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Sep 12, 2008 07:41 AM

Canners: do you keep a canning log or diary?

Apologies if this has been posted before--I know there is a surge of canning posting lately.

I'm new at canning this year. One of the problems I'm realizing is that I don't really know how my results will be until much later, when I open up the jar and by then, if I love or don't love the results--too watery, too vinegary etc.--it's hard to recall what, exactly, I did in this "batch" that might be different than the last batch, or even which recipe I used. So, I'm thinking I might start keeping a log or diary of some kind.

Do any of your veteran canners do something like this and, if so, do you have any suggestions as to what types of things I should be keep note of and/or any "format" recommendations (do you keep a spiral notebook? just make notes on your calendar? etc.)

Thank you muchly!


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  1. I don't can regularly any more, having become a freezer person, but I follow the same practice for both methods of putting foods up: I have a small three-ring notebook that serves as my personal cookbook. Recipes don't make it in there until I've tried them and tinkered around till I got the results I wanted.

    All my various canning and freezing recipes (more like techniques) are in there, with notes from successive years. Paper doesn't forget! As I make each recipe, I take technique notes, such as "Use potato masher for apples" so that they're chunky. Many of my notes make sense only to me (e.g., for one tomato sauce, I describe the amounts as "chopped onions that reach the bottom of the bottom bolt of the Calphalon, then chopped tomatoes to reach the bottom of the top bolt"). I also note if I've treated different containers of the same thing in diff ways (e.g., one year I tried spiking some jars of peach jam with a couple of tablespoons of dark rum before processing). When the time comes to actually use the various things, I circle back and make more notes. This way, when canning/freezing season comes around again, I have two sets of notes on which to base decisions.

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