Thursday, June 30, 2011


For the past couple of years, I have been interested in learning how to can. Well, thanks to House Party and Ball Canning, I was able to try it out.

My partner in crime and all things domestic, Amy came over. We went through recipes and settled on something pretty basic, but oh-so-yummy for our first canning experience. Blueberry Syrup. We ran to the store to pick up the supplies. (Most of our supplies were sent by House Party, but we had to buy the blueberries and such.)

Blueberry Syrup
8 cups blueberries
4 cups water
1 T lemon zest
3 cups sugar
2 T lemon juice

Step 1. Wash and drain blueberries. (Wash and rinse jars and lids as well.)

Step 2. Crush blueberries. (Also, prepare jars and lids for canning.)

Step 3. Grate lemon zest.

Step 4. Boil blueberries and lemon zest for 5 minutes. (We got ahead of ourselves and added the lemon juice as well. Oops. We also decided that wearing white t-shirts probably wasn't the best of ideas so we put on aprons.)

Step 5. Drain blueberry juice. (Here was Oops #2. It asked for you to use a jelly bag or cheesecloth. We substituted with coffee filter. Amy thought she had read it had to drain for 2 hours, but looking at the book I read nothing about 2 hours. The coffee filter did not seem to drain so we just used a colander. While later flipping through a different booklet, I found the 2 hour description Amy had been talking about. We decided that as long as it did not have lumps it was going to be fine...)

Step 6. In a different saucepan, add 4 cups water and 3 cups sugar. (In the large stockpot, we are simmering jars in stockpot for 10 minutes before filling so they will not crack. Isn't this the greatest apron you have ever seen?!!? J's sister made it for me.)

Step 7. Bring sugar and water to a boil so it dissolves the sugar. (Lids must also simmer for 10 minutes in a separate pot.)

Step 8. Add blueberry juice to the syrup mixture and boil for 5 minutes. (This is also when you are really supposed to add the lemon juice.)

Step 9. Fill the jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. (Ball makes a great little stick for that!) Wipe rim. Add lid. Screw band until fingertip tight. (At this point, we look up what it fingertip tight. Just until you start to have to use force when screwing. Insert appropriate Office quote here.)

Step 10. Process jars for 10 minutes. (Cover pot with lid and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes.) When finished, take off of heat and remove lid. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove jars and let cool for 12 to 24 hours. After cooling, check seal. If not sealed, process again. Thankfully, ours sealed.

Our finished product... 3 pints of blueberry syrup.

Other notes...
-We had a little more than 3 pints after filling jars. I put leftover syrup in fridge to serve soon. I am thinking it will be great over vanilla ice cream.
-Amy took home the squashed blueberry "remnants". She thought she could use them in blueberry muffins or bars.
-Canning is meant to be at least a 2 person job.
-We decided this process is only really worth it if you have your own garden with lots of produce. I am glad we tried it though.
-Could it we make during Little House on the Prairie days? Our patience says doubtful.
-What is next for this domestic duo? I am thinking ice cream making... ;)

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