Community Philosphy Blog and Library

Preserving With Friends DVD

At the end of our visit together, Harriett offered up two copies of her fantastic new DVD, Preserving With Friends for giveaway! This is the most comprehensive and informative resource you will find on preserving – perfect for the preservation veteran or for you all who are just starting out. The DVD includes downloadable recipes and tips sheets, and 3 1/2 hours of instruction for making jam, canning fruits and tomatoes, making pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha, pressure canning vegetables, drying, freezing, and root cellaring.

Harriet’s guests include fermentation friend Sandor Katz, author Linda Ziedrich and home economics maven Marge Braker. There is tons of information and a good dose of fun rolled up in this one – who’s in??

For a chance to have one (we’re giving away two copies) of these special DVDs, Harriet and I want to hear 1) what was the first thing that you preserved? and 2) who taught you how to do it / how did you learn?

Good luck! The winners will be selected on Friday June 10th.

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56 Responses to “Preserving With Friends DVD”

  1. The first thing that I preserved was strawberry jam a couple years ago. I went strictly by books that I had acquired and notes from different websites. I am already planning on some canning parties with friends for the summer and this DVD looks great.

  2. I was about 9 years old and we were on summer vacation at my Aunt Lavina and Uncle Bill’s dairy farm in Idaho. She had a huge strawberry patch and she was making jam. Aunt Lavina handed me this *pincher* looking thing and asked me to *hull* the strawberries. I told her I didn’t know what she meant…she looked at me like I had two heads! That day she taught me how to hull strawberries and cook them down to a wonderful jam. I’ve been canning/preserving ever since. Thank you Aunt Lavina!

  3. My first preservation item was, like many people, strawberry jam.
    After that it was no stopping me. I have canned so many things and there are still more things to try! I am self taught by studying good books, the USDA recommendations and more recently by using the vast amount of information on the internet. Being thorough and having good planning are both key to my success.

  4. Stephanie Says:

    The first thing I preserved, was blackberry jelly, when I was 14 years old. I was taught by my aunt’s father in law, while I was visiting her one summer. But I really didn’t start preserving on my own, until I was 26 years old. I got a book from the library and started preserving everything from veggies to meat. I was addicted! I love preserving foods, and the satisfaction it gives me to see all my work displayed on the shelves of my kitchen. I would love to have friends come over and we could preserve together that sounds fun! 🙂

  5. The first thing I preserved was peaches and pears many years ago, they were eaten by my husband for his midnight snacks… imagine my shock when I went to get a jar and found them all gone. Now I hide the bulk of my treasures and give him an allowance of one batch to curb his midnight cravings…..

  6. The first (and only) thing I preserved was peaches, with my husband. He grew up on a North Dakota farm and learned from his mom. But now he is a busy plumber, and I am still tentative about doing it by myself. I do a lot of freezing of everything from our garden raspberries, to jars of applesauce from our trees, but I so want someone knowledgeable to hold my hand and show me how. So this video would be like having someone there to hold my hand. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  7. We kept a large garden when I was a child….the first thing I remember preserving was a variety of things that we pickled (green beans, cucs, carrots, etc). YUM!!! Now I join forces with my neighbourhood friends to share the bounty of our various gardens 🙂

  8. The first thing I preserved by myself would have been hot pepper jelly. I learned to can from watching my grandmother. Growing up the whole family would come over and can apple jelly and applebutter. Her methods are not USDA approved so I tend to follow the guidelines that Ball has listed, instead of using her method…but I still love the fact that I learned my love of canning from her.

  9. We had a 1 acre garden when I was in highschool. My parents were leaving for a trip, so Mom taught me to can, or tried to anyway. I couldn’t keep the jars hot enough to put the hot vegies in and kept breaking all her jars. She taught me to blanch and freeze instead.

  10. Oh my! This DVD looks AMAZING!

    The first thing I ever preserved (well, helped anyway!) was marmalade! I was about 7/8 years old and my grandmother and my mom taught me! That fall, my other grandmother showed me how to make sauerkraut! I realize fully what a blessing it was, as many people today do not even know how to cook from scratch let alone preserve! Whatever I know, I happily pass on to others, especially my daughter who helped me can tomatoes at 4 and her dad make currant jam last year!

    Good luck to all!

  11. I have a very special memory of one of the first things that I canned: Blackberries in syrup. My mom and I learned how to can together when I was about 12 years old and an active 4-Her. We would follow the cooperative extension guides and can everything that we could get our hands on. Neighbors would bring things over to us and that’s how I got an absolutely gorgeous bag of blackberries from a neighbor, Mr. Deville. We canned them and entered them in the parish fair. The quart won first and went to state fair where they got first place, too! I gave the ribbons to the neighbor, so that he could brag that he had the prettiest blackberries in the state. About five years ago, we ran into the neighbor’s daughter. She had cleaned out her father’s house after his death. Hanging in a place of honor was the first place parish and state ribbons.

    It’s been 25 years since I canned those quarts of blackberries and I’m an active canner once again. My mother just gave me Harriet’s book as a gift. I find myself flipping through it and others for new inspiration. Oh well, I’ve taken too much time. Let me get back to the 2 five gallon buckets of cucumbers sitting in front of me and begging to be pickled…

  12. Pam Ferry Says:

    I was about 9 and it was probably jam, blackberry maybe? My new grandmother taught my mother and me both. We had just moved to Idaho and there was lots of wild berries.

  13. The first thing I made was Mulberry jam three years ago. My husband and I moved to our new house. There was Mulberry trees everywhere. So, I got on the internet and found how to make Mulberry jam. I made some and gave it to everyone for Christmas. It was a hit. It is my favorite jam.

  14. Oooo. This is exactly what I need. My mom grew up with a momma that canned everything. But she didn’t share her momma’s enthusiasm back when she was younger and never learned. So, now that I want to learn, there’s no one left in the family who knows how.

    I’ve read books and canned a little myself, but there’s nothing like having someone ‘show’ you how to do it.

    The first thing I canned were dill pickles. I think I checked out a book from the library. I’ve since canned tomatoes, dilly beans, apple butter and apple pie filling. I even taught my mom how. 🙂

  15. Dawnielle Westerman Says:

    well….I have NEVER preserved anything!! I along with my neighbor and Sister in Law will be learning this yr how to preserve our 1100 sq foot garden 🙂 his DVD would be a great help to us!! and thank you for the preview!

  16. Pattie C. Says:

    Hi loved this sneak preview.. I want your DVD I make salsa and fresh tamales however when I can the salsa it looses something in the preserving its not the texture because it stays the same as when I freeze it I make a very special Smoked Garlic Salsa and my smoke flavor is not as prominent what can I do?

    Pattie C.

  17. Natalie R. Says:

    I am a little late to the perserving party. I only started canning salsa last year at age 30 when I also planted my very first garden. Growing up a city kid, my only experience with canned food was the kind you get at the corner store. So when I decided to give it a shot I fully expected disasterous results — especially after reading all the things (spoilage, bacteria, etc.) that can happen if the food isn’t sealed properly. After watching a few (ok, a lot) of youtube how-to videos and following a recipe from a friend’s mother I actually produced an edible canned product. This year, I’d like to try to branch out to pickles and maybe a fruit preserve if I get adventurous.

  18. I have never done any preserving – though I have always wanted to try. My mother preserving of tomatoes – juice, sauces, salsas – she also makes jellies and jams – strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, sweet pickles.
    I would like to learn to make dill pickles and mint jelly another preserve that a friend of mine had (though I think a friend of hers made) was a mango, spicy pepper chutney which was fantastic.

  19. My grandma taught me how to make dried apples with window screens and some clothesline when I was very young. Now I use a dehydrator to preserve all kinds of food. I also do a lot of water bath canning and am trying to work up the nerve to try pressure canning.

  20. Since planting my garden in 2001, then running out of space in the freezer, I discovered that I needed to learn how to preserve the bounty. I have been self-taught/learned from books & the internet. The friends & family have been very grateful that I grow more than I need for myself. Salsa was the first thing that I canned; quickly followed by tomatos, asain pears, dill and sweet & sour pickles.

  21. The very first thing I ever preserved was strawberry jam with a veteran gardening friend. 🙂 That was almost ten years ago.
    We relocated about 7 years ago to farm country, and I was blessed with another set of friends who willingly shared recipes, produce, time and tips with me to teach me how to garden, and put it all away.
    This year I have hundreds of plants growing, I can almost everything I grow (or dehydrate) and have fed my family almost all our fruits and veggies (and herbs) for a couple of years. I am one amazingly blessed woman who is teaching her three daughters how to do all of it, thanks to the love and time of some special women friends. 🙂

  22. Angela Dellinger Says:

    My first attempt at preserving food was with strawberry jam. Little did I know that 5 lbs of strawberries would give me so much jam!! I had been researching the art of canning online and decided to give it a try. I followed directions online as well as the instructions I received in my beginners canning set from Ball. That first batch didn’t gel up very well but I’m going to keep on trying!

  23. Stephanie Serafim Says:

    The first thing I ever preserved was strawberry jam…without pectin, so I stirred it for what seemed like forever, not knowing how to tell if it was to the gelling point yet. I don’t remember where I got the recipe…probably online or in one of my old cookbooks.

  24. Priscilla Says:

    The first thing I preserved was elderberry jam. My husband and I wild gathered it driving around looking for bushes and then I found recipies online and we made some jam. Gave it for Christmas presents and it was yummy!

  25. Probably jam but to be honest it might have been pickles. I canned with my mother. My sisters weren’t always interested but I loved canning from the beginning. Every year my mother and I end up doing *something* together. A couple of years ago we made a killer chutney, and I usually pickle eggs for my dad every 2 years or so for a Christmas present. I want to branch out now though and learn how to can things like meats, soups and with a pressure canner. I also need tips for pickles because I’m growing cucumbers and dill this year for that very purpose! Thanks for the opportunity, I’d LOVE to win this DVD!

  26. The DVD sounds great! The first thing I preserved was peach butter, 2 years ago. I did it by pouring over the Ball Canning book for days before, then following the recipe to the letter. I was nervous the whole time!

  27. Caroline Says:

    Green Tomato Pickles!! My mom and I used to make them every fall and enter them into our local fair canning contest. I love the contrast between the allspice and cloves and the bitter vinegar.

  28. Pickles!! My Mom would make them and from an early age we all help. A fun time she start in the morning and by dark the whole clan be there
    By about 10 on I could do it all myself if push came to shove

  29. The first thing I preserved was a mix of hot/sweet peppers. I was trying to find a way to make something that was close to the jarred pepperoncinis that I’d always loved, in attempt to avoid all that yellow food dye and sodium benzoate that is added to commercially jarred stuff! I had read numerous preserving and pickling books and created an amalgamation of recipes. It turned out pretty well for a first try. I have since come to realize that preserving is quite an addicting hobby!

  30. First thing we ever canned were green beans. Next were tomatoes and we just used the hot water bath method. After some more reading we were afraid to eat them and got rid of them.

  31. r.robinson Says:

    I helped my mom freeze vegetables from the’s what we ate all winter. I don’t remember much..set the timer, step back while I take this from the pot (blanching) to the sink (icing), etc.
    I was allowed a strawberry patch when about 8-9, bit all I did was was and freeze the berries.

    My mom had gotten sick from some canned food when she was young. put her off canning so she never did it. I managed to get her fear of it – I’ve never felt comfortable enough to try. Never had an experienced canner to “hold my hand” through the process. So I’m in my 50’s, have a10-yr-old and a garden full of vegs & berries that are mostly eaten fresh or given away. I’d love to do better by my son.

  32. My earliest memories of “helping” were with canning tomatoes and pickles. I remember being cautioned to stay away from the dangerous steam of the pressure cooker. This was with my mother and her mother. By the time I really got interested in doing this for my family, both of them were gone. You should give the dvd away to someone like me who needs to learn the safe way to can today. I am signed up for a local extension service class this summer. But I need all the help I can get. Please pick me!

  33. My granny taught me when I was young. We made a batch of blackberry jam. At that age, it was a serious exercise in patience!

  34. I grew up in Muncie, Indiana — hometown of the “Ball Brothers”, founders of the company that made Ball Canning Jars. Fast-forward 30 years: I’m living in New York City with an abundance of fruit from my CSA share so I decide to make jam. To learn how, I called my parents (who spent 40+ years working for Ball Corp). They sent me fabulous “Blue Books” from the70s, 80s and 90s. I prefer the the 70s edition. I made about 20 batches of jam that year. This year, I dream about buying a pressure canner so I can graduate to low acid foods.

  35. I have never preserved anything and I need help!!! I’ve got watermelon, tomatoes and strawbs a comin’. …maybe the dvd I win can show me what to do with my delicious first timer’s garden??!! Thank you, Homegrown, for sharing your west coast adventure…keep it comin’!

  36. I’ve been thrilled with preservation the past couple years. My first experience was fermenting saurkraut, based on Sally Fallon’s method, but with a little help as well from Sandor Katz. The first batch turned out great (a little salty). The second batch turned out even better. The third huge batch I’ve managed to make last for several months and it gets better every day. Since then, I’ve canned tomatoes and am looking forward to this season’s harvest to branch out to even more (dilly beans, fermented pickles, fruit sauces, etc.). Here’s to preservation!

  37. I have just had my first canning experience two weeks ago! My 9 year old daughter and I met up with a group to can strawberry and blueberry preserves. We all belong to the same CSA and enjoy meeting up to watch food documentaries, meet our farmers, and take cooking classes. We listened to everyone share their canning experiences. By the end of it all we were all laughing over the many debacles and mishaps that can occur! I learned so much from these stories and I want to teach my daughter the importance of preserving food when it’s at it’s peak.

  38. Wow! I’m not sure I remember the first things I canned. I used to do up tomatos with my mom as a kid. We would spend the entire week canning tomatos (used mostly for my favorite dish ever – GOULASH!) We also used to spend lots of days out picking berries in the woods and canning jams and jellies. Each spring my grandparents used to take me with them to pick mushrooms. Lots of bags of those got canned too. The first thing I ever canned completely on my own was just a simple blackberry jam. That was so good that I then made chocolate-raspberry sauce. My wife can’t get enough of it and uses it whenever a REALLY special cake needs to be made. Our whole family loves to can stuff, even my 10 year old son who makes the most awesome applesauce! You just can’t find anything in any store that is like what you can make at home! (Scored 15 cases of new canning jars at end of last season for $3 a case! Going to need lots of new recipes for this year!!!

  39. I was introduced to the amazing world of saurkraut by the man who is now my husband. He makes a delicious saltless saurkraut using seaweed and apples. Now Zeidrich and Katz’s books are our go to sources for preserving help and we make all kinds of delicious fermented treats.

  40. First thing I preserved with family was pickles. My family got together and had their own recipe for kosher dills – my uncle was in charge of the brine. Everyone helped. Kids packed the jars, tweens/teens helped cut the cukes and onions, adults did the hot pack.

    First thing I preserved on my own was homemade chicken stock. I learned from the Ball Blue Book, and from a yahoo canning group.

  41. Theresa L. Talarek King Says:

    The first thing my husband and I ever preserved on our own was tomatoes (canning.) Though we’d both seen our parents doing this, we didn’t learn from them. We got ourselves a canning book and went at it (and – we grew TONS of tomatoes back then…) It was very successful, but I learned a very painful lesson – figure out how much water the full jars are going to displace in the canner! We had too much. The rack of tomato jars slipped out of my hand, and the front of me was splashed with boiling water! More than “ouch”! The canned tomatoes were very good, by the way, and we have canned tomatoes every year since then (and I never made that mistake again.)

  42. The first thing I preserved was strawberry jam 20 years ago (I still have a jar as a memento). I followed the Ball Blue Book canning instructions, but omitted some of the sugar (it seemed excessive).

  43. Jackie P Says:

    The first thing I ever preserved was cabbage. I had taken a class with Sandor Ellix Katz at a now defunct Family Farm Festival in upstate New York. I watched him put salt on raw vegetables and transform them. I bought his book on the spot. I LOVE IT! I have lacto- fermented many things since that day: Cucumbers, turnips, shallots & garlic. I have never tried preserving fruit though, so a DVD would be quite useful for the kind of learner that I am. Very visual. Great giveaway, thanks for sharing.

  44. Alisha James Says:

    I canned tomatoes with my ex’s mom. She is an amputy in a wheel chair so it was fairly difficult but amazingly fullfilling! She also made some apple butter but I was only able to participate in part of that. I have a large family now and would love to teach my kids how to Preserve fresh homegrown fruits and vegitables.

  45. Mellissa Dawn Says:

    The first thing I ever preserved was Peaches! I was in my late 20’s and thought *blush* that canning was done in a tin can. I really could not figure out how people did that at home. Yes-laugh!
    Anyway, my friend TOLD me how to can peaches so I bought half a bushel! It was HARD work, dipping in the boiling water (too long, mush, to short, skins stuck) then cold water, then peeling, then cutting and pitting….WoW! Success did follow as I hard all the jars do their “ping” after they cooled down.
    Was I proud and they DID taste fabulous!

  46. Pattie C. Says:

    I learned to can at an early age from my #1 Mom lets just say my hands have peeled, shucked, plucked cored, snapped, their way thru the summers and falls and spring while growing up in Washington. We had a basement cold shelter for canning and the shelves were always packed , from jams, to jelly’s, to peaches , corn, green beans , meats , salmon, elk, . I use to love going down to the pantry on very hot days and just cooling of f by touching the cold jars. Then once I hit my teen years I had moved to Southern Cali with my #2 Mom she also canned and crotched ,quilted , and taught me how to stretch a dollar . I was lucky in what attributes I came away with , which I also tried to instill in my daughter and though she is of a different age era she knows how to crotchet , cook, sew and as stood many times at the kitchen sink holding a paring knife coring, peeling, shucking, snapping right by my side. So for me canning was a lost art passed down thru generation to preserve and feed our families when a dollar could not be stretched such as now.

  47. I rember making sour cherry jam, I was about 9 or 10 I talked my mom into helping me make it. I LOVE sour cherries, always have. But I can remember helping my mom and grandma and aunt can when I was 4 or 5. It was just somthing they did every year. My grandparents had an acre size garden, so we were canning all summer long. I am almost 40 now and I have started to consistantly can, mostly things my grandma and mom never did. My family started raising meat chickens with a friend a couple of years ago and I quickly realized that I didn’t have the freezer space for chicken, so I learned how to can chicken. Now I have a hard time not canning it all, it is just so nice to have the canned chicken around, easier than pulling it out of the freezer. Now I am working on teaching my boys, they are definatly picking it up. It is so nice to have more hands in the kitchen when canning, things move a lot faster!

  48. The first thing I ever canned was jalapeno jelly way back 20 years ago! But more recently, since beginning our homesteading adventure, we can cucumber pickles. I found a recipe online and my Nana walked me through it over the phone. I am thinking of buying a pressure canner so I can can non-acid foods from my garden!

  49. I remember helping my Mom can tons of tomatoes when I was little but my first preserving for myself and kids was jam (strawberry rhubarb) and my Grandmother’s pickles. I’ve used recipes from my Mom and both Grandmothers for preserving. It’s been a great skill to pass threw generations. Would love the video as I attempted sauerkraut last year but I definately did something wrong.

  50. I preserved mixed berries this year. I taught myself and I had a lot of fun!

  51. When I was a little girl I would help my Granny make bread & butter pickles, & red plum jam. That was a long time ago, so I can’t exactly say I’m schooled in canning. Not yet anyway. Regardless if I win one of these copies, I will definitely be adding this DVD to my personal library. Harriet is the bees knees & I’m looking forward to learning her methods!
    Good luck, everyone!

  52. The first preserve I made was orange marmalade. Because my mother was a British war bride, I’d grown up with “proper” imported English marmalade. I was 11 and I think my mother was nostalgic for her home in Bedfordshire. Things were very different for a girl brought up on a farm in England than they were in Southern California. So she decided to make the kind of marmalade she’d made with her mother and sisters at home and to teach me how it was done. No Seville oranges were available here (they’d imported them in Britain), so we used regular sweet oranges and made them more sour by adding a few calamondins from the front yard (the advantage of living in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley. I thought it the best ever! But I think the food you prepare yourself always tastes better. Pride is a great seasoning.

  53. The first thing I canned were my home-grown tomatoes. I called my mom up one afternoon and asked if I came home with my bounty in tow, would she teach me to can them. She agreed and it was obsession at first “plink” of the seal. Five years have now passed and she still talks about how it all started with a call about tomatoes!

  54. […] has combed through all of the comments on the Preserving with Friends DVD giveaway post, and has made her decision. Here’s what she has to say about your […]

  55. Denise Mailo Says:

    My mom used to can tomatos and peaches every year and I grew up helping her. Because I live in Utah where the pioneer heritage is strong, almost everybody gardens and canning (preserving) is BIG! This year so far I have done wild plum jelly, ambrosia jam, seven pints of nectarines (first time) and 40 pints of salsa. I will be doing a bushel of tomatos this weekend and then dehydrating my little, round pinky-purples grapes for raisins. My husband is talking about peaches, but I may burn out! I also freeze berries for the winter. I love the convenience of having these things in the winter, picked at the height of their ripeness!

  56. My first thing was apple sauce & apple butter. A friend has a huge & ancient orchard above Taos, NM, and hates to waste her apples which were overflowing that year. She passed on her approach from Germany, which I like because it relies on the naturally occurring acid & sugars present in the apples instead of adding it:

    Enough apples to fill a crock pot
    optional: a whole cinnamon stick, freshly ground nutmeg, allspice or a bit of ground cloves.

    Quarter & core apples, but leave the skins in tact. Fill a crock pot & add preferred spices. Set on low. For apple sauce, let cook for 12 hours. For apple butter, let cook for 24 hours.

    Sterilize jars

    Process in a food processor fitted with a steel blade until smooth. Fill jars, leaving a ½’ headspace. Seal jars and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes (30 minutes at 5,000 feet – 34 minutes at 7,000 feet)

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