Saturday, August 17th is Can-It-Forward Day. Who wants to trap the flavors of summer in jars with me?! Read on for the giveaway…

For years, I have had “preserving” on my bucket list. Last year, I made some refrigerator pickles but I never made the leap to full canning. When I was contacted by Jarden Home Brands about Can It Forward day, it was just the push I needed to make it happen and cross this longstanding “to do” off my list.

A few weeks ago, I received a number of packages containing everything I needed to try my hand at jam or jelly making. Ball makes an appliance called the FRESHTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker that basically does the work for you. Perhaps the purists reading this post are rolling their eyes. I know that there isn’t much to making jam on the stovetop but due to my busy schedule, I’m all for handy shortcuts, especially if they don’t compromise quality.

Last weekend, our family took a trip to the farmer’s market to scout out some ingredients for our first jam. We settled on some beautiful raspberries and blackberries. The girls helped wash them and mash them. Of course, a number of taste tests ensured quality control.

A few tablespoons of pectin and mashed fruit are spread into the jam and jelly maker. You push two buttons. It is the most dummy proof appliance I have ever met. Choose “Jam” or “Jelly” and push start. The stirring mechanism begins to stir as the appliance heats up.

After a few minutes, the machine makes three beeps. That means it is time to add the sugar. About 17 minutes after that, the machine beeps again and it is time to jar your jam. During the cooking process, I prepared my jars by sterilizing them in hot water. Though the process takes meticulous care, it was quite simple. The jam went out of the appliance, into the jars, under boiling water  and then into my pantry (excluding the samples that made it onto our toast.)

We were so impressed with our first batch that we went back to a nearby produce store to forage for more jam-making fruit. Once I got the hang of it, I couldn’t stop. By the end of the weekend, we had four different types of jam and a year’s supply in our pantry.


Want to get in on the fun? I’m GIVING AWAY a starter kit for someone else to join me as a novice “preserver.” If you are interested and live in the United States, leave a comment on this post. On Saturday, I’ll randomly choose a winner who will receive the following items, just in time to capture the bounty of August harvest! This giveaway includes all you will need to try your hand at canning. It does not include the FRESHTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker but I am willing to lend the appliance to anyone in Chicago who wants to borrow it!

Winner will recieve:
1. The Ball Canning Discovery Kit
2. The Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving
3. One coupon for a free case of Ball brand canning jars

Be sure to tune into the online learning and discussions on Saturday, August 17th for National Can-It-Forward Day. Find the full schedule of events here. If you have any specific quesitons, you can participate in the discussion via Twitter using the hashtag #canitforward and following @BallCanning.

This giveaway is closed as of 8/17/13. Congratulations to John! Happy canning everyone.


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73 Responses to “Giveaway: Who wants to do some canning?”

  1. Bridge Says:

    This looks like fun and a good excuse to try something that’s long been on my list!

  2. Sandy Says:

    My mom makes a spiced peach preserve that is the only jam I would eat growing up. I’ve been itching to try a batch of my own!

  3. Sara Says:

    I gave up canning because my jelly did not turn out well as I was a poor judge of its readiness to can. After I made jelly, I gave some to friends feeling so proud of my accomplishment. This did not last long. Soon, I opened my own jar to find runny jelly. I used it for pancake syrup instead. Good repurpose, I suppose, but not my intent. Perhaps I will try this system.

  4. Josie Says:

    I’d love to try canning!

  5. Jade N Says:

    I just started to get into canning myself. I’ve only attempted to make some strawberry jam and pumpkin butter so far but I don’t have any of the legitimate equipment …yet!

  6. Margot C Says:

    Am I part of a “thing”? I have so passionately been wanting to do this. My mother used to can stuff; she made a much sought after marvelous chutney that I want to reproduce.

  7. Mahdis Says:

    My family is from Iran and I’ve always hoped that I could someday make and can Iranian preserves, such as quince, carrot with cardamom, etc. I would also love to be able to make some apple butter since I recently came across a few fantastic recipes. This would definitely help me get started if I win the kit!

  8. Sarah Says:

    I would really love to win this giveaway, I think it would be the push I need to start canning. I’ve been really interested for the past few years but have been intimidated by the process and haven’t gotten over the canning hump yet :)

  9. Laura Says:

    I just recently made my first batch of jam…my favorite fruit nectarine with lemon basil. So thrilled that I did it. To my delight making the jam was not as labor intensive as I had thought. When I was done it made me wonder why I had avoided it for all these years. This machine makes it even easier. Now I want to try canning vegetables and other fruit jam. I really like the idea that one person listed of carrot preserves.

  10. Maayan Says:

    This is beautiful, a perfect way to preserve the end of summer!

  11. Tori Says:

    Canning is on my bucket list, lets do this!

  12. Debby G. Says:

    I have always wanted to try canning!

  13. Alyshia Says:

    This would be something fun to do with the kids!

  14. greta Says:

    I have the fresh tec and it is so simple to use, I don’t use it as much as I would like to but now I have a reason to bust it out this weekend!

  15. erinn johnson Says:

    THanks for the giveaway, it is just what I need…

  16. Sarah R. Says:

    I just started canning last summer and have relied on my parents’ canning goods to get me by, but it would be great to have some things of my own! This year I’ve only made strawberry jam, but I’ve been snacking on some blackberries lately that really make me want to revisit blackberry jam.

  17. Natasha Says:

    I have really been wanting to get into canning ever since I tasted a friends jalapeno jelly and it was amazing! This would be great to get me started!

  18. Sarah van Loon Says:

    Super interested!! This is so exciting, too! This is the year, I keep saying to myself. Hopefully this really WILL be the year and I’ll have the fruits of my labor to share with friends (pun *intended*). :)

  19. Kel Says:

    I would love this! My grandparents always canned – it seems like something I should learn.

  20. john hutchens Says:

    this is my first year making jams and jelly. I am picking berries daily and hope to start on the jelly adventure soon

  21. Jennifer @ Also Known As...the Wife Says:

    Canning has been on my bucket list for a while as well.

    Now that my daughter loves nothing but PB&J sandwiches I would love to make my own jam instead of buying the stuff at the store.

  22. Susan Says:

    such perfect timing as our peach trees have been loaded with fruit!! I’d rather make jam than let the bear get the peaches (and he HAS been making nightly visits for his fine dining experience!)

  23. Roseanna Bolla Says:

    Anything homemade is always better! Having a short cut for jams is a great idea!

  24. Roseanna Bolla Says:

    I would love a shortcut for jam making!

  25. Jodi Monroy Says:

    I love canning!

  26. Marie Says:

    I’ve done some preserving with my mother, but I’d love to have my own set!

  27. Michelle Garry Says:

    I have a HUGE fig tree now (grew enormous with miracle gro and love) and have started trying some recipes with figs and they’re so yummy. I have been wanting to try canning some so this would be a great kick start! ;0)

  28. Alina Says:

    I’d love to try my hand at canning. Have heard of folks discussing it and it sounds like fun and tasty.

  29. Sean Says:

    This would be a great project for me in the kids!

  30. Lindsey Says:

    Oh this sounds like fun! And even if I don’t win I might borrow the automatic jam maker from you :)

  31. Shawna Lynch Says:

    Last year I made pear butter as my very first attempt at canning and it was very successful. The pear variety was Kieffer I believe, a native Louisiana pear variety of which we have two trees. I’m eager to try my hand at a jam or jelly this year from our recent harvest of blueberries from our small orchard. I have pictures and would be happy to share if interested.

  32. shannon Says:

    awesome! i’ve always wanted to try canning!

  33. Rachel Says:

    It’s been on my to-do list too!

  34. Courtney Says:

    I’ve never canned. It has always looked intimidating, but we have this amazing plum tree in the yard and it would be great to get next year’s harvest into longterm storage.

  35. stephanie Says:

    Wow, I never knew this existed! I have been saving canning recipes and planned to start this fall. Thanks!!

  36. robin Says:

    Pure inspiration!

  37. Kathi Says:

    When I was a child my mother canned foods fresh from our garden, unfortunately, my mother died before I reached an age of real appreciation for home canned foods. For the past couple of years I have been wanting to try it, but honestly have been a bit intimidated. This past weekend I bought 2 cases of jars..and now that blackberries are ripe, I think I might make some jam. I also want to make some pickles and some pickled beans and carrots. Your page is encouraging to me. Thank you for your pioneering spirit, and I would love to trap the flavors of summer in jars with you.

  38. Jess @ Floptimism Says:

    I’ve wanted to try canning for so long but have never gotten around to it…maybe this is the year to start!

  39. Diana Says:

    I’ve done some canning in the past, but using improvised tools… Nothing quite like the sinking moment when I realized I didn’t have a pot big enough for the jam recipe I was trying to make!

  40. toni Says:

    I used to can tomatoes with my mother, four jars at a time, in a green enamel pot.
    Lately, I pickle cukes. Count me in this jammin’ giveaway.

  41. Erin Joyce Says:

    Ive done refrigerator canning but would love to jump into the real thing. Would love to add this to my craft gift arsenal. Homemade jam – YUMMO!

  42. Erin Says:

    This would be great to try with my daughters!

  43. Jonathan Says:

    I would love to give this a try.

  44. Judy James Says:

    I would love to do this. We have lots of apple trees and have been wanting to make jelly for gifts!

  45. Mary McCreadie Says:

    Would LOVE to win! The more I can, the more ‘newbie’ I feel! Help!

  46. Jennifer Says:

    I wish I lived in Chicago–that way, I could at least borrow the machine! There are all sorts of jam recipes I’ld love to try (I invent my own), but haven’t due to the amount of babysitting jam requires!

  47. Carol S. Says:

    I would love to learn to can. We have a great garden this year with lots of tomatoes and fruits – this would be great!

  48. Annette L. Says:

    Would love to win. Any opportunity to learn an old skill is appreciated!

  49. Kimberly G. Says:

    This looks really interesting! My garden is overflowing and I’m considering figuring out some canning for my pears (does pear jam exist?), my beans, my tomatoes and definitely my cucumbers. Blueberries are in abundance down the road. Could it really be this easy?

  50. Nosher Says:

    It’s peach season.

    I want to be able to open a jar of peaches in mid-winter!

  51. Sactokaren Says:

    I wish mom had held onto her canning paraphernalia… I have an abundant garden and would like to can instead of freeze everything.

  52. Melissa Rice Says:

    Would love a chance to explore this old cooking art form!

  53. Barbara Rhyne-Tucker Says:

    Must I use pectin? I have a great source for berries this year and ma going to do this..and would you please enter me in you contest?

  54. Anne Says:

    You make it seem so easy. I’d love to try canning!

  55. sheri Cochran Says:

    I would love to make my own jams & jellies. So many great fruits to choose from and made fresh. I think it would be great fun. Quite a few people at my office do and hearing them talk about what they have made, including the guys, makes me what to learn more. Jams, jellies, salsas and tomoatoes, oh my! Need canning supplies….

  56. Phebe Cornell Says:

    What a great idea! I’d love to can some peach preserves!

  57. Shannon Says:

    I’ve never canned but would really like to start! More elderberry syrup, mmmmmm!

  58. Carl Williams Says:

    my first attemptt with a variety of plum I found on a roadside tree. Adding a little lemon peal zest Nd 1/4 tsp allspice to 8 oz. jar — super good. Will try some other street fruit next weekend.
    thanks, cw

  59. Amy Says:

    I am very much a novice canner! I would love to can some chili to open up on cold winter nights by the fire. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  60. Ilka Says:

    I’d be interested in getting back into canning. Used to do some years ago – simple jams, but also relishes and hot sauce, and just haven’t had the time lately. Thanks!

  61. Lola Says:

    You make it sound so easy! I have a freezer full of blueberries because I was too intimidated to try to make jam from them. It’s time to get over my fear …

  62. Paolo Says:

    I have wanted to try this ever since I was a kid. My best friends always had the best canned preserves.

  63. Donnetta Says:

    This is a great starter kit. I’d love to learn to can!

  64. Liz Fuller-Wright Says:

    We just moved to Maine, where fresh berries grow right in my yard! I’ve been wanting to get into jam-making, but have been daunted by the start-up costs. Thanks for offering a give-away!

  65. Citizen Reader Says:

    My boy’s almost three and puts away enormous amounts of toast and jam. I’d LOVE to give this starter kit a try.

  66. John Says:

    Since I have more farmer’s markets near me than Starbucks I SHOULD be canning!

  67. Rebecca Says:

    Canning is SO addictive! I don’t even use jam/jelly that often, but want to make tons of recipes anyway!

  68. Patricia Wojnar Crowley Says:

    Love it…thanks so much for sharing! I can’t wait to can some homemade tomato sauce!

  69. Pamela Says:

    This is a perfect sized kit to try canning. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

  70. WIllow Says:

    Oh my. I have always wanted to do Jam and canning has been becoming a bit of a habit(addiction) for me. With a 20 month old and baby #2 on the way I have tried not to commit myself to too much this summer/fall. Sounds like this device would be a help to keeping up with our needs and desires.

  71. Allison Almond Says:

    wow! what a thoughtful give away

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  73. Chris Says:

    Wow, such a great give away.
    Is there a follow up for this anywhere? Did John write a blogpost about it maybe? I’d sure like to know how it went.

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