The Hilarious Misadventures of a Rookie Home Canner

Canning ConfessionsBefore I begin, let me just say… I am in no way admitting that all of this happened to me. It could’ve happened to anyone πŸ˜‰

When you have a very bad day and drop a glass jar of sugar all over the floor in front of the pantry. And then you spill sugar syrup all over the bench and floor by the stove. And then you scald yourself on the blanched peaches, which aren’t so much blanched as well poached. After all of this, half the seals on the bottled peaches fail.

When you place your first order with Oz Farmers and you are so excited when it arrives. You unpack all of the boxes, discover half of the jars you ordered are missing, so open a ticket with Customer Service. 10 minutes later you decide to open the new canner (not just it’s box) and discover all of the jars packed carefully inside. You notice the box is bearing a sticker marked ‘check box’. The invoice has the same message. You sheepishly message Oz Farmers to let them know you found your jars and are sorry for being a bit daft. They kindly pretend like they forgot to put the sticker on so it wasn’t your fault after all πŸ˜‰

When you bottle fruit for the first time. Looks good, tastes good, so into the waterbath it goes. You take out the jars and notice you have 2 inches of fruit swimming on the top of 4 inches of sugar syrup. Apparently you really do need to hot pack with the cut side facing down. Your grandmother assures you “bottling is a bit of an art really. You’ll get the hang of it”. Geez, you hope so!

When you labour for hours over homemade tomato paste- without a mouli. It smells divine. It’s almost done. You spill most of it on the floor in front of the oven.

When you decide to make a half batch of tomato sauce. You halve everything. Except the salt. Or the cayenne pepper. Or both. And you don’t realise until you are done. Sorry kids.

When you are chopping so many onions you can’t see through the tears and you cut yourself.

When you spend more time googling what an ingredient is than actually making the recipe.

When you buy a box of fruit on sale but don’t actually have time to can it. Three days later and summer has turned it to putrid mush in a box of fruit flies. The box is so sodden with rotten fruit juice that the cardboard dyes your white floor a luscious shade of purple. You promise your husband (who lay the floor himself) that you will now only ever buy fruit when you have time to can it straight away.

When you get so carried away with trying new recipes that your fridge is now full of half empty jars of food no one really likes.

When you bottle the old-school way and tip your jars upside down. And the lid hasn’t sealed properly. And there is now hot jam all over the bench.

These events may or may not have happened in my kitchen…


About Kirstee @ This Whole Home

Wife, mama, intentional homemaker. I blog about suburban homesteading, homeschooling and homemaking at

5 thoughts on “The Hilarious Misadventures of a Rookie Home Canner

  1. Fantastic blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed
    in this article? I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get opinions from other knowledgeable people
    that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let
    me know. Appreciate it!

    1. Facebook is the easiest place to connect with other canners online.
      Try these groups for a start
      Aussies Living Simply:
      Aussie Families Living Sustainable: (This is a group I started originally but is now run by another suburban homesteading mum)
      Aussie Canning Group:
      This should get you off to a good start with finding like minded people to connect with and learn from.
      Good luck with your sustainable living adventures. It’s so exciting that more people are choosing to live this way now!

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