The summer canning season is quickly drawing to a close (can you believe its mid-August?!), it seems like just yesterday I was making a big batch of strawberry preserves, but that was actually back in April, so it must just be my perception of time. Since then I've made salsas, jams, pickles, and fruit butters and continue to fill my cabinets and squirrel it all away in various spots (and pawn off samples on friends and family).
Last week I had a bit of ambition and decided that it was time to do an inventory of everything put up thus far. I cleared my counters and started pulling jars out... I should also mention that nothing was very organized (I just stashed this stuff where ever I had space!). Over 125 jars, 2 breaks for chocolate, a new organizational system, and a couple of ipod playlists later I had everything sorted and accounted for.
Here's what I came up with:
Creole Sauce - 7 pints
Cinnamon Red Hot Apples - 4 pints
Pickled Banana Peppers - 2 pints, 2 half pints
Okra Pickles - 2 pints
Garlic Pickles - 1 pint
Sweet Potato Butter - 2 pints
Spiced Apples - 4 pints
Carrot Jam - 2 pints
Peach Pie Filling - 5 pints
Mango Butter - 3 pints
Sweet Pickled Jalapenos - 1 pint
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Filling - 4 pints
Hawaiian Conserve - 4 half pints
Praline Syrup - 2 half pints
Apricot Honey Butter - 2 half pints
3 Citrus Marmalade - 1 half pint
Pineapple Marmalade - 1 half pint, 2 quarter pints
Strawberry Preserves - 4 pints, 2 half pints
Peach Jam - 8 half pints, 3 quarter pints
Blueberry Butter - 9 half pints, 4 quarter pints
Strawberry Jam - 5 half pints
Strawberry Lemon Marmalade - 5 half pints
Clementine Marmalade - 2 half pints
Papaya Lime Jam - 4 half pints
Maple Walnut Syrup - 3 half pints
Cactus Salsa - 3 half pints
Blackberry Jam - 4 half pints, 2 quarter pints
Raspberry Jam - 4 half pints
Prickly Pear Jam - 2 half pints, 2 quarter pints
Black Bean Dip - 4 quarts, 2 pints
Stewed Tomatoes - 3 quarts
Pickled Jalapenos - 1 pint, 8 half pints
And yes, in the event of zombie-apocalypse you are all invited over to my place. Just bring toast. Lots and lots of toast.
Now all I have to do is keep this list going, adding and subtracting as we work our forks through each jar. Or I may just schedule a bi-annual inventory, I'm not sure how to handle that yet. Either way this was a great opportunity to organize, evaluate, and clean up my pantry. It also gave me the chance to check seals and labels and rediscover some of my favorite projects from earlier this year.
If you decide to tackle a canning inventory for yourself here are a few useful tips:
- take time to sort everything by type, batch, and jar size if applicable
- check your labels to be sure they are still clear, legible, and properly marked
- check seals. look for any signs of mold or improper seal. Test seals by tapping the lid with a spoon (you are looking for a high *ping*, compare to a jar filled with water and a new lid screwed on) or remove the ring and lift the jar by the lid (using just your fingertips) the seal should be able to support the weight of the jar.
- you may choose to rearrange / relocate your preserves. I now store all like items together, such as all jams,jellies, butters, and conserves go in one cabinet. I have another spot for pie fillings and whole fruit preserves, and another for savory sauces, salsas, and pickles.
For further information on storing home canned foods check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation site, How Do I? ...Store page
And one more thing, I created these fun inventory sheets! Download 'em, print them, use them to your heart's content. (click to download printable .pdfs)