Yes, You CAN!

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By Cindy Edwards

Summertime brings longer, warmer days and a plethora of fresh vegetables and fruits.  As a little girl, I enjoyed watching my Grandmother Bradley prepare and can the vegetables from my grandfather’s garden.  Because of their efforts, we always had cream corn, peas and butter beans all year long.

While the gathering, shelling and shucking are time-consuming, the results are well worth it. Having your own vegetables “put up” saves money, and it provides fresh and delicious food that does not contain preservatives or additives.

Once you have purchased the basic supplies you can use most of them year after year.

You will need:

*canning jars and seals
*tongs or a jar lifter
*large pot
*pressure canner (or a large pot)

Basic Canning Process:

1. Sterilize the jars and lids by washing with soap and water. Submerge them into boiling water for 10 minutes.
2. Prepare your fruits and vegetables according to the recipe of your choice. For the best results, use the freshest produce that is available.
3. Fill your sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 to 3/4 inches of space at the top to allow for any expansion.  If you have air bubbles, run a knife around the edge of jar until they are gone. Wipe the rims of each jar with a clean cloth. Seal each jar with the dry lids and rims.
4. To process the jars, submerge each one into your pressure canner filled with boiling water.  I use a big pot with a very tight lid. Use your tongs to place each jar in the water.  Water should be an inch above the jars.  Jars should be flat in the pot and should not touch each other. Place the lid on your pot and boil the jars for the time suggested in your recipe.
5. Use your tongs to remove each jar and allow to cool.  Once cooled, press down the center of each jar to make sure that it is sealed.
6. Label your jars with the date and ingredients.

My Favorite Pear Chutney

1 pound onions
8 cloves of garlic
5 pounds firm pears; peeled, cored and chopped
1 quart white vinegar
5 1/2 cups of sugar
1 (24 ounce) package of raisins
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/4 cups crystallized ginger, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons mustard seeds
7 mason jars, quart-sized with lids and rims

1.  Process onions and garlic in small batches until chopped.  Transfer each       batch into a Dutch oven.
2. Add chopped pears and vinegar to mixture and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Add sugar and stir until it completely dissolves.  Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add raisins and mustard. Cook for 20 minutes.
5. Add crystallized ginger, ground ginger and mustard seeds. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. The mixture should thicken.
6. Pour pear mixture into hot jars.  Be sure to leave a 1/2 to 3/4 inch space at the top. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jars with a clean cloth. Cover jars with lids and rims, and wipe again.
7. Process in water bath for 10 minutes.
8. Label each jar with date and ingredients

Now you are ready to preserve your best vegetables and fruits.  I hope that you enjoy them for many months.  Be sure to share with your family and friends.

As always, thanks for reading.

Properly yours,

Cindy Edwards embodies everything pretty, perky and proper about the South. She's a wife, mother, volunteer and freelance writer. Cindy volunteers enough hours to exhaust most by serving on the Board of Trustees for the Telfair Museums, the Savannah Book Festival Board of Directors and the University of Georgia Honors Advisory Board. She has also served on the Boards of the March of Dimes and Young Life Savannah. Cindy has been married to her college sweetheart, Dr. Joe Edwards III, for 25 years and is the proud mother of two sons: Joe IV, a senior at the University of Georgia, and Jack, a freshman at Ole Miss. No matter how busy, Cindy always makes time for a competitive game of bridge.
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Reader Comments:


Cindy Sounds really good but how do use chutney? I understand there are many different kinds could you help me out with this please.

By Charlotte Jackson on September 13, 2013


This recipe looks great! I cannot wait to try it. Thanks, Elizabeth

By Anonymous on September 01, 2013


Thank you for this great information. The recipe sounds divine.

By Anonymous on August 23, 2013


Canning was always a sweet memory with my grandmother as well. It's wonderful to enjoy the summer vegetables all year long. Thanks for this blog! Your pear chutney sounds delish!

By Susan L on August 23, 2013


I just started making tomato sauce. I have an assortment of tomatoes I'm using. I'm really enjoying myself. Cannot wait until my potatoes and other fall squashes are ready. Have a great time cooking!

By Laura Irizarry on August 18, 2013


Paula you made me laugh when I went through breast cancer treatment . I got your cook books and my family said I was another Paula Deen . You helped me fighting and so far I have been blessed with four more years. I love you and pray my canning will be as good as your. Don't give up keep fighting many people love you. I'm proud of you and you told the truth. With your help I feel I can leave great memories of eating together and being a family. Sure miss you on t.v. But I have many cookbooks so you won't be forgotten. Thank you for all you have done. Robyn

By Robyn on August 16, 2013


I miss you on TV soooo much. You are not just a wonderful cook, you are an entertainer. You have such a great personality. You are the envy of many ... and don't you forget it. Not to wish bad things onto some people ... But, are they not familiar with, "What Goes Around, Comes Around." AND, "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." I Love you and your Family. I know you are so proud of your "Boys". They seem to be just like their Mother ... Happy, friendly, and I'm sure they treat everyone with respect. I am broken-hearted because of the situation you have had to deal with. May God bless you, Paula Deen, and your family.

By Sue Pruitt on August 16, 2013


This post brings back great memories of growing up with wonderful summer vegetables. "Putting up" vegetables was always fun for our family. We had delicious canned and frozen foods all winter. Two of my favorites were watermelon rind preserves made by my grandmother and lime pickles made by my mother. Thanks, Cindy, for another great post.

By anne on August 13, 2013


I am impressed with this month's blog! There is an art to canning vegetables and fruits, and I'm afraid that it's not practiced nearly enough anymore. This blog reminds me of fond, precious memories of my two grandmothers. Thanks again, Cindy, for a great blog.

By Viki C on August 10, 2013


As usual, very informative information. Thanks Cindy!

By Linda Parton on August 10, 2013


Great article! And you're right. It is somewhat time-consuming but well worth the effort. One just cannot buy anything that tastes as good as home-made. I just finished "putting up" some pickles, thanks to my mother who taught me. Learning from mothers and grandmothers is a wonderful thing!

By Sandra on August 10, 2013


Cindy, I remember those days of canning, preserving and later freezing vegetables, fruits and nuts. Have enjoyed your blog on this subject and I do put some vegetables and fruits in the freezer most summers. Have a blessed day and keep up your blog informing lots of us how and when to do certain things. Ann

By Anonymous on August 09, 2013

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm