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When my husband and I got married, my husband encouraged me to give gardening a try.  While my first year was a complete flop, my husband kept encouraging me and never let me give up.  It’s been 10 years now and I am still learning but continue to do a garden each year.  It is just so nice to be able to preserve the fruits of our labor and eat it through the Winter.  Canning was another learning process for me.  I didn’t realize that you can do it wrong but I must have because I had a whole batch of applesauce and “apple pie in a jar” go bad on me a couple years ago.  Since then, I’ve been a little leery to can and have done more freezing instead but when I had the opportunity to work with Fresh Preserving Store, I was ready to give canning another try with the Ball Kit I was sent.

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My cousin gave me a bag full of tomatoes so I decided to give tomato sauce a try. I use it often throughout the Winter in my chili and lasagna recipes.  I followed a recipe out of the book I received in my Ball canning kit.  It was very simple.  Once I had the sauce made, I was ready to figure out how to can it correctly this year.  I opened the Ball Canning Discovery Kit and was pleased to see the contents.  I hadn’t realized that three canning jars were included with it.  I read through the instructions, attached the handle, and inserted the basket.  I then washed the jars and ran them under hot water so there wouldn’t be a huge temperature difference when I added the hot tomato sauce.  After I had the jars filled, I placed them in the basket and lowered them into the simmering water.  I underestimated so I had to top the kettle off with a glass full of water but that was no big deal.  It never stopped simmering. I cooked the jars for 30 minutes as directed and was easily able to lift the whole basket back out with the handle.  This was the first time ever that my jars “popped” for me.  I was so happy to hear that little noise within a minute of pulling the basket out of the water.  After the jars cooled for about an hour, I affixed a label on top.  I’m definitely a canning newlywed because I had also never realized that labels were available nor had it occurred to me to mark my jars.  Very handy.  (I’m sure some of you professionals are laughing at my naivety.)  I am so excited to continue canning this year now that I have some tools that will help me be successful!  I had no idea that canning could be this easy.  I haven’t used the jam/jelly maker yet but my daughter and I plan to pick up some strawberries the next time we go to the grocery store so we can make some jelly too.  I can’t wait to see how much easier the Automatic Maker will make this process for me since it will be my first attempt at jelly.  I’m hoping my apple tree ripens soon because I’m itching to can some applesauce now!

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Buy It: Head over to Ball Fresh Preserving Store to see for yourself the great selection of helpful products they offer.

Connect: Don’t forget to like Ball Canning & Recipes on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and Pinterest for all the latest news and promotions.

Win It: Ball Fresh Preserving Store is generously offering one of our lucky readers a Ball Canning Discovery Kit and coupon for a case of jars. The giveaway is open to US only. The giveaway will end October 9th, 2013. For your chance to win, enter the Giveaway Tools below. Good luck!

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