Well a bit of boasting here, I'm pretty proud of myself...
I've been preparing to begin canning since last fall when the freezer shot craps over a long weekend that we were away. We had frozen/vac sealed a lot of goodies that went by-bye.
So with the garden growing, I had set out to be ready for canning when several cherrie trees became available. My wife and I picked quite a few, cleaned and pitted them and I decided to make up pie filling and test the canning skills. Using the 1982 Ball's Canning book (blue book), a $19 granite pot with canning rack, and a stock of Ball jars, I set to work.
Now I have 6 quarts of pie filling canned - the hot water bath method appears to have worked. 12 hours after pulling them from the boiling water, the jars have cooled and the lids appear to have been drawn down to a seal. The method was not difficult, the best investment? the canning jar funnel - fits pint and quart Ball jars perfect. The best advice? heat (not boil) the lids and screw caps while heating the jars.
All of the necessary items, including the funnel and book (current edition) are all available at Walmart. I advise to read and re-read the sections pertaining to what you wish to can (eg hot or cold, acid or non acid) several times prior to begining. Also, clear the kitchen of clutter - you don't want to be stumbling over things with hot glass/water.
I'll try and snap a few photos of the canned goods. Thanks for letting me share.
Next up: spagetti sauce!
We got about a bushel of plums from the wifes grandmother weekend before last and this past weekend put up 12 half pints of jelly, 12 pints of jelly and 12 pints of plum butter. Makes you feel good when you're done.