Texas Living

Bring Back the Past With These Canning Recipes

By Erin Fornoff 5.11.20

Like an apple pie steaming on a windowsill, a cellar full of jewel-hued jars of canned produce seems like an image from another era. However, there’s a growing trend toward reclaiming these artisanal skills. And now that we’re all spending more time indoors, there’s no better time to learn.

So why put up your own produce? Beyond saving what you grow at the height of freshness and getting in touch with your pioneering ancestors, canning your own produce allows you control over what goes into your food and lets you enjoy your own vegetables all year-round.

Here are a few seasonal canning recipes to capitalize on your garden’s produce. Remember for each recipe to place your canning jars in a hot dishwasher or water bath to sterilize, then remove and drain when you’re ready to start canning.

Best Texas Salsa for May Tomatoes


  • 2 cups tomatoes (6 or 7), seeded and chopped
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  • Simmer ingredients in a large pot for 30 minutes.
  • Fill jars with salsa to three-quarters full and wipe rims. Put the caps and bands on.
  • Place jars in a pot with boiling water; boil for 15 minutes, then let sit for 5 minutes before storing.

Try your hand at barbecue sauce.

Don’t Mess With Texas Pickled Carrots


  • 3 pounds peeled carrots
  • 5 cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 4 teaspoons celery seed
  • 4 teaspoons dried dill
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic, chopped


  • Wash and peel carrots, then wash again and cut into thick rounds.
  • Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and canning salt in an 8-quart stockpot. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.
  • Add carrots and bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until the carrots are half-cooked (about 10 minutes).
  • Place 2 teaspoons of mustard seed, 1 teaspoon of celery seed, half a teaspoon of dill, and a portion of the chopped garlic in the bottom of each clean, hot pint jar.
  • Fill jars with the hot carrots, leaving a 1-inch headspace. Cover with hot pickling liquid, leaving a ½-inch headspace.
  • After putting on lids and bands, boil for 15 minutes.

Try more adventures in pickling here.

Rabbiteye Blueberry Jam With Cinnamon


  • 1 pound (about 1 quart) fresh blueberries
  • 3 ½ cups sugar
  • Juice of three lemon wedges
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces liquid fruit pectin


  • Crush blueberries, then put 2 1/2 cups in a large saucepan.
  • Add the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; bring to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in the pectin and return to a rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and skim off foam.
  • Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot half-pint jars, leaving a ¼-inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles, then wipe rims and adjust lids.
  • Boil jars for 10 minutes.

Try these backyard-sourced jellies.

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