Learning waterbath canning.

Raise your hand if canning—even just water bath canning has you terrified. Yeah, me, too. Until just recently. But my grandma got me a canner for my birthday last year, and I decided it’s time to overcome my fear of canning one baby step at a time!

I really do like to break my goals down into little steps, especially when it’s something completely unfamiliar. I’m not about to jump right into pressure canning! I wanted to start with something simpler and less intimidating.

Notice: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to click through and purchase, I may earn a percentage at no extra cost to you.

Set your homesteading skill building goals. Download Now

I’ve had a handful of experiences with canning with others. But I wasn’t the one doing all the work, and making sure everything was done properly. So while I had experience, I didn’t have confidence. That needed to change.

Getting Started

I actually started just by trying a jam recipe from my canning book. Before I even attempted to can, I wanted to gain the experience of making the jam. 

I cut the recipe to a ⅓ and made a tiny batch. It was delicious, and I was now familiar with the process.

This made it a little easier.

A pot that is too small for raspberry jam on a stove top with a bowl of sugar and a much larger pot beside it
I should have started in a much larger pot. Fortunately I caught my mistake before I added all that sugar!

Now I had all my equipment ready, recipes bookmarked in my book, and fresh fruit ready to go. My grandma has a big gas stove, so I hauled everything to her house. I don’t relish the idea of canning on a flat top stove. (Although I’ve heard that you can check with the manufacturer to see if your model will handle a canner.)

The first batch of jam was raspberry. Grandma was in and out of the kitchen, giving tips and advice and answering questions. But for the most part, I made the jam, and canned it myself.

Maybe you can imagine how thrilled I was to pull those jars of jam out of the canner knowing that I had done it myself!

To keep up momentum and try to build on the foundation I made, I did peach jam a few days later. This time, Grandma actually left the house while I was in the middle of things, and I felt no panic! I was fine, and felt like I knew what I was doing. 

Four jars of peach jam sitting on a kitchen towel.

Progress had definitely been made! And I had more jam to go on the pantry shelves.

Enjoying My Progress

And just today I decided to pull some of my homegrown strawberries out of the freezer and make jam with those. I could definitely feel the breakthrough I had. And I wasn’t obsessing over the book quite as much. I felt familiar with the process. I was on a roll!

A pot of strawberry jam cooking on top of a stove.
I was so thrilled to can up some jam from strawberries I had grown myself!

Two hours and eight jars of strawberry jam later, and I can say I’m really starting to get the hang of it. Pressure canning is feeling less scary now! PROGRESS!

I’m not sure what I’ll pressure can first, or when it will happen. But I’m glad that this hurdle has been jumped.

And until then, I’ve still got plenty of other recipes bookmarked to try in the future! I’d like to try the slow-cook strawberry jam that doesn’t require pectin. And I definitely want to make blueberry and cherry jam next time they’re in season!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into my personal homesteading journey! If you’d like a little help evaluating your own homesteading skill-set, and setting goals for your next project, click here to get my free worksheets.

Similar Posts

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *