Grab a cup of coffee and make yourself comfortable, because today’s post is jam-packed (pun intended) with some seriously good stuff: A celebration of canning? (check) Local organic blueberries? (check) A must-can recipe? (check) New products from Ball Canning and a giveaway? (check and double check!)
Can It Forward
This Friday (July 22, 2016) is Can-It-Forward Day, a day dedicated to celebrating and sharing the joy of canning. Jarden Home Brands/Ball Canning has a great lineup for experienced and new canners alike:
- There will be LIVE demonstrations on Facebook throughout the day (10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET), with chances to win prizes every hour. Additionally, every time you engage (like, comment, share) with the live content, Ball Canning will make a $1 charitable donation (you can find more details here).
- Home preserving experts will be on hand to answer your questions on Twitter (use the hashtag #canitforward) from 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET.
- All participants who pledge to Can-It-Forward will receive a coupon for $5 off a purchase at freshpreservingstore.com.
- Share your creations and find canning inspiration using the #canitforward hashtag on Pinterest and Instagram.
I hope you’ll join me in making a pledge to Can-It-Forward today!
To get ready for Friday’s festivities, Jarden Home Brands recently sent me a copy of The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving and a case of their new blue Collection Elite Wide Mouth Pint Jars, so I can share one of the great recipes in this new preserving book and hopefully inspire YOU to Can-It-Forward this week.
This resource is well worth its value, with solid, easy to follow instructions, a gorgeous layout with stunning photos, and more than 350 recipes for jams, sauces, pickles, ferments, and so much more. It also puts tons of reference charts, step-by-step preservation procedures, and produce-specific information right at your fingertips.
In fact, there is so much good stuff in this book, selecting just one recipe to share with you was a bit of a challenge!
But as gardeners often do, I was ultimately inspired by our current season. Right now we are in peak blueberry season here in Minnesota, so it only seemed fitting to recreate one of the blueberry recipes (and so perfect for those beautiful blue jars!).
Now my backyard blueberries are not ready to produce canning quantities just quite yet, but luckily there is a great you-pick farm not far from where I grew up, and so my sister and law and I headed out to Little Hill Berry Farm for a morning of blueberry picking. We were able to pick a variety called Bluegold, and I have to say that I have to say that I have never worked with such beautiful, large, blueberries. One of the owners shared with me that this variety is particularly good for preserving ,because it is a little less sweet than some of the other varieties, lending itself to really sweet recipes while still allowing a very robust blueberry flavor to shine though.
After bring home nearly 7 pounds of berries, I set out to make blueberry syrup and blueberry butter. What made these recipes stand out is that they are designed to work together, first utilizing the juice for syrup, then the leftover pulp for the blueberry butter. I am a big fan of this kind of no-waste approach, and I love that I was able to get more out of my blueberry haul than I normally would have by just cooking them down into jam.
After filling two and a half blue pint jars with a delectable blueberry syrup, these vintage jam jars were a fun choice for the blueberry butter (note, Ball has also brought back these beautiful jars as a part of their Collection Elite series, though these older jars just happened to already be apart of my collection).
Initially I was most excited about the syrup (which is really, really good), but it was actually the blueberry butter that stole the show. It is full of amazing blueberry flavor! I was a little hesitant about adding the nutmeg, but I am so glad I did. It gives this preserve a wonderful richness and complex flavor that you really must try. Right off the bat, I am thinking that this blueberry butter will be the star of some type of stuffed french toast for Christmas Eve brunch this year–if it lasts that long!
From The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving, yields 6 half pints
5 1/2 cups blueberry pulp (reserved from Blueberry Syrup, also in the book)
3 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Process blueberry pulp in a food processor 1 minute or until very smooth. Combine pureed pulp, sugar, and remaining ingredients in a 6-quart stainless steel or enameled Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring constantly 1 hour or until mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon.
Ladle hot blueberry butter into a hot jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band, and adjust to fingertip-tight. Place in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
Ball Canning Giveaway
Jarden Home Brands has generously offered a copy of The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving and a set of blue Collection Elite Wide Mouth Pint Mason Jars for one lucky reader!
To enter this giveaway, simply comment on this post, sharing how you intend to “Can-It-Forward” this garden season. It could be a recipe you plan to make, your plans to share your canning with others, or any other way you intend celebrate and share the joy of canning.
One comment per person; open to US residents only. Entries will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2016. One winner will be randomly selected and announced on the blog on Monday, July 25, 2016. The giveaway is now closed; thanks to all who entered!
Full disclosure: I received a copy of The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving and a set of blue wide mouth pint jars for the purpose of this promotion. Jarden Home Brands is also providing the same to the winner of the giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.
And the winner is…
A big thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the Can-It-Forward Day giveaway from Ball Canning! It has been so much fun to read about how you are canning it forward! Also, a big congratulations to Steph L, who is the winner of a copy of The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving and a case of blue Collection Elite jars from Jarden Home Brands/Ball Canning!