I Am NOT a Canner, I’m Just Not

So today was the day. It was time to make the jam!

I looked at the containers of fresh raspberries from the garden and decided that I was going to make delicious jam and can it to enjoy all winter. We mashed the berries, strained out all of the seeds, then cooked the mixture on the stove with sugar. I sterilized eight jars in the dishwasher just before I cooked the raspberries.  It looked great and was starting to jell so I took it off the burner and poured it into the jar(s).  Guess what happened?


IMG_6650produced this.


I can cook or bake almost anything but I just can’t make jam. Or maybe I just can’t make enough jam, or jam that’s soft and delicious and makes toast taste perfect.

I put the full jar into the boiling water bath for ten minutes. I don’t think the lid popped so I put it in the fridge.

I’m going to try to spend some time reading and watching videos and picking my canning friends’ brains.

One of the problems I have with canning is that everything I read or watch is different from the last thing I read or watched. I get dizzy trying to figure out which technique will work the best. There’s so many questions like which pot or pressure cooker to use? What to put on the bottom of the pot, or not?  What size jars to use? How long to cook the preserve? Whether or not to use the fancy jar grabber that I bought a few years ago or should I just use tongs? There are a lot of heavy decisions in this canning business.

I’m lost.

I’m exhausted.

Time for bed.

I left the six unused jars on the counter so that their ready to go back into the dishwasher, along with the box of pectin, the jar mover tool, the lids and seals and my canning book. I’m still hoping that this might be my breakthrough canning year kind of like it was my breakthrough seed starting year.

Starting seeds is more fun than canning, even if they don’t make it.

Just saying…

Are you canning anything? Feel free to leave a link to your posts about your canning experience right in the comments.

You will become an official member of the Michele Parr canning turnaround team!

Thanks for listening!

Love, Michele









  1. I grew up on a farm and spent endless summer days canning (or freezing) everything known to man. There were always 3 or 4 (or even more) mothers/sisters/daughters working together. Now, the only thing I make is chutney and I do it with friends. My best advice is to find someone to work with. Two brains are better than one and the company makes all the difference.


    1. I think that it would help to work with someone… I have a few friends nearby who can but we’ve never coordinated to do it. It seems like it would make the process a lot more fun and less work!


  2. Suzanne Brown says:

    It takes a lot of raspberries to make jam. A batch which will yield about 7 half-pint jars takes 8 cups of raspberries, plus if you strain the seeds, you lose a lot of product. I don’t strain out the seeds. I’ll be canning green beans this weekend. Not from my garden yet, mine are just starting to flower, but I’m able to get bulk organic beans so my pressure canner will be busy this weekend. Don’t give up!!


    1. Yes, we started with about three cups but straining the seeds took away so much. Michael hates the seeds so I took them out. Maybe I’ll try it with and without seeds next time. Canning beans sounds great. I have frozen them with some success. I won’t give up, I just can’t!!


  3. Hi Michele, Hey, those two jars aren’t much, but they look good! I, too, hope to one day be successful with canning. For now, I’m leaving it to others 🙂 Dana


  4. My grandmother canned everything and we enjoyed it all year. I canned a couple of summers in my early years of marriage. I haven’t done it since, and it’s definitely not on my to do list. So…your jam looks delicious to me. 🙂


    1. Hi Judy! Your comment made me feel better 😉 You seem like someone who would be a great canner, so maybe it’s not just me!


  5. Barbara Parr says:

    I give ypu credit Michele. Jars look very good! I had same experience with jam, Call June Varcoe
    Her strawberry jam is perfect . I now make raspberry custard which is wonderful plus easy.


    1. I will talk to June, and maybe I’ll try your raspberry custard. I don’t think I’ve had it but I’ll bet it’s delicious!!!


  6. So sorry you didn’t have a good experience. Don’t give up just yet. I’ve never made raspberry jam before, but I do know that when I cook down blackberries, the seeds are not that noticeable. I just did a step by step post on some wild plum jelly I made. I’ll try and help with any questions. You can do it, I know you can!!
    Brenda (aka Michelle’s cheerleader)


    1. Thank you Brenda!!! I need a cheerleader and I’m off to check out your plum jelly recipe! xo


  7. Betsey says:

    Michele, Raspberry jam this week? I can do Thursday if you are available.
    One needs at least 3 quarts and that is with seeds.
    Bring the kids over to help pick and then we can go into the kitchen and preserve our berries.
    I also freeze them. Do not wash first. spread on a cookie sheet in a single layer, put in freezer. in a couple of days put the berries into a freezer bag. Use all winter!


    1. awww Betsey, thanks, I wish I could! We’re going up to camp on Thursday 😦 Next time your preserving anything let me know if you’d like some company to help!!!


  8. Betsey says:

    I’ll let you know. Raspberry season lasts 2 weeks, so maybe later next week?!


    1. Okay, sounds great!


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