Have you done any home canning? If not, is it something your mom or granny used to do? Many Southerners like me have fond memories of our family matriarchs canning the bumper crops of the season. For me, it was fun to watch my mom can jars and jars of home-grown fruits and vegetables. I still remember the jars all lined up on a metal shelf stored just outside the kitchen in the basement. Today, I still enjoy canning with my mother and have the benefit of having her close by so we can share the workload. Plus, I can borrow her canning wares instead of investing in my own!
Canning can be a really rewarding hobby. You’ll have delicious goodies to enjoy all winter long, but you can also give some to family and friends. People are so amazed by home canned jams, pickles, and relishes. You’ll be deemed a Super Woman.
If you haven’t already started a list of items you want to can, I’ve got a few recipes to get you started. First off - Vanilla Blueberries in Syrup. It’s delicious served over pancakes, waffles, french toast, ice cream and even a sweet topping for fried or baked chicken!
Vanilla Blueberries in Syrup
(Makes 4 pints)
4 pints Georgia blueberries, washed
6 cups of water
6 cups of sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
2 tbsp lemon juice
Using the backside of a knife, scrape out the vanilla bean seeds. Place the seeds of the vanilla bean into a large pot along with the actual vanilla bean pod. Add the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the Georgia blueberries, and continue to simmer over low heat until the blueberries begin to get soft (about 10 minutes). Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook until the fruit is completely tender (about 20 minutes).
Remove the pot from the heat. Remove and discard the vanilla bean pod. Stir in the lemon juice. Allow the fruit and syrup to cool to room temperature. Pour the fruit into pint jars and cover with the syrup leaving about ¼ inch of space at top. Seal the jars and process for 15 to 17 minutes in a boiling water bath. Store in a cool, dark place.