This was scientifically calculated by asking Morgan to choose a number out of the total number of comments for each of the three posts then calling my cousin Aaron and asking him to choose one from the three numbers. Neither Aaron nor Morgan looked at the comments. They just chose numbers.) Email me to send me your full name and address for shipping!

There will be more Ball Blue Books. Watch for the random one-day-only Ball Blue Book Project giveaway sometime this week! And the week after that, and the week after that, and the week after that….

I want you ALL to have a Ball Blue Book!

P.S. I want to also note here the amazing results of giving. This all started with the wonderfully sweet reader who offered ten Chickens in the Road 2010 calendars. Her gift inspired me–and inspired other readers–in a domino effect, a chain of giving that will go on and on, not only in the Ball Blue Book itself but in all the food and sharing and love that comes along with canning. Many of you someday somewhere will give someone a lovely jar of something you put up from your garden from a recipe in the Ball Blue Book, or make memories as you teach your child to can, or share memories and strengthen bonds with a grandmother who used to can, and it will all go back to that first lovely reader who thought to give and offered me the opportunity to be the conduit for her gift. I’m thrilled to be part of something so generous during this holiday season, and beyond. Thank you all! The best readers anywhere are right here.


  1. JoLinda Flemister says:

    I can’t wait to get my stuff from storage when we leave here and be able to can my own stuff. I am able to freeze so that Cranberry Sauce is in there.

  2. Berta says:

    Up to 20773! We can get this done and make it happen for Suzanne and all the new readers she will bring skills and smiles to.
    Apple, raisin, walnut muffins just out of the oven. Wish you could smell them. I’m going to eat two and go BACK to bed.

  3. Angie says:

    What a great idea to promote the art canning! I would very much be interested in being a sponsor!

  4. Maggie says:

    Wow, what a wonderful idea, thank you Suzanne. And congradulations to Jackie in Fl for being the first winner!

  5. Leah says:

    I just recently got back into cooking and baking thanks to you all! I realized I need to start eating better,even if I live alone.I want to try my hand at canning too, I belive it’s healthier and helps stretch your dollars. Plus,I know here you can get the support and help of others. So….I need a copy of the Blue Ball Canning Book! :happyfeet:

  6. CindyP says:

    The forum is a great area of support! If it wasn’t for you with your post of Caramel Apple Jam last year, and the forum, I would not be a canning fool right now!! πŸ˜† It gives the best feeling, it almost makes you tingle with giddiness when those tops start tinking…tink…tink…tink….AHHHHH!

    This project is just wonderful, Suzanne!

  7. Brenda says:

    Congratulations to Jackie in Florida~she will love it because she can have a garden year round in that beautiful state. I just read your post about Georgia teaching you how to can and how nice it must have been to have family that cared enough to show you how to not be so reliant on the grocery store. She truly is a blessing in your life. My dear friend asked me 17 years ago if I wanted to go pick strawberries and make freezer jam. I said, Freezer jam?? I was ashamed that I had never heard of it but we set out with 2 little boys, one in a stroller and picked those berries then came home and had the time of my life. It started my love to can and preserve and I’m so thankful to her for showing me. I just wish everyone had that special friend or family member to show them so I would like to sponsor one of your book giveaways.

  8. Johanna says:

    What a nifty project. It is awfully good to have jars on the shelf when the cold winds blow — no doubt about it!

  9. Claudia says:

    Congrats to the winner! I love to cook healthy food for my family and I love to read the other posts of readers who have the same passion. :happyflower:

  10. Diane says:

    Congrats to the Winner!!! Off to vote!!! Have a good day.

  11. Paula Tillotson says:

    Congrats to the winner…Am voting in a second..I LOVE LOVE your website Suzanne

  12. SuseM says:

    Love you, Suzanne! Thanks for giving so much of yourself to us each day in this most awesome blog!

  13. ShadowWoods says:

    Suzanne, What a great thing you’re doing!
    Say, just a reminder…Canning is for everyone, even guys!
    I’m a guy and I learned to can from my mom and grandmother. I helped my mom prep garden goodies for canning every season. I continue the tradition today, primarily for keeping food in the pantry throughout the winter and for gift-giving.

  14. Jo says:

    Geez, Suzanne…you have a LIFE!? I wouldn’t have guessed it. :smilerabbit: πŸ˜†

    Congrats to the winner! One of these days, though, I’m gonna win!! :shimmy: I’ve only won one thing in my 45 years…..a turkey.

    Heading off to vote! :sheepjump:

  15. Terry says:

    Hi Suzanne, I have about 5 gallon bags of blackberries in my freezer and have made some jelly and jam already. I would like to can them but don’t know what else to make. Do you have any other suggestions of recipes for canning blackberries other than jam or jelly? Terry
    Ps. I love all the pictures you take of your recipes.

  16. 5kathleen2 says:

    :hug: Thank you Suzanne, what a great idea! Congrats to Jackie the winner. I started canning this year because of your blog. Also made the delicious pear butter. I have given the pear butter to neighbors and family. Also made pear marmalade and pear jam and gave them away. It really makes you feel like you’ve done something great and people love getting homemade jars of goodies.
    Going to vote now. :woof: :woof: :woof:

    Kathleen H from Indiana

  17. Euni Moore says:

    DH and I just voted. You are gaining! Congratulations to Jackie in FL for winning. DH and I have been trying our hand at canning. So far it is dill pickles, beans and asparagus. Next summer will have a larger garden to enable us to can/preserve more. With our short growing season options are not as plentiful but if we get a head start with a cold frame we will be able to prolong the season. Thanks for being my day brightner.

  18. Mama Pea says:

    YOU are the one who is inspiring! I think I’m busy and my days are full but then I realize all you accomplish in a day’s time . . . well, it makes me want to be a better homesteader, homemaker, organizer, self-sufficient person. I’m so glad to hear you get joy and satisfaction from your blog because you give so much to all of us. You are affecting and touching many, many, many lives. Lord knows we can use a role model like you these days!

  19. Debnfla3 says:

    Congrats to the winner!

    I did not realize that you can preserve so much using a hot water bath. I do remember my Mom putting up her wonderful soup using the hot water bath. The soup used a lot of tomatoes so I guess that it was acidic enough to can that way. We never got sick!

    I have a big hot water bath pot so this is soooo exciting to see lots more than I thought can be canned using this method!!!

    I am still voting every day and my friends are too.


  20. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    Congrats to the winner and I love your idea for more book giveaways! Just another reason your blog is so totally awesome!

    I voted today!

  21. Yvonne says:

    Congrats to Jackie in FL.

  22. lisa brawner says:

    congrats to winner..this is just awesome!

  23. momanna98 says:

    Yes, we want the book, as it will help. Want to try cranberries soon!

  24. Yvonne says:


    I sent you an email about the Blue Ball Book. Hope you got it.


  25. Patty says:

    Congrats to Jackie in FL! I sure hope I’m one of the next ones! πŸ™‚

    I’ve voted again today with two different browsers. I tried using my hubby’s laptop, but it must have the same IP as mine. It said he’d already voted :hissyfit: Even if you don’t get the most votes, I’m sure the judges will see how awesome you are. We all do!

  26. Darlene says:

    Congratulations Jackie on winning the Blue Book.

    Since more books are being given away I want one! I’m pulling out my old canner and having it checked out. It’s time to start canning again. Nothing tastes as good as home made

  27. Debbie in PA says:

    Congrats to Jackie in FL!

    I wish I had thought about canning earlier when I was picking all of those apples back in Sept. Apple butter would have been a great gift.

    Hey-here’s a suggestion. How about a week on homemade Christmas gifts, either here or on the forum? Maybe you already have something going over there–I have to go look….

  28. Minna says:

    Congrats to Jackie in FL! :snoopy:

  29. Marla says:

    Congrats to the winner of the canning book! The book isn’t expensive, only $6.99, but isn’t it fun to try to win something! It’s always fun to throw your name in the hat, no matter what the prize is! :happyflower:

  30. AsTheNight says:

    Congrats, Jackie!

    I’m still voting every day: 21940 votes.

  31. Sharee says:

    Good afternoon suzanne! I was so proud of myself this weekend…I did thanksgiving all by myself, made homemade gingerbread men from your recipe and hung them on my cute lil 4′ tree, and still succeeded in getting on and reading everyday and voting every day! And we got a NEW PUPPY! AHHHH! So excited. I love the smell of canning… I just have never ever done it. :bugeyed: My ex mother in law still makes me homemade canned salsa and jams…Hey I am a good ex daughter in law! I know where my bread is buttered…! LOL Would love to learn for sure and your website is just the place. Lator Gator!! :happyflower: Have a great day!

  32. Myrna Mackenzie says:

    Suzanne, what a great idea! As I mentioned earlier, I don’t can, but I applaud those who do. And I love the fact that as times are tight, people have leaned toward being more self-sufficient. Isn’t canning just a great way to do that?

    And aren’t some of the words that go with canning just scrumptious? Apple butter, pear butter, caramel apple jam? Maybe I will take up canning…

  33. catslady says:

    Congrats, Jackie.

    Little doesn’t look so little lol.

    Well at least all the posts are now showing up. Here’s hoping they pay good attention lol.

  34. Susan says:

    Suzanne, what a wonderful idea. Thanks for being so kind and bright. I just voted–right after I read the newsletter. I love the idea of being keeper of the china. It is so special to have the china your mother loves and know your daughter will have it someday and already loves it too. What an upbeat way to think of it.

  35. Becky says:


  36. EightPondFarm says:

    What a wonderful idea. Is it correct that the email address goes to an Aol site?? Thanks.

  37. Fannie M Wiggins says:

    I vote every day but we need to get some more people out there. Right now Suzanne is in 2nd place. Not good :no: so tell everyone to get online and vote. I have all of Suzanne’s except a couple of her earlier historicals. I would love to have those someday. I hope everyone can read them as they are great. :happyflower: Have a great day and hugs to all. :hug:

  38. Fannie M Wiggins says:

    πŸ˜‰ That should say “Suzanne’s books”. I will learn to proofread next week. πŸ˜†

  39. DonnaTN says:

    What a neat idea to have a once a week Blue Book give away! You make me feel good every day without the help of SAM-e!

  40. Valerie says:

    Congratulations Jackie!
    This is a marvelous idea, to have Ball Blue Book Project. I learned to can from you, and I would be so honored to give back and be a sponsor. Thanks for this opportunity.

  41. Runningtrails says:

    That is a great idea you`ve had! I think it will go very well.

    I read the `How to can – water-bath method`. Wow! That’s an impressive pantry!! Beautiful! I want one like that. I have a water bath canner just like your’s and I am going to start using it in a couple of weeks. (Too much going on right now.) You have inspired me, now I have to can too!

  42. DOLLY says:

    I found this site a week ago; what a great site. My daughter and I are both voting for you everyday. Canning is fun, frugal and healthy!

  43. Wldflwr008 says:

    I have canned carrot relish, man oh man was it ever good. I grew up canning: boysenberry jam, apricot jam, tomatoes, fig jam, any thing we grew, we canned.
    Fun! I love the look of your jars of goodies, Suzanne, so gifty looking. Lucky folks that are on your list.

  44. Mel Meister says:

    This is a very generous and exciting project. I’ve canned a few times in the very distant past, jams and pickled watermelon rind. Since being laid off from my job this year, I have more time to devote to my family and kitchen, but much less money. So finding a bounty of good food to put up is really a bonus.

    Thank you!


  45. Gen says:

    So excited for the canning sponsorship. My mom has been canning for over 32 years (I know, because it was before I was born and I’m 32) and I was recently able to pick-up the skill. This year, in addition to her work before I helped, we canned: pears, tomatoes, applesauce, dill pickles, sweet pickles and TUNA FISH! Our exact tally is still pending since we’re waiting to make jam. So much fun!

  46. Gen says:

    Hey Suzanne,
    I’m curious if you or Georgia have ever canned horseradish? My mom and I are planning to do some and are struggling to find the “right” way to do it…? Thanks!

  47. stars says:

    22428 Suzanne :snoopy: happy dance!! you are getting there. You are a very inspirational person and giving always brings such happiness for the one who gets and the one who gives. Life can be such fun-don’t ya think :yes: :eating:

  48. Val says:

    Since you have inspired me I have started canning this fall for the first time. I was even more motivated by my need for alternatives to sugar and artificial sweetner. I’m able to have Agave Nectar and Xylitol. I’m happy to say that we are enjoying the most amazing cherry preserves and pumpkin butter made with Agave Nectar. And it’s true, there is so much joy in sharing what you’ve canned! Even my sugar eating friends are enjoying the Agave alternative.

    Thanks for nudging me to discover the beauty of canning!

    ps..the Cherry Preserves mixed with the Homemade Yogurt are to die for!!

  49. bellcarol says:

    I love your website! I am on it first thing in the morning. Love
    your pictures and comments. I cannned the cranberries and they are delicious. You have renewed my canning fun! I love to look at the beauty in each jar. I have voted every day since I joined.
    I hope you win! I would also love the canning book.


  50. mjvarney says:

    This is a great website. I stumbled across it while looking for steam juice recipes :sun: I have found many wonderful categories here that have kept me busy while home with a very bad cold from work. I have read every aspect of this site and can only say….I CAN’T WAIT FOR MORE! Thank you for putting it together.

    Marijo :sheepjump:

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