Depending on your age, I think almost everyone in the 40s, 50s and 60s grew up with someone in their family canning.  For me, it was my Grandma and my Mom.  My first experience with canning was when we would pick my grandmas almost black purple grapes into a big basket and would carry them into the kitchen of my Grandma’s house.  There she would dump all the grapes into her sink and sift through them all, pick all the stems off before putting them on the stove to cook down.  The sweet smell of grape jelly being cooked will always take me right back to my Grandma’s kitchen.  After the grapes cooled down, she would let us stick our hand in the pot and squeeze all the grapes out of their skins until our skin turned purple up to our elbows.  Then the mash was hung over a pot in cheese cloth for what seemed like days, but I don’t actually remember.  THEN it was finally time to make the jelly!

My Mom canned lots of veggies growing up.  Mind you, I was a picky eater as a kid.  The only vegetables I liked were cucumbers and carrots because those weren’t cooked.  I distinctly remember I was in high school when my Mom was sick with a cold right when the tomatoes needed to be canned.  You had to blanch them in boiling water, then peel off the skin before slicing the tomatoes.  I had an aversion to tomato seeds back then!  I remember yelling to my Mom “you know I love you because I am doing this for you!”  Well, that, and I am her favorite child.

Now that I’ve opened my eyes to all the goodness of fresh vegetables the color of the rainbow, I love canning.  Especially my salsa.  There is nothing like opening a can of salsa in the middle of January in Chicago and have the taste of summer on your lips while there is six inches of snow on the ground.

So I was thrilled when Jarden Home Brands asked me to join them in celebrating their 5th Annual Can-It-Forward Day to share the joys of home canning.  Not only is it economical, but I actually really enjoy the process.  With everything moving so fast these days, it’s nice to take a step back and spend time doing something healthy and nutrition for your family.  But because we do live a fast paced life, you will love their new canning system!

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Not only can you can up to 8 pint jars at a time, but this is also a multi-cooker.  You can make everything from soups and stews, to using it to boil water for pasta.  And it’s huge!  If you go to pot lucks or have big family gatherings, you could fit a ton of chili in that pot.

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The top right picture is a steamer rack that sits about half way through the pot – I can imagine us cranking out a ton of potstickers in that pot.  Another awesome feature is the spigot on the side of the canner.  No longer do you have to try to dump what seems like ten gallons of water from your canning pot, simply put this pot on the side of your sink and drain the water away.

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One of the first things I knew I was going to can is my grilled cherry salsa.  I have Tony to thank for that idea, and still need to try grilled pineapple salsa, grilled peach salsa, etc.  I love the sweet/heat combo of this salsa!

Grilled Cherry Salsa

  • 4 tomatoes, divided
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cup cherries (I used Rainier cherries since they are in season, but regular cherries work well too)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • juice of two limes
  • zest from two limes
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

I did this on my gas grill.  Just char three tomatoes, the garlic, jalapeno and cherries – it took me about 15 minutes at a temperature around 350.  Let the cherries cool, then pit the cherries and add all the ingredients to a food processer and puree.



The wonderful people from Jarden Home Brand are going to share the love with my reader – one lucky reader will win this!

    1. FreshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner + Multi-CookerIn 2015, Jarden Home Brands launched the third appliance in its FreshTECH family. The new FreshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner + Multi-Cooker is a plug-in, countertop appliance that eliminates the need for stove top heating.  This removes the concerns of ceramic-glass stove top owners and makes it more convenient to handle than traditional water bath canning pots.  The appliance enables users to multi-task during the canning process, eliminating the need to monitor boiling water or move the pot to fill and drain. (Retail value: $149.99)


  • Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving: The new 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is the most trusted resource in home canning for over 100 years and this new 2015 release is its largest update since the first edition in 1909.  Expanding 56% from the previous edition, the 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book includes 75 new recipes, pictorial step by step




All you need to do is leave a comment with a canning memory you might have had, or if you won the canner + multi-cooker what would be one of the first things you’d make in it.

I would also think that this would work if you were camping where there was electricity – what are your thoughts on that Marcia?   I also know that this will come in handy during holidays, where you just need one more burner – it’s like having your own separate stove top on your counter!

Check out this video below – you will discover:


  • Tune in to the live webcast of canning demonstrations from 11:00am – 4:00pm EST, featuring an integrated chat function to submit your home canning questions to be answered in real time. New this year, there will also be an exciting celebrity mason jar auction unveiled during the webcast!
  • Share what Made From Here means to you by hosting a home canning party on Saturday, August 1!
  • Share your home canning creations, tips and tricks via social media with the hashtag #canitforward.