Every fall, produce starts to roll into my house and canning season commences. I love my trusty Ball canning book, but sometimes I turn to Pinterest for canning recipes. And sometimes I try those recipes and they turn out perfect…and sometimes they’re total wrecks. And by the time I can again, I can’t remember what in the world recipe I even used. What’s the solution? Keep a canning journal!
You can absolutely buy a cute little canning journal on Etsy. There are lots of adorable options out there. If you’re feeling a little more DIY, another option is buying a canning journal PDF to print out as needed, and store it in a binder.
My plan for a budget-friendly canning journal? I’m using a plain old spiral notebook that I picked up for $.19.
If you’re a home canner, you may be thinking, “Why in the world would I want to keep a canning journal?”
Here are a few reasons for keeping a canning journal:
Stop wasting time. And ingredients.
There are many, many sub-par canning recipes out there. I am totally over trying unofficial canning recipes and being disappointed.
I’m also sick of sorting through the thirty-six salsa recipes on my Pinterest board, trying to remember just exactly which one it was that turned out superb last year. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
And wasting ingredients is a HUGE annoyance of mine. Part of the reason I love to can is because it’s a super frugal way of feeling our family. If I’m using recipes that don’t turn out well, it ticks me off when ingredients (and time) are wasted. Big bummer, dude.
A canning journal gives you space to make notes for specific recipes.
I’m also totally over trying to remember exactly how much juice I need to add to plum jelly, or which pectin did NOT set well.
Sometimes I come across a tool or shortcut that makes canning a particular recipe much easier. Having a spot to write down helpful hints that I need to remember…well, this mommy brain needs all the help it can get.
Record the yield for a recipe in your canning journal.
It’s handy to note how much of something you can and how many pints or quarts it produces. Makes planning for your pantry much easier, in my opinion.
Last week I made applesauce. I noted in my canning journal that filling my stock pot with applesauce yielded 10 pints and 2 quarts. Next year, I can look at that note and know that a filled stock pot should get me about the same yield.
Make your canning journal the place to record special family canning recipes.
Listen. I’d be lying if I said my sentimental self didn’t hope that some day my canning journal will be a wonderful, priceless momento that my grandchildren will fight over. Hey, a mom can dream. 😉
But seriously, how cool to have a record of your canning successes from year to year to pass down to your kids? I love that idea so much.
My kids are still pretty little so they don’t help with canning much yet, but they do help with the growing and picking of produce. And they definitely have a few favorite canned items. I’m so excited to have a record of the canning recipes we enjoyed as a family to share with them when they’re older.
Have you ever kept a canning journal? Let me know in the comments!