Do you can?

Do you can? Can, you do?

Well, Amish certainly do. A little story of last week’s Lancaster trip:

We arrived at my friends’ farm home as the sun was going down, right in the middle of a full-bore canning operation.  I could tell they had been busy that day.

Dozens of jars filled with chopped chicken occupied the kitchen table, while the canner hummed away on the stove.

I felt fortunate to arrive after the start of the process, which was really just as much an end–for the chickens.

Or we could see things more positively, and call it a transition to a “better place”–first a Mason jar, then the hungry stomachs of this family of six, destined to power them through another winter.

Amish Basement Larder
A well-stocked Amish larder (photos by Tom in NY)

Amish can various meats to stock their larders, including chicken, pork, turkey, and beef.

I had some friends from North Carolina along on this visit, their first to an Amish home, and took one into the basement to view the spoils of the family garden and farm.

The shelves were about two-thirds full, loaded with vegetables, meats, juices, and who knows what else, by the looks of some mysterious jars.

On the basement sink, rows of golden peaches rested next to jars of zesty relish. This family makes good use of their garden, and also cans foods acquired elsewhere, such as the peaches.

You always want to make yourself handy when Amish bodies are moving, which my friends and I were able to do in two ways. The first, screwing on the lids of the yet-to-be-heated Mason jars, was easy enough.

The second presented more of a challenge and a slight health hazard as well. I was tasked with extracting the super-heated jars of chicken soup from the canner, a simple rectangular steel container with a lid.

To do so I was given a tonged device, one end coated in a white rubber, the other in a brown plastic. Grabbing the tongs by their handles, I proceeded to carefully grip and lift the chicken jars out of the scalding water, and place them on a towel on the counter.

amish can pickles
Canning gets me in a pickle

As I removed them I watched as the liquid inside each jar bubbled furiously as the chicken continued to cook within.

However, the tongs, I found, were tricky to maneuver; jars wiggled and slid in their grip, threatening to plunge back into their heat bath with a searing splash in store for me.

One did just that, in fact, though I managed to avoid injury. Happily, I was able to awkwardly remove all the twenty or so cans with no burns of any degree.

The next day, I walked into the kitchen and noticed the man of the house lending a hand to his pregnant wife by performing the same task on a fresh batch of jars. Yet something seemed odd. He was holding the tongs upside down!

But how easily he lifted the chicken, with no threat of slipping, each jar held firm in the rubbery grip of the white coated end. Yes, now you know I was holding the things upside down.  I’ll take my bow now.

Later that day we sliced celery for “Numbers Soup”, a type of vegetable soup which also includes potatoes and beans. Apparently I know how knives work better than I do canning tongs, for the celery presented little trouble. With three blades blazing we made quick work of the pile.

Here are some more Amish canning photos, and some canning recipes.  Do you like to can goods?   Or just eat them?

Enjoy this post? Support Amish America the next time you buy something from Amazon. It’s free and easy, and helps keep the posts coming. Here’s how.

Get the Amish in your inbox

Join 15,000 email subscribers. No spam. 100% free

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

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


    1. Alice Mary

      Sort of...

      My main canning event was 2 years ago making grape jam from grapes my friend grew. It was an all day event, starting with squishing off the skins, to be used later, as they gave the finished product it’s beautiful color. With my increasing palsy in my left hand, I doubt I’ll be able to do it again, though I’d like to.

      I greatly admire & appreciate anyone who cans, regularly!

      Alice Mary

    2. Naomi Wilson

      Yep, I held those tongs upside down the first time too. I love the rows of canned goods, but even my Amish friends say that there is sometimes a high rate of spoilage. And since the heat destroys a lot of the nutrients, I end up freezing as much as I can. We are still novice gardeners, and this year our garden was mostly overtaken by pumpkin plants, so I have been going to a produce auction for big batches of vegetables at a good price.

      I do use mason jars to ferment: old fashioned sauerkraut, whole pickling cukes, kimchi, etc. Last year we fermented green beens and they were delicious. In our VA climate, the ferments have to be refrigerated, but they keep six months to a year in the fridge.

      1. Christina Foster


        I tried saurkraut for the first time this year and we were just shocked at how much better it tasted than the stuff you buy in the store! And SO easy!!!

      2. Pleased to hear I’m not the only one!

        I wondered about sterility/spoilage while we were helping. These comments have been enlightening. This was not a pressure canner as I guess was evident by my story.

    3. Adair

      We had a bumper crop of figs this year and were canning fig preserves every day for a couple of weeks. We havecall our Christmas presents! I enjoy doing it, and there’s something so satisfying about hearing those pings as the lids seal

    4. LeeAnn

      Do you can?

      I have canned a lot over the years. Now mostly just do freezer canning due the the heat where I live. I have always enjoyed canning and helping my Mom when younger to can the vegetables and the fruit from our land.

      I still can corn and make jam each year. Some pancake syrup, but as I said, it must all be freezer canning now. Arizona heat spoils the bottled stuff quickly.

    5. Roberta K.


      I have never canned. I confess it is one of the vows I have never broken. I watched my Mom can with the pressure cooker and decided “I’ll never do that. It’s too much work!” I sort of wish I had the time and inclination now but wouldn’t begin at my age. I would can peaches and probably green beans. I love seeing the pictures of shelves of canned goods. Blessings, canners!

    6. Anne, the mom!

      Very funny! I can just see you holding the tool upside down and imagine how frightening it must have been…I’ve canned quite a bit and one always feels a bit challenged, even when you know which way is up 🙂

    7. Canning

      I do can the tomatoes, although most of the other stuff gets frozen. We did the last batch of spaghetti sauce this week, and my husband and I have it down to a fine art. He brings the tomatoes from the garden to the patio and runs them through the Squeezo, a tool no home canner should be without! Then we carry the puree into the kitchen and pour into stock pots. I add the rest of the ingredients–sugar, salt, pepper, onions, garlic, our own fresh-picked oregano, parsley and basil, and dried bay leaves. After five hours of simmering, it’s ready to can. Just don’t want to do it on a really hot day! I love seeing the pantry shelves filled with the quarts of sauce. My husband, who never wants to let anything go to waste, made a big batch of chili to freeze with the rest of the tomatoes!

      1. Canning on a hot day!

        I’ll share a little secret that has changed my life as far as canning goes.. especially water bath canning. Instead of doing it in the house & heating the house up with hot dampness.. take it outside and use a gas turkey frier as your water bath canner. It has revolutionized my process and I dont mind water bath canning near as much. Its super fast to get the water to come up to boil & usually doenst loose the boil at all when you put the jars in.. Best secret in the canning world!

    8. Matt from CT

      I can a little bit — I did some strawberry jam earlier this year.

      This weekend I’ll be doing greenbeans, and I think I’ll try spaghetti sauce for the first time.

      I also did a quart of sauerkraut last year, it’s not “canned” in being heated, but I used a canning jar. I’ll do some more this year — half a head is more than enough coleslaw for me for a week, the other half a head fills the quart jar to make sauerkraut. I was hoping to make some pickles this year too, but the cucumber crop hasn’t been good 🙁

    9. Debbie H

      In my younger days I decided to make pear butter since I was renting a house with a large pear tree. I spent the whole day preparing the pears and cooking the butter, to end up with 3 quarts. The pear butter was delicious but didn’t last long. I switched to freezing veggies and haven’t canned since:) I do admire those who can and I love that picture of the jars lined up.

    10. Roberta K.


      Smile – Thank you ladies for the reminders of: holding the tongs upside down and hearing the pins as the jars seal. I also learned jars of canned foods spoil more readily in warmer climates ~ I didn’t know that! Guess that’s why we kept them in the cellar when I was young.

      Ahh – I’m feeling very nostalgic and missing my mother and my country home in Pennsylvania.

      1. Roberta K.


        I meant “hearing the ping. . ” (not pin)

    11. Yes, we can can!

      My husband and are in the middle of move, so we’re not doing (much) canning this year. But I have a beautiful new gas stove so I can finally use the pressure canner. This year I think all we’ll get pickles and maybe some frozen corn. It’s frustrating not to be able to fill the shelves with our usual tomato sauces, salsa, applesauce, beets and pickles! I’m looking forward to next year when I can use the pressure canner for soups and low-acid foods.

      Meanwhile, we’re eating the green beans in the garden as fast as we can and I’m watching the potatoes because they’ll be ready soon.

    12. Canning my life away..

      Yep.. I can & I can a lot! I can meats, veggies, fruits, & juices.. I do both water bath canning & pressure canning & just enjoy the entire process.. My favorite part is the end though when the jars are lined up and done.. Some of my jars dont PING (though I love that sound)because I use Tattler Lids which are a reusable canning lid.. They’re made from BPA free plastic with a grommet ring that can be replaced.

      I mentioned it above in a comment, but for those of you who water bath can & its too hot to do it in your house.. use a gas turkey frier as your water bath canner outside.. Its amazingly fast & I’ll never go back to water bath canning in my house..

    13. Two more comments..

      I forgot to add:

      1. Someone commented that some Amish say there is a high degree of spoilage sometimes..
      Not if they’re canned correctly. In 30 years of canning, I’ve had maybe 4 jars of the same batch that went bad..Dont know why but I’ve never had any others go bad..
      However, I do know that many Amish water bath can things that should be pressure canned.. Its the way their mama & their grandmas did things and perhaps it was the only way they had to preserve their food back in the Old Days.. I would think there would be a high degree of spoilage in these types of items. I have a friend who lives in an Amish Community and shes shared the way they do things there in the community & I have one of their cookbooks too.. Some of the things, I personally wouldnt do but she does because she says they do it that way there & thats good enough for her.. Thats ok by me, I guess. 😉

      The other thing someone said canned goods go bad quicker in the heat.. Well I never heard of any such thing.. I lived in Texas most of my life and its pretty blistering hot there.. I canned for years and I never noticed anything going bad faster there than here in Ohio.
      Canned goods can last a long long time.. no matter where you live.

    14. julie

      Pressure canning

      Do you know if the Amish use pressure canners? I know that todays standards require that meats and vegetable be pressure canned. I was just wondering if they use them.

      1. I think in this day & age, most do but I’d be willing to bet there are still some out there who dont.

        The Amish I know do use a pressure canner.. but as well we all know.. just because one person does something doenst mean another does… that goes for Amish & English alike.

      2. This was not a pressure canner…this family is in the Lancaster County community, which is generally progressive on technology, though the family itself leans to the traditional way of doing many things.

        This was the model they use, or one much like it:

    15. Christina Foster

      I enjoy pressure canning since you can do soups and meats and such. Since we got stationed in CA and live in a smaller space (our 32ft RV), all of our household goods are in storage–including my pressure canner. We’re slowly going through things, but I have yet to find it in the piles of boxes. SO, since I’ve been missing canning, I managed to hobble together a waterbath set up. Luckily, I have found all my jars and other canning supplies so I can do something. I don’t garden, but there are a lot of local organic farms where I live so I still have fresh produce at my fingertips. So far, I’ve canned 9 half pints of plum jam–which turned out amazing and I tried my hand at fermenting my own saurkraut which also turned out amazing! For us, I view canning as a necessity since we have a very small freezer.

    16. Alice Aber

      I can can

      I can, can and can some more. I love to can. Not long ago I did several jars of chicken, beef and ham. I have about 18 quarts of peaches I canned so far this year. I canned home made hot dog sauce and tried my hand at sauerkraut this year for the first time. My tree is full of pears so they will be canned later this year when they are ready. One of my favorites to can is home made spaghetti sauce, but have not gotten to it yet this year. I also make soups to can. I will be making pickled beets and also canning potatoes in the fall.

      I was 20 years old when I taught myself to can and 35 years later, I am still canning. 🙂

      Blessings, Alice

    17. Jean

      Do you can?

      When we had 3 children at home I used to can everything I could. We never had to buy pickles, tomatoes for sauce, or jam. It was all on the shelves. Now that my health has deteriorated, I don’t can anymore. I have one question, are they canning the meats using a pressure cooker. I didn’t think it was safe to just can meat with just a water bath. I could be wrong, let me know.

    18. Jake's a Girl

      Do you Can?

      I do. But lots less than I use to. With it just being hubby and tis easier/lazier to eat out or buy frozen/canned when I cook.

      Growing up the summers was filled with our outbuilding kitchen full to brimming all summer long with canning. No one was left out. I still can okra, squash and tomatoes about every other summer. I’ll freeze tomatoes too. But never meat. My tummy couldn’t handle canning meat.
      I just realized how much I miss those days of canning. The kitchen humming with so much harmony.

      Jake’s a Girl

    19. Canning safety

      I have subscribed to “Family Life” for years even though I’m not Amish. After reading the “Recipe” section of the magazine I’m surprised there aren’t a significant number of deaths or serious illnesses from food poisoning. The methods mentioned by some of the writers are just not acceptable by University Extension Service.

      It seems as though in some of the Amish fiction I read that there are numerous instances of stomach illnesses. Any connection?

      1. My brother was along on this visit as well, stayed about five days. This is anecdotal, but he was down for the count for a day with fever and stomach issues. He says it’s not the first time, though getting soaked in the river just prior may have helped lead to his condition this time.

        1. Another thought is.. if you’re eating fermented food and you’re not used to it.. you are probably going to develop stomach issues to them at first.. Modern Commercial America isnt used to much if any live cultured foods and they just react at first when the intestines are populated with abundant microbial activity..

    20. Mary Miller

      I canned lots of vegetables, fruits, and meats years ago. I never had a pressure canner, and never had anyone get sick or poisoned. BUT, I was taught that vegetables and meats MUST be boiled for 3 hours! I usually had to add boiling water during the process, as it boiled down.

      1. Three hours sounds about what she was doing–she had to get up at midnight, or sometime thereafter, to shut it down. Or maybe the good hubby did. I can’t say…I was sleeping 🙂

    21. I sort of do

      I make jam and I guess that is sort of canning since I have it in glass jars and not in the freezer. I know how to make for example tomato sauce and can it but since I do not have a garden I do not do that now. I hope to one day can much more. On a side note I am drying mushrooms in my electric drier now.

    22. Linda

      Good golly

      The first time I canned, I also used the tongs upside down–and could not for the life of me figure out why anyone would use such a stupid tool. Nice to hear that other folks go through the same learning curve.

      Is there any way that we can get that recipe for Numbers Soup? I’m intrigued, and Google isn’t helping one whit.

      Thanks for your wonderful website.

      1. Thanks Linda, and keep it coming with the upside-down tongs users, you’re making me feel better, maybe this forum could be called Canning Confessions 🙂

        I do not have the recipe…Numbers Soup may just be a pet name for it as I think it used noodles in the shape of numbers, so I guess it is something like Alphabet soup. It had a tomato base, then the celery, potatoes, beans (lima may have been involved)…I realize that doesn’t help much but maybe the ingredients list will align with something you’ve seen. I’ll try to ask on my next call, unless someone else has a recipe…

        1. Linda

          It must be a vegetable-noodle soup, for which I have recipes galore. Many thanks for your response. And thanks, too, for ‘fessing up to your canning-tongs mishap. Doughty soul, you. I’m sure that Shakespeare must have a quote about brave spirits and canning tongs, but nothing comes to mind right now.

    23. I didnt use canning tongs at all until about 2 years ago.. I used regular kitchen tongs.. Yes it was dangerous.. but in 30 years of canning, I’ve never dropped a jar.. You just had to be very careful.
      I cant believe your hosts didnt correct your use of the canning tongs..

      We were at a Farm Field Night with our CSA and one of the gals who runs the CSA and the Amish farmers wife were giving a demonstration on canning.. She wasnt truly canning, just demoing but she held them upside down too.. Some of us snickered and one girl told her she had them upside down.. She looked at me & asked “Do I?” I shook my head yes with a smile.. Even though she was embarrassed, she laughed & said she humiliated herself. No one there thought it was that big of a deal. Its a common mistake obviously. 😉

    24. Al in Ky

      I have lots of good memories of growing up eating home canned food — fruits and vegetables, jams, jellies, pickles, etc. We always froze our farm-raised meat. The flavor of some home-canned food can’t be beat — like home-canned peaches and my mother’s pickled beets, and sloppy joe sauce. One of my favorite memories is visiting my aunt who lived on the next farm down the road the summer she was 90 years old. She took me down to her basement and showed me her shelves of home-canned soup mixes, fruit, jams, pickles, etc. — all 400 jars of it! She had grown it all in her garden,harvested it and canned it all by herself. I always thought that was remarkable for being 90 years old!

    25. Katrina

      Do You Can?

      No, but I have always wanted to learn. I have been dissuaded from learning by a very vivid childhood memory of the day my mother was canning homemade spaghetti sauce. I was about six and my siblings were younger than I was. Something went wrong-the canner exploded and there was semi-canned tomato sauce dripping from the ceiling, the cupboards, the counters, and every other kitchen surface. The floor was covered. My mother started to cry, & sent us outside to play while she cleaned up. She declined our offer to help clean up, for some reason. We played outside for about 2 hours. My mother never canned anything again. I found the article on the canning process very interesting.

      1. Naomi WIlson

        Pressure canning nightmares

        I only used a pressure canner once, and this was the exact scenario that went through my head during the entire process! Watching that little weight bob up and down, and thinking about what might happen if part of the pot failed, or if I or anyone else in the house had a lapse in judgement (opened the pot too early) was enough to turn me off to pressure canning for good.

    26. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

      Can I? No, but I wish I canned

      Gosh I love the fun the foodies at Amish America are having with this topic.

      I don’t can, not right now anyway. I am reasonably sure two Aunts can, but haven’t sent me any of their wares, I would appreciate it if they did, but my Toronto aunt seems to do salsas, which looks similar but probably isn’t.

      That is one thing my father didn’t do much of, canning, in my memory of him, as much as he loved to make things like cabbage rolls and home made perogies, etc, he didn’t can often, imagine his mother canned every year on the farm, but when they moved to various cities it probably scaled back for store bought, which is sad.

    27. Matt from CT

      Pressure v. Water Bath:

      One word: Logistics.

      With a water bath, you can get the pot to a rolling boil, and pretty much put in a batch, take it out when done, and put the next in. OK, maybe a bit of time to top up the water and return it to a boil.

      Pressure canning, as anyone who has done it knows, takes more time to get up to pressure…and then has a considerable cool-down time before you physically can remove the lid (and even if you’re Mongo you don’t want to force the lid off before its back down to 212º and standard pressure since that would cause a flash steam expansion.)

      The USDA is not the absolute authority on food safety, either. Frankly, they’re a marketing agency that actively works against small farms and home economics while paying them a small bit of lip service — they’d rather you buy processed foods at the supermarket since that makes more money for most of the lobbyists skulking around their executive offices and Congress. Canadian and European governments often issue recommendations on canning which USDA would find unacceptable.

      Pressure canning is specifically for *botulism* — other bad stuff is killed effectively by water bath or other canning methods.

      Not to discount how bad botulism is, we also have to recognize its pretty rare — food borne botulism sickens about 30 and kills 1 person in the U.S. per year. Home canning averages less than 20% of botulism cases in the U.S. each year. So that’s six people out of 300,000,000 who get sick each year.

      So are the folks using water bath canning when USDA doesn’t recommend it taking a risk? Yes.

      Riding in a buggy instead of surrounded by steel in a modern automobile is also greater risk.

      I’m pretty sure if one could find the rate and seriousness of botulism among plain communities…riding in buggies is a far, far bigger public health problem.

      We need to keep everything in perspective.

    28. Pressure Canner

      I’ve used both water bath and pressure canners–on my second pressure canner now. It’s certainly true that you have a lot of cool down time with the pressure canner. On the other hand, I’ve found that the jars are consistently sealed by the time I take them out–no adding them to another load, as I sometimes had to do with the water bath canner. And it is nice not to have all the steam the water bath canner creates in the kitchen!


    29. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

      Canning jar preferences?

      Which type of jars or containers would you recommend for canning anything, generally?
      Also, which type of stores would you recommend getting canning jars from, dollar store type places, wal-mart chains, or specialty cooking stores?

      1. Linda

        Good for you, Slightly-Handled-Order-Man! Give canning a try–it’s fun and satisfying. Since we are just my husband and I at this point, I like the Ball or Kerr wide-mouthed pint-sized jars. If you watch the sale ads, you can get them for a good price at WalMart or various building-supply or hardware stores. Don’t go to the kitchen specialty stores, because you will be paying for the ambiance. Both lids and rings come with new jars, so you’re set. Fortunately, if you’re careful with them, you can recycle the jars and the rings year after year. You cannot reuse the metal lids, alas. I wish you great canning adventures. Be sure not to use the canning tongs upside down.

      2. Jardin Corp owns both Ball & Kerr Canning Jars and both are excellent choices. I personally use them and a few older Mason Jars but all are good quality canning jars.

        I would not buy canning jars from a dollar store type place. Check your jars and make sure they dont come from China no matter where you get them. The generic jars I bought at WalMart came from China and are sub-par quality. Many people have had lots of breakages with them as well as lids not sealing, including me. I now only use them to store dehydrated items.

        Right now has pint reg mouth Ball jars for $7.00. I think this is a good deal. If you have them shipped to a nearby store, shipping is free. I bought 10 doz of them this week.

        I tend to get my jars at WalMart or other inexpensive place (sale/coupons) but make sure they’re Ball or Kerr (Jardin Corp) variety. When I hear of a great deal like the one at Ace, I’ll buy.. I had just ran out of jars of all sizes..
        I also got 1o doz quarts & 2 doz half gallon jars from a listing on Craigs List. First time I ever did that, but I am happy with my purchase.

        You can also do an online search for coupons.. often you can find them & print them.. and sometimes you can find peelie coupons on the jars at the store.

    30. Lattice

      I can peaches from the nearby orchard, pears and apples from my own trees, sweet corn and vegetable soup. And I will do other things if someone gives me extras from their garden (I only have an herb garden now). This year I also canned pickles, peas, peppers, and green beans.

      I wish you had taken a photograph of the rectangular canner you described. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like that.

      1. Lattice

        Oops! I should have read more carefully. I saw where you posted the link to a photo up above. Thanks.

      2. rectangular canner

        Could the rectangular canner been a “Conservo”? I remember such a canner from very long ago . Some of the canners who have been published in “Family Life” mentioned canning in the oven which sounds a little iffy to me.

    31. As far as I know the risks of not pressure canning things are only related to certain foods. Many types of food can be safely canned using other methods.

    32. Don Curtis


      My late wife used to can. My son, Mark, has learned how to can. He says that non-acidic foods need to be pressure canned. He has a big pressure cooker. He said it will deal with 14 quart jars at a time. He pressure cans green and yellow wax beans. Also, other vegetables. Tomatoes and pickles can be hot water bath canned. He also has a 24 quart kettle in which he makes his “Twenty-one Vegetable, Vegetable Soup.” I’ve had it and it is good. He invites company and serves the soup and the left-overs he cans. Every winter he gives me several quarts of soup in case we have a blizzard and I can’t get out. He’s afraid I’ll starve. Seeing as how my stove is electric I guess I’d have to heat the soup up over a match.

    33. Alice Mary

      Just wondering...

      …if Mark would consider sharing that recipe? Soup is often on my menu in Fall/Winter, and that one sounds pretty nutritious. 🙂 (If it’s not possible, that’s quite alright, too!)

      Alice Mary

      1. Don Curtis

        Mark's vegetable soup

        I’ll ask Mark about his vegetable soup, Alice Mary. I don’t know how he makes it. I know it’s some pretty serious soup. You can about stand your spoon up in it.

    34. AGB


      I’ve canned in the past when my children were young but have not for quite some time. We have been fortunate to benefit from my husbands Aunt & Uncle’s garden/canning activity. Until… she and her husband have drastically down-sized their garden.

      Down to the last jar of relish & beets… out of desperation organized 4 generations (my mother, myself, my daugher, my grandsons (9 & 20 mos)to a work day at my house last weekend. We made sweet pickle relish and butter/butter pickles. My daugher had started making jam this year when her strawberries ripened and took off with other fruit also. She even has friends buying her sweet oninon relish from her! My mother & I pitched had pitched in to purchase a pressure cooker for her so we are all in business together.

      Feels so good to “put up” our own fresh canned goods. Planning to do some peaches this weekend.

      I’ve also started reading up on dehydration and looking forward to beginning that as a family activity as well.

      Just wish I didn’t have to work so I could stay home and work at filling up my pantry shelves….

      1. Dehydrator recommendation

        If you’re looking for an inexpensive dehydrator that works really well, I highly recommend this one.
        I was planning on buying a high end square counter model and my step daughter gave me this one for Christmas that year since I’d had it in my Wish List on Amazon. I’d been researching them and after reading the reviews on them thought this one might be just as good as the high end according to some of the comments.
        After using it, I wont be wasting my money on that really nice high end one. This one is awesome and it works really well. It gets a workout in my house too.. I dehydrate a lot! You’ll want to get extra fruit roll up trays and screen liners too.. they come in handy with different things to be dehydrated.

        1. AGB

          Thank you!

          Great, I will be checking this out. We are planning to do a lot of fruit leather and jerky to begin with.

    35. Linda

      You made a great story out of your experience with the canning jar lifter, Erik! I like the words “bubbled furiously.”

    36. Kathleen Hanford

      I do can

      My husband’s step mother taught me how to can when we first married 40+ years ago. Hours and hours were spent at the stove with just a hot water bath. I now have 3 pressure canners, two that hold 7 jars each and one that holds 14-16 depending on the shape of the jars. Had another big one, but it came up missing from our storage building a few years ago.Also 3 hotwater bath canners in two sizes get used regularly. This was a slow year, only about 400 jars. My work hours have changed back to 5 days a week and I am getting older. When the kids were at home, 1000 jars of jam, jelly, soup, sauces etc was common. Miss those days. I’ll be retiring in a few years, maybe I can get back into the groove. My MIL always said never to start winter with empty canning jars,even if it meant just making another batch of soup.In the mean time I keep collecting jars.

      1. AGB

        What brand p.c.?

        What brand pressure cooker do you have that holds the 14-16 jars?

    37. carolyn gilbert

      We can

      My husband and I have a small garden and some fruit trees. We go blue berry picking and visit many farms and farmer’s markets. We started canning a few years ago and my parents taught me the basics. We have two water bath canners, 1 pressure canner and a dehydrator which I am learning to use. We can marinara sauce, salsa, jam, green beans. This year we hope to do more. If my husband didn’t help me I would not be able to do this any more because of health problems. I would like more storage shelves. Would love to have AGB’s receipe for sweet onion relish. Blessings, Carolyn

    38. AGB

      Onion Relish Recipe

      Thjis is the recipe my daughter used. Not sweet oninon as I thought but Sweet & Hot…..
      She added extras to spice it up even more.

      1. Linda

        Pepper Relish

        That’s a good link, AGB. Your Pickled Pepper-Onion Relish recipe is similar to the Pepper Relish recipe at

      2. carolyn gilbert

        thank you AGB

        Thank you so much AGB for sharing the recipe! We are planting several cukes in a couple of weeks and I want to make pickles and relish and I like sweet pickles best. Blessings, Carolyn

    39. Carla

      Love Canning!

      I’ve done lots of water bath canning over the years but only recently learned how to pressure can. Now it’s a weekly event and I love it. I could not believe how simple it was to do once I conquered my fear of the pressure canner. I only hope I will someday have such a beautiful storage area for all those canned foods. Great photos.

    40. karen


      It use to be a savings to can, but not anymore! Canning jars, lids etc. have gone up quite a bit in price. The only thing I like to can is applesauce.