Canning 101: 2 Peach Jams and Blueberry Honey Jam

I bought 2 lugs of Colorado peaches at the grocery store yesterday….boy were they nice! I also picked up 2 pints of nice-looking blueberries and thought as long as I was in the mood to make peach jam, I could easily make a small batch of blueberry jam to go with.

All in all, I canned 17 quarts of peaches, 6 half-pints of peach jam, 5 half-pints of spiced peach jam, and 3 half-pints of blueberry honey jam (one of which never made it to the shelves!)


I found a nice recipe for Blueberry Honey Jam on I like this recipe because it’s a small-batch recipe, and I didn’t have to spend a lot of time working on it. The recipe also works for most berries and fruit, with the exception of apples, and I also followed this recipe for one of the peach jams I made today. They both turned out delicious!

Blueberry Honey Jam

  • 1 quart blueberries (approximately 1½ pounds)
  • ⅔ cup honey (8 ounces)
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  1. Pour the berries into a low, wide, non-reactive pan and mash.
  2. Add the honey and lemon juice and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit until the honey begins to dissolve.
  3. Place the pan on the stove and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring regularly, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the jam thickens.
  4. To make the jam shelf stable, pour it into clean, hot jars. Apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes.
  5. When time is up, remove jars from the canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel and let them cool.
  6. When the jars are room temperature, check the seals. If the lids have gone concave and don’t wiggle at all, they are sealed.
  7. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within a few weeks.
  8. If you don’t want to process the jam, just pour it into a jar, let it cool, and put it in the refrigerator.

For my peach jam recipe, I basically used the Blueberry Honey Jam recipe, although I did use sugar instead of honey.

For the spiced peach jam, I had a few peaches leftover from the first box, so I added a few spices that I normally add to a peach pie. I think it turned out delicious!

Spiced Peach Jam

Approximately 2 quarts diced peaches
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon good vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Place diced peaches in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and mash with a potato masher. Add remaining ingredients. Heat to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook at a rolling boil for approximately 10 minutes, or until the jam thickens.

Ladle into hot half-pint jars. Seal. Process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes.

Yield:  5 half-pints


Canning 101: Spiced Pickled Cabbage

We planted 12 heads of cabbage this year, and, of course, after the fact I discovered we didn’t need to make sauerkraut as we had plenty left from last year. So, what’s a person to do with 12 large heads of cabbage? I made a batch of canned coleslaw already (see previous blog post for recipe), and we fried some up a few times for supper. We did ask a daughter if she and her girls wanted some sauerkraut, so some of the heads went for that, but I still had a couple of cabbage with no obvious purpose.

Then I found a recipe for Spiced Pickled Cabbage in Favorite Pickles & Relishes:  Storey’s Country Wisdom Bulletin A-91 by Andrea Chesman.  I found this on my Scribd subscription, and they have so many different bulletins available. If you want to figure out how to do anything, they’ve probably got a bulletin for it!

It’s an easy recipe to do, and I can’t wait to taste it!


Spiced Pickled Cabbage

4 quarts shredded red or green cabbage
1/2 cup pickling salt
1 quart white vinegar
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
4 teaspoons grated horseradish
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks

Layer cabbage and salt in a large kettle or crock. Let stand overnight.

The next day, drain the cabbage, pressing out all juice. Rinse thoroughly and drain again.

In a saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, and horseradish. Bring to a boil. Tie cloves and cinnamon in a cheesecloth spice bag and add to the saucepan. Simmer 15 minutes.

Pack cabbage into clean, hot pint jars and fill with vinegar mixture, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by running a nonmetallic spatula down sides of the jars. Seal and process in a boiling-water bath canner for 20 minutes.

Yield:  4 pints

Canning 101: Fresh Tomato Soup

It’s been a slow tomato season this year. First it was too wet this spring, and this summer really hasn’t been warm enough to ripen the tomatoes. They love heat, and we just haven’t had it here in eastern Iowa. We finally had our first BLTs the other night, and today I had enough tomatoes to can something. I usually can whole tomatoes first, but as we grew celery this year (and it was ready to use), I decided to start off tomato season by making tomato soup.

I first got the recipe years ago from my chiropractor. We’d had a bumper tomato crop, and she shared her favorite tomato soup recipe with us. It was a hit, and I’ve been making it ever since. I’ve posted the recipe below, but I do tweak it a bit. I’ve been making it for years now, and I’ve always used the same heavy-duty stockpot, so any more I really just eyeball the vegetable amounts. I know how full the pot has to be to get so many pints of soup, but to start out, it will be easier for you to follow the recipe. You can adjust ingredients after you go through it the first time to see how many onions or how much celery your family likes in the soup. I usually end up with triple the amount of vegetables. I use 1 stick of butter and add enough chopped onions and celery to completely cover the bottom of my stockpot. Then I fill the rest of the pot up with diced tomatoes and end up with approximately 21 pints of soup. Again, once you try the recipe, you can adjust the vegetable amounts to your liking.


Fresh Tomato Soup

3 onions, diced
1/2 bunch celery, diced
5 quarts diced tomatoes, peeled and cored
1 stick butter (not margarine)
3-4 Tablespoons flour

In a large stockpot, melt butter. Add diced onions and celery. Saute vegetables on medium-low heat until the celery and onions are soft but not brown, approximately 15 minutes.

Add 3-4 Tablespoons flour (add just enough to soak up any liquid in the pan…you just want to bind together all the vegetables). Cook for approximately 5-10 minutes over medium-low heat. This will give the butter/flour mixture a slightly nutty flavor.

Add your diced tomatoes. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.



When the tomatoes have released their juice and it resembles soup (as opposed to simply chopped vegetables), you are ready to can the soup.



Ladle hot soup into hot jars. Add lids and seal.

Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes (for pints) or 35 minutes (for quarts).

Yield:  Approximately 4 quarts.