Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Canning Inventory 2010

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)


  1. I'm in awe! I grew up in a non-canning home, so I feel like I'm completely missing out on a whole genre of wonderful foods.

    I'd love for you to share your how-to's for your salsa, praline syrup, blueberry butter, and black bean dip.


  2. Wow. How do you manage to EAT all that?!?

    Oh, right. Toast.

  3. Awesome! You canned such an amazing variety. Love the professional looking inventory sheets, too. Last year I scrawled out some in pencil and posted them on my freezer in the garage so I'd make sure to mark off what I was using as I used it. It was so helpful, because I did not want to wind up with half my pickle inventory left when it was time to start pickling again. I will have to get more professional this year and use sheets like yours. Thanks for providing them.

  4. Ahhh I have the "way to much stuff to eat on bread" problem. If it's not some kind of jam, then it's been pickled. I just told my mom that if there were a major disaster we would survive, but we'd all be 500 lbs. because everthing is loaded with sugar. I really need to fix that. Lovely stockpile though!

  5. I started to do a monthly inventory and found it very helpful. Your stockpile looks delicious.

  6. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with way too much jam and fruit butter. I need to inventory my canned goods too. Such a great idea and thanks for the free download sheets.

  7. @ButterYum: I grew up in a non-canning household too, so I'm not sure what sparked my interest...it must've been reading about WWII victory gardens.
    I'll be sure to post more recipes, the praline syrup is a really nice treat.

    @BBB: I give away lots, I also eat preserves swirled into plain yogurt and snack on pickles and pile them high on sandwiches. I'll share more ways to eat them soon, thanks for inspiring a new post!

    Thanks for the comments everyone, hope you enjoy the inventory sheets!

  8. I'd love to see the Sweet Potato Butter recipe! We're coming into that harvest now!

  9. Sylvia, I'm in Austin and we're seeing a lot of pears showing up at our Farmers' Markets now. Do you have any fav canning recipes for the Bosc-type pears?

  10. I now officially feel better about my stash :D You are one busy gal!

  11. @thelandclinic: yes, the sweet potato butter is yummy! amazing on a peanut butter sandwich..
    I haven't tried any pears yet, but they are on my to-make list. I've seen several recipes using ginger and others that call for cinnamon. Either one sounds good to me, I'll be sure to post about it!

  12. You missed this year's HUGE wild plum crop. I wound up making 4 cases of pints of various jellies with them. We had loaded roadsides from June through August! You should break out of DFW next summer and drive north up to the river. Just look for the red plums on the short shrubs in the fencelines. They make the best jelly in the world!