For at least the last year, I’ve been really into the idea of canning. I say the idea because I’ve read about it, talked about it, and even bought equipment for it, but haven’t gotten around to actually trying it. I have tons of Ball canning jars, which have become drinking classes and various short-term storage containers (See: cocktails, pickles, salsa.) But I’ve always been too apprehensive to actually try canning. I’ve thought of it as expensive, time-consuming, and intimidating. And although it is pretty time-consuming and a little intimidating, it’s mildly expensive.

The turning point came when I spotted a canning kit in Target. I’m not the only one who has been apprehensive, yet curious about canning. Canning has become so common, if not trendy, that the Ball Jar brand is actually making beginner’s kits. I picked up two such kits in very bright and cheery packaging, aptly and cleverly named: “Home Canning Discovery Kit” and an accompanying utensil kit. The two together ran me under $20.00. An even better deal would have been a giant canning pot, with all of the necessary tools and a recipe/instruction book for canning included for $30.00. Not expensive at all!

Although it’s easy to can without all of these fancy contraptions, the comfort of having them made it much easier for me to dive into the canning process. I did a little more research on the process and different recipes and I decided that the time was now.

The best way to gather all of the fruit I would need for the jam was to go fruit picking. More on that next post.

In the meantime, check out my favorite canning site: Food In Jars. The blogger is adorable and lives in Philadelphia. She’s got great recipes for jam, fruit butters, pickles, relishes, salsas and more. She will also occasionally post other recipes for baked goods or salads. And she loves jars. It’s a joy to read, so please do.