Summer is a busy time Chez Industrialist, and so I am so happy to have asked the lovely Kristen Magee of Paper Crave to do a guest post. Like me, she shares a love of cooking, design, and craft. I think her post is the perfect blend of all three. I hope you love it as much as I do. Take it away, Kristen!
I have many wonderful memories of the yearly canning parties that my family used to have during the height of the summer harvest. Though I wasn't old enough at the time to actually take part in the jam making and pickling fun, I do remember having a great time picking berries from bushes that grew in the woods behind my godparents' house, which was where the parties were held. I honestly don't know how many of those berries actually made it back to the house, instead of going straight to my tummy!
Though I now live in the city, with nary a wild berry bush in sight, as I've gotten older I've had a growing interest in “putting food by” - making my own jams, jellies, sauces, and anything else that strikes my fancy. I've only been canning for a couple of years, but it's been such a rewarding thing for me to do, and I'm happy to see that many more people have become interested in canning in recent years. So, why not take what can often be a solo activity and turn it into a party? Send out invites to friends and family, asking them to bring their garden bounty (or fruits and veggies from their CSA delivery or a local farm), and include several recipe cards so they can fill them out and share their favorite recipes for jams, pickles, sauces, and more. Be sure to have plenty of extra recipe cards on hand during the party for recipes created on the fly, and have plenty of labels and tags, too, so everyone can label what they made and share with the other guests. What better party favor than jars of tasty canned goods that can be enjoyed year 'round?
There are plenty of resources on the web to help you figure out what supplies you'll need if this is your first time canning. Lots of recipes, too! Here are some of my favorites:
Pick Your Own is a fantastic resource for learning how to can pretty much anything.
Fresh Preserving has step-by-step videos on canning different types of goods, and they have an online shop where you can purchase canning jars and more.
The National Center for Home Food Preservation is another great resource with plenty of safety tips and recipes.
Sunset has a great article that gives you a basic outline for throwing a canning party. Recipes included, too.
Canning Pantry is where I buy most of the supplies that I can't find locally. They have everything you'll need!
And here are canning party themed printable invitations with coordinating envelope liners - I sized the liners to fit 4 Bar envelopes from Paper Source. I've also made matching jar tags and labels, as well as recipe cards that you can include when you send the invites.