Demo At Lafayette Community Garden


All In A Jar is proud to be at the Lafayette Community Garden teaching the basics on water bath canning. This is a beautiful garden located at 3932 Mt. Diablo Blvd by the Lafayette reservoir. I will be making tomato jam and have bread in hand for students to taste this savory jam. The garden is asking for a small donation of $5.00. Please stop by learn,taste and have some fun.

See you in class

Where To get Supplies



Students ask me all the time where to get supplies.
Many student have shared with me where they get supplies.
This blog is a long time coming. So here goes.
Bed Bath & Beyond has  jars. I would have never thought of this store for canning supplies. The prices on jars aren’t bad and then you add a coupon, good savings.They have wonderful tools for canning. Like cherry pitter, knifes, pots and hand blenders are some of them. They are at 15 Crescent Dr. Pleasant Hill.

Win Co Food at 2400 N. Park Pittsburg. They have a lot of canning supplies. I found a new jar size here.It is bigger than a pint but, smaller than a quart. It is wonderful for canning pickled carrots and pickled asparagus because of the shape of the jar is tall and thin.They have big bottles of Real Lemon Juice. They have things in bulk like sugar, chili peppers, and spices.

Smart and Final at 2100 Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill, has canning supplies too. You can get jars and lids at a good price. They have big bottles of vinegar, great for pickling and making mustard. They have the dry mustard powder, pickling salt and spices.They have a lot of tools here, like cutting boards, big bowls, measure spoons, measure cups and aprons. This is a good place to pick up cleaning supplies as well.

Home Depot on-line or Amazon is a good place to get a pressure canner. I have a Presto with a dial gauge. You can order a Water Bath Kit with all the tools you will need too.

Some Ace Hardware are a good place to pick up jars. If you buy ten case at a time ask for 10% off. This is a good place to pick up a water bath canner and they have pickling salt too. Go to the Ace Hardware in Alamo on 3211 Danville Blvd. This hardware store has the most canning supplies I have ever seen in one place. Bring All In A Jar’s business card and get a discount on any kitchen supple.

When I’m shopping at the grocery store I always check the canning supplies. Some times they have Sure-Jel pectin and lids on sale.

Lets talk about produce.

I love Walnut Creek Produce at 2257 Olympic Blvd in Walnut Creek.
Close to my home, great produce and great prices. When I need a lot of one thing I ask for a box and save more money. They have an other place called Concord Produce at 2511 Monument Blvd in Concord. This place has lower prices than Walnut Creek. So if I’m out that why I shop there. When I need some ethnic produce I shop in Concord. They have a Moraga Produce (as well.) The prices are the highest here.

When I have time I go to Berkeley Bowl at 920 Heinz Ave. in Berkeley. It is a wonderful place. I tell people go on a field trip to Berkeley Bowl, plan on being there for two hours and seeing things that you have never seen before. Produce and spices from around the world. They have a great bulk area. I get raw sugar, mustard seeds, spices, flour and tea.
When I don’t have time to drive to Berkeley I go to Sprout Farmers Market at 1530 Geary Road in Walnut Creek. They have bulk here too. I get raw sugar. They have some nice produce. I have found vanilla bean here at a good price and some white wine vinegar too.

Happy Shopping & Happy Canning.

See you in class

The Vocabulary Of Canning


I have been canning for so long that I take for granted the fact that I am fluent in the language of canning but that others may not be so familiar with these special words.
One of my students said something the other day that really opened my eyes. She told me that she bought the new Ball book and I was so happy to hear this! Her new book, however, came with a new problem and it truly made me think. The process of canning and all the unique vocabulary are very new to her. I wondered what she might think certain meant, for example: water bath canner, process time, headspace, rings, lids, nonreactive pot, sterilized, cure, brine, curd, funnel and pectin – just to name a few. If you have ever struggled to learn the vocabulary of canning, you are not alone. I, too, needed to learn a lot when I started canning. It confirmed for me that the All In A Jar canning school is much-needed. I’m happy to share what I know and I’m willing to research anything for students if I don’t have an immediate answer. Canning is surely a lost art and I want everyone to rediscover and embrace it. Happy Canning!

See you in class
Canning Vocabulary

Not sure what some words mean? Here is a list to help you remember.

Chutney and Sauce…. Both of these categories are a combinations of vegetables and/ or fruits, spices and vinegar cooked for long periods to develop flavor and texture. Chutneys are highly spiced and have a sweet-sour blending of flavors. Sauces range from mild to hot.
Relish ….. A condiment eaten with plain food to add flavor.

Jardinière ….. A garnish of mixed vegetables.

Pickled ….. Preserving in vinegar or brine.

Brine ….. To soak in salty water.

Butter ….. A paste of spiced stewed fruit used as a spread.

Mincemeat ….. A mixture of currants, raisins, sugar, apples, candied citrus peels, spices, and suet, typically baked in pies.

Suet ….. (Like lard) Hard white fat on the kidneys and loins of cattle, sheep, and other animals, used to make foods like puddings, pastry and mincemeat. ( I will never use suet)

Conserve ….. A sweet food made by preserving fruit with sugar; jam.

Chutney ….. A spicy condiment made of fruit or vegetables with vinegar, spices and sugar. Originating in India.

Marmalade ….. A preserve made from citrus fruit, esp. bitter oranges, prepared like jam.

Blanch ….. To loosen the skin of nuts, fruits and vegetables by dropping in boiling water. Then into ice water.

Boil ….. Water or food heated to 212F at sea level. When referring to the boiling-water canner, it means a rolling boil for the entire processing time.

Boiling-Water Canner ….. A kettle-pot larger enough to completely immerse and fully surround canning jars and have two inches above the top of the jar. Used to process high-acid food.

Lids & Rings ….. Two piece vacuum closure for sealing jars. The set consists of a metal band and a flat lid. The lid has a flanged edge and sealing compound.

Headspace ….. An area left unfilled between the top of the food and the rim of the jar.

High-Acid food ….. Foods which normally contain enough natural acid to result in a PH of 4.6 or less and foods which may contain very little natural acid but have a sufficient amount of vinegar or lemon juice added to them to be treated as high-acid foods. High-acid foods may be safely processed in a boiling-water canner at 212F

Hot Pack ….. Filling jars with precooked, hot food prior for processing.
Preferred method when using firm food. This method permits a tighter pack, reduces floating and requires fewer jars.

Low-Acid food ….. Foods which contain little natural acid and have a PH greater than 4.6. Bacteria thrive in low-acid foods. They can only be destroyed by heating to 240F (at or below 1,000 feet above sea level) for a specified time in a steam – pressure canner.

Pectin ….. A complex colloidal substance found in ripe fruit, such as apples and citrus fruit. Pectin is available commercially in powdered and liquid form. Pectin, in the correct balance with sugar and acid, assists in forming the gel structure in jellies and soft spreads.

Pressure canner ….. A heavy kettle with a lid which can be locked in place to make a steam-tight fit. The lid is fitted with a safety valve, a vent and a pressure gauge. Used for processing low-acid foods. Steam created under 10 pounds pressure at or below sea level reaches 240F which is hot enough to destroy harmful bacteria.

Processing ….. Sterilizing jars and the food they contain in a pressure or boiling-water canner to destroy harmful molds, yeasts, bacteria and enzymes.

Raw Pack ….. Filling jars with raw food , unheated food prior to processing.

Simmer ….. To cook food gently just below the boiling point (between 180F and 200F) Bubbles will rise gently from the bottom of the pot and slightly disturb the surface of the food.

Syrup ….. A mixture of water (or juice) and sugar used to add liquid to canned or frozen food.

Vacuum Seal ….. When the jar is heated, the air and food inside expand, forcing air out and decreasing the inside pressure. As the jar cools and the contents shrink, a partial vacuum forms.
Jar Funnel….. A plastic jar funnel having a wide opening that fits regular and wide mouth canning jars makes filling jars easy and quick.

Jar Lifter….. Hot jars can be safely removed from the canner with large sure-grip tongs.