Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Just In Time for Summer Canning -- The 37th Edition Of The Ball Blue Book® Guide To Preserving Is Now Available for Purchase (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Ball® Canning & Recipes

With the start of summer comes strawberry and then blueberry picking season -- two of my favorite times of the year.  And, with the over abundance of freshly picked fruit, comes afternoons of canning these delicious berries into jams, which I surprise family and friends with, as well as enjoy with my family at breakfast time.

I waited until Savannah was out of school for the summer to go strawberry picking with her and Bella, as well as a friend from her preschool and his mom.  We set out for a local farm, which has what seems like miles and miles of strawberry and blueberry plants.  With our buckets and containers we spent the AM last Tuesday picking vibrant red colored strawberries.  I think Savannah and Bella ate more strawberries than they put in the bucket. I can't blame them, as I sampled a few (well, OK, more than a few) and they were so juicy and delicious.  It was hard to stop at just one.  But, I knew that these ripe strawberries would make for great smoothies, homemade frozen fruit bars and jams for canning, so I made a point to stick with picking the strawberries to fill my containers with them. :-)
I was smart when it came to picking as I brought along an extra container that I filled, which sole purpose was to satisfy our strawberry cravings for the drive home.  By the time we got home, the container was empty, and the girls had red lips and fingers and smiles on their faces. :-) After cleaning and prepping the strawberries for snacking, freezing and canning, I pulled out the new 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book canning recipe book.  

"The most trusted resource in home canning for over 100 years, the 2015 release of the Ball Blue Book is its largest update since the first edition in 1909."

The new 37th edition, which hit book shelves earlier this month, is a must have for canners, both novice and expert.  With over 200 pages, this canning cookbooks has expanded 56% from the previous edition, and includes 75 new recipes, pictorial step by step canning guides for beginners, and a special special section for Meal Creations and recommendations with tips for creating your own signature food.

Can you belive that the (AKA the Canning Bible for canners) was first published back in 1909?  For over 100 years, the Ball Blue Book has become the most trusted resource for home canning.  I remember when my grandmother and great aunts were going through their cookbooks when downsizing, they gave me their editions they had collected and used.  This was my first experience with canning and from that point on I was hooked, and love to make jams, pickles, salsas, etc. with fresh fruits and vegetables I grow in my own garden or pick at local farms with my family. There is just something about being able to can fruits and vegetables to enjoy throughout the year, as well as share as gifts everyone loves to receive, that puts a smile on my face.  And, whenever I find myself looking at freshly picked berries like the amazing strawberries the girls and I picked the other day, I am quick to grab my latest edition of the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving for family favorite recipes and new recipes to try. 

Here is a quick and easy strawberry jam recipe that is posted on the Jarden Home Brands' Fresh Preserving website, which is filled with tons of canning recipes you will find in this and past Ball Blue Book editions. 

picture of prepared recipe
Makes about 8 (8 oz) half pints
Strawberries, lemon juice, Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin and sugar combine to create this homemade strawberry jam. Try out this recipe, then make it your own as you discover new twists to this favorite canning recipes.



  1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  2. COMBINE strawberries and lemon juice in a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
  3. ADD entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
  4. LADLE hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
  5. PROCESS in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.


Vanilla Strawberry Jam:
Add half a vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, to the crushed strawberries. Cook as directed and remove vanilla bean before ladling jam into jars. The resulting jam will be enhanced with subtle yet distinct vanilla overtones.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam:
Reduce the lemon juice to 1 tbsp and add 3 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar accents the strawberry flavor and gives the jam a robust taste.
Lemony Strawberry Jam:
Add the grated zest of 1 large lemon to the crushed strawberries.
Peppered Strawberry Jam:
Stir 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper into the cooked jam just before ladling it into the jars. Pepper accents and compliments strawberries' sweet flavor. Be sure to use freshly ground pepper, which delivers a fresher-quality flavor.
    In addition to making the homemade strawberry jam recipe, a recipe I have used for the past few years, I did try out a few of the suggested variations including the Lemony Strawberry Jam and the Strawberry Balsamic Jam.  I shared a few jars of the Lemony Strawberry Jam with some of my close friends, who were quick to ask for the recipe, as they family devoured the jam in record time, as did my family. :-)
    Photo courtesy of Jarden Home Brands
    There are so many great canning recipes that I want to try this summer once the vegetables start coming in, including the many relish recipes, an apricot preserves recipes that you can use as a chicken glaze, as well as a strawberry-kiwi jam that I will be making this weekend when we pick more strawberries. :-)
    Upon receiving this new edition cookbook a couple of weeks ago, I was quick to pick it up and read it cover to cover like a book, and marked up practically half the book with sticky notes on pages to recipes I want to try.  My family and friends will be in for a treat when I start turning out jars and jars of homemade tomato sauce, salsas, jams and so much more, thanks to oh so easy to follow along recipes found in the new  37th Edition of the Ball Blue Book® Guide to Preserving cookbook, available for purchase now in stores and through online retailers.  I can't wait to hear about and see the canning that you do after you check out this new edition cookbook.  The hard part will be keeping the jars on the pantry shelf. :-)
    Here are some great preserving tips for both novice and experienced canners which the folks at Jarden Corporation shared in a recent press release announcing the release of the  37th Edition of the Ball Blue Book® Guide to Preserving cookbook, that I thought would be interest to you as you start your summer canning....
    Photo courtesy of Jarden Home Brands
    "While there are many exciting updates throughout the 200-page guide, below are tips about fresh preserving that may even surprise experienced canners: 
    Tip #1: Safety is just as important as taste. A recipe needs more than good flavor to be considered safe for home canning, that's why it's absolutely imperative to choose recipes that are tested and approved in accordance with USDA guidelines. Rest assured that all recipes in the Ball Blue Book have gone through vigorous testing and are deemed safe for home canning. Process and recipe validation is always the highest priority to ensure the best results consistently for consumers.
    Tip #2: Fresh preserving is just three steps. If you can boil water, you can can! Simply prep your equipment, prepare your tested and approved recipe, and follow the proper corresponding preserving instructions to ensure the perfect batch every time. We know with 100% confidence that when these three steps are done properly, home canning is undoubtedly safe and very rewarding.
    Tip #3: Size matters.  Fresh preserving is equal parts art and science. Each recipe is tailored for a specific Ball canning jar size, so it's important to use the jar indicated in the recipe. Experts at Jarden Home Brands have tested all Ball Blue Book recipes to determine the most appropriate jar size, which is listed alongside each recipe.  You can also reference this helpful jar selector guide on FreshPreserving.com if you're unsure.
    Tip #4: Jam isn't just for toast. Fruit spreads are some of the most versatile preserved foods and can be used for so much more than topping scones or toast! The newly-added Meal Creations guide in the Ball Blue Book showcases how to transform a jar of delicious Apricot Preserves into recipes like chicken glaze, or Strawberry-Kiwi Jam into salad dressing!
    Tip #5: Tomatoes are a top pick. Out of all fruits and vegetables, tomatoes are the most popular ingredient to preserve because they're so simple to prepare—and delicious. Tomatoes Packed in Juice is an easy way to begin preserving the season's best tomatoes from your farmers market, home garden, CSA or local grocery store.
    The 37th Edition of the Ball Blue Book® Guide to Preserving is available to purchase now at www.FreshPreservingStore.com and can be found at select grocery, hardware and mass retailers nationwide, as well as online. For more information on all Ball brand canning products and safe home canning practices, visit www.FreshPreserving.com or the brand's social media channels including Facebook (www.Facebook.com/BallCanning), Twitter (www.Twitter.com/BallCanning) and Pinterest (www.Pinterest.com/BallCanning)."
    Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

    1 comment :

    1. I would love to get this as I would love to can some blackberry jam this year.
      heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com