Category Archives: Canning

How To Can Pumpkin

Canning Pumpkin

Do you have a pumpkin setting on your front porch, that you don’t what to do with? I challenge you to use it! If it is still firm and not squishy/rotten, that is. :)

It is really simple, actually, and if you don’t want to can it, you can still follow these steps and just freeze the puree instead of canning.

First, you wash it off well. Mine was kinda dusty from sitting around.

Next you cut it open,

cutting pumpkin

…and scrape all the seeds and stringy insides out.

pumpkinAhh! That’s better!



Once you have it cut up into chunks, you can bake it at 350° for one hour.

( I like to cut mine in strips – makes it easier to peel after it’s baked.)


After it is all baked, cooled and peeled, just throw it into a food processor or blender. I had to add a 1/4 cup water with each batch, because the pumpkin was kinda thick.


Puree till smooth. Pour into clean jars. Screw on lids.

Now here’s where it gets tricky. You see, pumpkin is one of those items that need to be pressure-canned. So you need to consult your local extension office for processing times for your specific area. The recommended time for pints is 65 minutes at 10 lbs pressure. For my high altitude, I had to adjust that to 14 lbs pressure. If you don’t own a pressure cooker, you can just freeze the puree. Thaw and use in all your delicious pumpkin recipes!

Note: I read several places that you cannot can puree – it must be chunks. My mom canned the puree, and so have I, so far it seems fine. You need to do what you’re comfortable with.

Canning Pumpkin

*Linking to ‘What We Accomplished Wednesdays’ over at:

Choke Cherry Jelly

I enjoy canning. It is a lot of work, especially for some things, but I enjoy it anyways. Looking at those rows of jars…hearing the ‘pop!’, it makes me happy. And it is beautiful. Always make beautiful things. Life is too short to live ugly.

I moved to a ranch house along the creek bottoms about two years ago, and this place is loaded with choke cherries. They grow in my yard and along the bridge over the creek. I had never tasted or used them before we moved here, but I quickly decided that I will not let any free food go unused…least of all fruit! So. I perused Pinterest, recipe books and Google for a chokecherry jelly recipe. And I found some. Problem was, they all are different, and some don’t work right. Finally I found two and kinda combined them to come up with my own that is pretty much perfect. At least in my opinion. :)

The method is pretty easy, actually. At least the way I do it.

First, have your kids pick the cherries. :)

Some are bit red yet… normally try to pick them a little blacker. But around here it’s a race with the birds to pick them first! 😉

Then you wash them. I stir them around so the leaves and junk can come to the top. Then I scoop the trash out with my spoon.

Drain. You will notice there are some green berries in my bowl, and the tiny stems are all still on. Its OK. They really don’t matter. The pioneers used a certain portion of green berries in their jam instead of pectin. I don’t recommend that route. I tried it and was sadly disappointed.
Put in a large kettle and fill with water till the cherries are just covered.

Simmer about 30-45 minutes, or until the juice is dark red. I confess I have never timed this. I’m bad about cooking by feel…

Drain the juice in a large bowl,

Wow! The kids an I picked about 4 gallons, and got a gallon of juice! I see lots of jelly in my future… If you don’t have time to make it into jelly right now – you can store the juice in the fridge a few days.

You should have your jars and lids ready before you start the jelly process…

Then you pour 3 1/2 cups juice into a large kettle. It will boil up considerably, so make sure the kettle is big enough.  One commentor informed me that this was because I should have put a teaspoon of butter in my juice, to keep it from boiling over. So I do this now.

Add the lemon juice and pectin. Stir. Bring to a boil.

When the juice is boiling, add the sugar. Bring to a rolling boil (boiling so hard you can’t stir it down) and continue to stir as it boils for 2 minutes. (This is where it will boil up and up and up. I boiled over two kettles of jelly on my stove. Please don’t be that stupid. Burnt on jelly is HARD to clean off. )
When the 2 minutes are up, you can skim the foam off if you like. It doesn’t have to be skimmed off, but looks prettier/clearer if you do.

Then you ladle it into jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space.

when the jars are full, wipe the rims with a clean cloth. (They might not seal if they have jelly splatters.)

Place a lid on each one…

…and a ring. Tighten to fingertip tightness. In other words, just tighten them with your fingertips, don’t use all the force in your being! :)

Place them in a hot water bath. The boiling water should be about an inch over the jars.

Bring the water in the canner to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes. If you live above 3,000 ft sea level, you need to check your county extension to see what the recommended processing time is for your area. I live at 6,000 ft, and I need to process them for 10 minutes.

Then you remove the jars to cool. If the jelly isn’t set, I recommend not disturbing the jars for at least 24 hours. The pectin takes time to work.

Last but not least, stand back and admire your hard work!

And go make some room on your shelves for some yummy jelly!

Note:: This picture is of a double recipe. One recipe yields about 5 pints.
5.0 from 7 reviews
Choke Cherry Jelly
  • 3.5 cups chokecherry juice
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
  • 1 pkg dry pectin (1.75 oz)
  • 4½ cups of sugar
  1. Pour juices in kettle.
  2. Add pectin, stir.
  3. Bring to a boil, add sugar.
  4. Boil and stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, skim.
  6. Ladle into jars.
  7. Process in hot water bath for 5 minutes.
  8. Cool undisturbed for 24 hours.
*This post is shared here:

How many Cowboys does it take?

….to load a steer into a trailer? ~Just one, if he knows what he’s doing. Like My Cowboy.

Lookin’ for the sick steer….

Ahhh, there he is. Get him back to the trailer…That sick one doesn’t want to move… yank his tail, Cliff, till he feels differently! (I love the cowboy’s method! :)

In the trailer… he doesn’t even bother to get off his horse to shut the door. Cowboys do everything possible a’horseback.

Here comes My Cowboy! Winter garb is not as glamorous as summer gear, but this is real life, folks. Wool hats and Carhartt coats. Excuse me while I give my favorite cowboy a kiss….