A happy jar encounter + giveaway

jars as target

I am always on the lookout for canning supplies. Whether I’m at a grocery store, hardware store or rummage sale, I constantly scan shelves and displays for jars, lids, pectin and more. It’s not that I’m in need of these supplies (I am quite well stocked at this point). I just like being aware of what’s out there, what new products Jarden Home Brands is releasing and the general availability of canning gear.

Last Sunday, I was seriously disappointed by both an Acme and a Giant out in Delaware County. We were on an errand out that way and stopped in to both grocery stores, looking for canning stuff (for me) and Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper (for Scott). We left both stores empty-handed on both fronts. However, the canning universe redeemed itself in a big way tonight. On a quick, post-dinner trip to Target tonight, I discovered a holy mother lode of preserving paraphernalia (unfortunately, I don’t see any of this stuff on Target.com). I practically danced with joy, right there in the main aisle of the South Philadelphia Target.

They had products I’ve never even seen before, including a freezer container that had knobs on top that allow you to indicate the date of freezing with a few clicks and a giant, one-gallon Ball storage jar, produced to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Ball company (yes, that’s me in the picture above, cradling the huge jar and grinning like I’ve just won the lottery).

The other thing the had tonight were copies of the very hard to find Ball Blue Book of Canning (the 100th anniversary edition, no less). Because I know just what a pain it can be to lay hands on this most useful little book, I bought two copies to pass along to a couple of Food in Jars readers. If you want one, leave a comment between now and Friday at 5 p.m., when I’ll pick winners.

And happy canning!

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85 responses to “A happy jar encounter + giveaway”

  1. I didn’t realize how hard this book was to come by, so please pick me! Pick me! I am a beginner at canning and am so excited after finding your site. Thanks for all the info!

  2. It would be like I had died and gone to canning heaven if I was chosen for the book!! Especially since I have misplaced my bernardin one and it is a pain to search on the internet and cross my fingers that everything will turn out right!! So please pick me for the book!!

    I made the mint syrup (I used 2/3 cane sugar and 1/3 dem, sugar) it was so yummy in my mojitos tonight! I have canned about 5 or 6 250 ml jars of it and will keep doing a batch every week or so, as my mint permits, so that I can have mojitos all winter long!!

  3. Oh Marisa, I would love, love, love to get back in to the canning archives of my brain….and childhood!!!! This Ball book would be the thing to help me do so. THANKS, Pat

  4. Wow! I need to see if my local Target in NJ has the same end-cap! And that book would be so helpful…I’m currently working with a book (more like a pamphlet) circa 1960s that my fiance’s Grandma gave me. It’s a start, but all the references to how it’s a woman’s job to ensure there’s food on the table are a bit much. That and the chart to figure out how much food you need to can for a family of four to make it through a year following a nuclear fallout…nuff said πŸ™‚

  5. Nice find! I’d like a chance to win the book.

    I’ve looked repeatedly at Target down in S. Philly and never laid eyes on that selection of goods. I find the Shoprite on Castor Ave and Aramingo to be best when it comes to jar variety. They have half gallon jars in packs of six if you’re ever looking for those.

  6. Oh wow, I’m so jealous of you for that canning jar! I’m just getting back into canning / preserving (grew up doing it) thanks to this site – my first batch of pickled green beans is chilling in the fridge right now πŸ™‚ I’d love to win that book!

  7. I’m a newbie reader who fondly remembers my pop’s bread and butter pickles, orange marmalade, and strawberry preserves. I’ve never canned anything! I’d love a chance to win that book. Maybe it would inspire me to can something!

  8. Please pick me! I just bought a house and am looking forward to having a garden and being able to can things from it!

  9. ooOOOoooo pick me! pick me!!! I too am like you – a moth to the flame when it comes to canning supplies (despite being ridiculously well-stocked already).

  10. I would love a copy of the book! I am still a canning novice, but I’m in a CSA, and fruits are going to start showing up faster than I can eat them.

  11. I have been slowing gearing myself up to become a canner. You site has given me the knowledge and courage I needed! That book sounds great πŸ™‚

  12. Me Me Me Me Me!!! I collect those silly things… (Looking at 12 jars of clementine marmalade on the counter… I need to rearrange all my shelves this weekend – I have no place to put them!)

  13. I canned with my grandmother and great grandmother as a child in Texas. I have really enjoyed reading through your site and re-learning so many things I had forgotten. I remember a Ball pamphlet that we used but it long ago disappeared with passing of the older generation in our family. I would love to have a copy of the Ball book! How fun to be able to can now in air conditioning….boy do I remember the long hot days of Summer canning in the barn kitchen!

  14. I *just* picked up one of those extra-large commemorative jars. I was hoping to put a bunch of pickles in it, but (alas) it almost fits in my refrigerator, but doesn’t. And I’m not quite comfortable with having them unrefrigerated. It’s a pretty place to store all of my “loose” jar bands, though.

    (No need to enter me in the book give-away. Thanks!)

  15. Oh Marissa, you know how bad I’m wanting to do the bread and butter pickles, bought all the spices and sent hubby to WalMart for canning supplies, and he came home empty (probably didn’t know where to look or dare to ask). Nice to know about Target! Please pick me, you know I’ll keep you posted πŸ™‚

  16. i have a one gallon mason jar that has a drink spigot on the bottom–perfect, in theory, for tea or lemonade. the book would be awesome!

  17. I have a similar photo of myself cradling a gallon jar of pickles. I have fallen in love with your blog and would cradle it in my arms if I could…wait…that’s creepy…Anyway, I need all the pickling recipes I can get my creepy arms on-I made 9 jars this weekend and won’t stop till the farmer’s market runs out of stuff I can fit in a jar! I love that big jar from Target, I’m officially sending everyone I know in Target’s reach out to look for them!

  18. My favorite stash in Virginia is at Food Lion. They have the greatest supply of nearly everything that I need for canning.

    I wish I had more time to can, but I am happy to get done the amount that I do especially at this time of the year.

    This week I made blueberry syrup, mint syrup, berry preserves and homemade turkey stock. Yum!

  19. I’d love to win that book. I have just started to learn
    how to can things and would love a good reference book!

  20. WOW. I’m shocked. I went to my local Target about a month ago in preparation to try my hand at canning for the first time and couldn’t find ANYTHING at all except for a few packages of jars. No separate packs of lids. No hot water bath canners. No tools. No anything. Went across the street to Walmart and they had at least the basics!

  21. OOOOH! Well now I have to head to Target on my way home from work. I could use a giant Ball jar, and the book too of course!

  22. I just discovered your website yesterday and will become an avid reader. I’m looking to purchase my first home this year and am looking forward to the day when I’ll have my own garden and will be able to can things and make my own preserves and chutneys! Thanks for the plethora of info you provide!

  23. Last summer at a farm auction not far from us I bought all the boxes of old and newish canning jars for $10. There was also a large box containing 26 Miracle Whip jars included in the job lot. I’d love the cookbook to get some ideas for what to do with them other than giving them to the church for Sunday School crafts!
    Thank you for your blog. I enjoy it early each morning with my coffee.

    • Mayo jars are great for dry canning.
      Make sure to use new lids.
      Dry can with your vacuum seal attachment of your Food Saver or use a 100cc oxygen absorber.
      You can dry can so many things like rice, wheat, dry pasta, crackers or dehydrated or freeze dried fruits, vegetables and meats.
      Dry canning keeps these foods shelf stable for years!!
      Try pre-mixed meals in jars.

  24. I would love to get the Ball book. I’ve been wanting to pick up a copy and get started on all sorts of projects, but life has just gotten in the way thus far, and the summer is slipping away! I’ll get my canning act together soon, I promise!

  25. I would love to have a copy of the book and am getting back into canning after doing it on a small scale years ago….Thank you!!!!

  26. I have been getting back into jam making and canning. I even have started a small kitchen garden. I have been harvesting raspberries. I would love a copy of this very useful book, I cannot seem to locate my worn out old one!

  27. I saw the very same display at my local Target just south of San Francisco!!! It was very exciting. The gallon jar was beautiful, but what to use it for??? I couldn’t think of anything – yet. Oh, by the way I already have the book so please don’t enter me in the contest, just wanted to share my excitement.

  28. Oh, love the photo of you with that gallon jar! And I want one, too! (I’ll have to check out my local target.) I’d love a copy of the book; I have a couple of other canning books, but that’s the classic.

  29. I want a book! And thanks for the info on Target. I didn’t really want to buy canning stuff online the first time, so I’m going to go check ours. Thanks!

  30. Hi there! I would love a copy of this book. If you check out my blog, you can view our very large backyard garden…we have purchased many glass years and imagine canning in the next few weeks. Take care!

  31. No one has ever taught me to can, so I’m always a little afraid to actually store the stuff I can on a shelf. Instead, i keep them in the refrigerator or freezer. Maybe someday, I’ll trust my processing enough.

  32. Oh my! I would love to win that book! I’m wishing for it right now!!

    That 1-gallon jar looks amazing. It probably wouldn’t fit in my canner but I bet it is excellent for making sun tea!

  33. Thank you for your blog and all your giveaways! I just made your yummy strawberry and rhubarb jam – awesome with yoghurt! I would love to win this book – slim pickings for preserving books where I live!

  34. you make me want to run right out to my local Target! I think I’d store flour in the large jar, if the mouth is big enough for a one-cup scoop.

    I’m totally interested in the book.

  35. So, like the first commenter, I haven’t tried canning because I’m also afraid of botulism. True story about that:

    I was sitting in a non-fiction course at university, waiting for class to begin when the teacher came up to me. “You girls should try canning,” she said to me and the girl next to me, “I have so many left over green beans. But you can die if you get it wrong. You can! But don’t worry, I think you can do it.” Then she walked away and started class.

    Strange, no? I like to play with death, so I think I’d like to win a copy of this canning book. Thanks!

  36. I think you may have started a stampede to Targets fot the jar and the book! Please enter me in the book giveaway.

    I only recently “found” your blog and it is already one of my must reads. Thank you for the great info!

  37. That gorgeous jar is worth cradling. I want one! I’d also love a copy of the Blue Book so please enter me in the drawing. πŸ™‚

  38. My target doesn’t even carry canning supplies. I usually find mine at the little bitty hardware stores, where they go quickly. I missed the book, so please enter me in the drawing!

  39. I’ve been procrastinating all week – please enter me for the drawing. I’ve become pretty addicted to the freezer jam, next step: buying some canning supplies for more hard-core canning adventures.

  40. I’ve been really wanting to try my hand at canning so I would love love love to win this! Thanks for the great giveaway and good luck everyone!

  41. I just got an e-mail from Amazon telling me they’ve cancelled my order for the Ball Blue Book of Canning due to lack of availability…your contest couldn’t have come along at a better time. πŸ™‚

    And I am totally envious of that large jar. I want one!

  42. I don’t have that one and would LOVE to win it.

    But I do realize that is greedy of me, since I already can and there’s somebody who needs it more.

    But that totally doesn’t stop me from wanting to win.

  43. Just found your web site, I love it. Have been canning since in my teens & am always looking for canning sites. Thanks. I have the book so dont include me in the drawing. I love the canning jar photo. Will have to try my target here in TX to see if they have it.

  44. I am soooo excited about canning supplies in Philadelphia. Last year when I asked about them in grocery stores no one even knew what I was talking about, let alone carried them. Actual exchange: Customer Service: You mean, like, lids for cat food cans? Me: Um, no. Never mind.

  45. If I am right and read that you were located in PA, in Philidelphia, I just wanted to remind you that if you run out of ANY Canning supplies, that all you have to do is travel a short distance of any of the Old Order Mennonite and Amish towns in your area and you will find a canning wonderland at your fingertips, I live in the Shenandoah Valley of VA, near Dayton VA, an Old Order Mennonite Colony 3,000 here. The average Old Order family cans between 1000 and 2,000 qts of food per year, including meats and meals in jars. Believe me there are stores run by Mennonites in your area that won’t let you down in the canning arena!!!!

  46. Thanks for the info! I found you by doing a search on “canning supplies in Philadelphia”. Good to know I can buy them at Target!

  47. Perhaps it is because of my mother and grandmother’s warnings to follow any canning and preserving recipe to the β€œT” or the recipe would fail horribly, that I have never experimented outside the norm. However, this year and many thanks to your blogs, I have been overcoming the fear of sticking with traditional canning and pickling recipes. Every time I find a new unique recipe, I immediately feel like a little kid on Christmas. I am enjoying going outside the traditional and even creating my own, yes my very own, unique recipes.
    There is nothing better then recognizing the basics rules to all canning and preserving, loosing the fear of following a recipe to the β€œT”, making it your own, and having an amazing outcome. I must also say, that finding unique canning jars at Estate and yard sales is equally exciting and can add a little pizzazz to any homemade product.

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