Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 21, 2010 01:09 PM

Yet more canning questions!

I have fallen prey to that deliciously insidious addiction that is known as canning. As a neophyte canner, I've been asking questions here on this board and am very grateful for all of your replies. YOu are truly helpful (and great at setting my mind at ease!) Anyway, here are a couple of other questions:

1. When I made some more jam last night, I didn't have quite enough to fill the last jar. It's about 3/4 full. Still okay or should this be refrigerated after I test the seal tonight?

2. If a jar of jam or a jar of pickles tips over during the water bath process and gets processed on its side, are the contents still edible (assuming a good seal) or should they be refrigerated and eaten within a few weeks?

3. If I'm processing tomatoes for a tomato sauce and I need to deseed the tomatoes, is there an alternative to a food mill or should I bite the bullet and buy one? (Okay, I'm asking this for a friend who has some heirloom plants that are prolific producers).

4. Are there any canning labels that DON'T have "country" motifs? Aesthetically, my tastes run more toward mid-century modern and contemporary looks. Since I plan to make some jams, pickles, and mustards as holiday gifts, I'd like the labels to reflect my own aesthetic. Right now, I'm just writing the name of the contents on old mailing labels (which looks okay) and/or on top of the lid. How do you label your jars? Maybe a double-sided tag with the name of the contents on one side and the signs of botulism on the other? Just kidding!

Well, that's enough for now. I'm sure to have more questions again soon!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 1. When I don't have enough jam to fill the last jar, that jam goes in the fridge to be enjoyed immediately. Alternatively, you could freeze it. But I don't waste a jar on a partial fill.

    2. If the seal is good, it's ok.

    3. There is a device known as a Squeezo. Kind pricey, comes with different size screens. You can find them for less than this. Frankly, I don't see much difference between this and a food mill. Depends on whether you want to do your cranking horizontally or vertically. Kitchenaid mixers have a very similar attachment. Or you can puree the tomatoes and run them through a sieve, very low tech, a little time consuming, cheap.

    4. I have a label template I set up in Adobe Illustrator for wide and small mouth lids. They're circles that sit on the lids under the rings. I did them with the logo and colors of my B&B. You could do the same on any graphics program or in something like MSWord with your own choice of clip art. Also there's usually Avery label templates on MSWord. You could get the labels and design on the existing template.

    3 Replies
    1. re: morwen

      ditto what morwen said. plus i order labels through, inexpensive and very fast turnaround. you can set up how you want. i leave a blank line for filling in product.

      1. re: appycamper

        I use VistaPrint for all my marketing materials. Great service, great prices, great company.

      2. re: morwen

        3a. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the snot and seeds before continuing the recipe. (forgot that one)

      3. For tomato sauce or puree. I core the tomato and quarter and blenderize. The peel rolls up in little pieces and I just put it though a sieve and that removes the peel and the seeds. You can cook it down then to the thickness you want.

        1. I alway just do tomato whole and then de-seed/puree when I want to use them - I'm just lazy like that. If you do get a food mill I would recommend the kind that sits over a bowl, not the meat grinder looking one. I have the meat grinder one and it leaks and makes an unholy mess. After cherry jam the kitchen looked like a murder scene.

          Etsy has all sorts of jar labels (I'm with you on not digging the country look). I know I ordered some in the past where they just email a pdf and then I printed them on sticker paper.

          1. Martha Stewart has templates for ├╝ber-tasteful labels.

            1 Reply
            1. re: greygarious

              Try going to (still can't set a link) I'ts Ball's (as in the canning jars) website.