I remember helping my grandmother can just about everything growing up. I always thought it was so hard and was afraid to try it. However as my grandmother has gotten older and doesn't can as much anymore I found myself missing her jellies and relishes. So, 3 years ago I took the plunge and bought a Ball Canning Kit at Walmart and made my first jelly. I found out that if you follow the directions and don't get creative, it is really very simple. Hard work, but simple.
I have found the following resources to be invaluable in learning how to can as well as for a wonderful variety of recipes and ideas.
The Ball Blue Book
In my opinion this is the canning bible. It has detailed, step by step instructions on how to can and freeze just about anything. If you read and follow their directions, you will not only can delicious food, but you will do it safely.
Some of my favorite recipes from this book are Strawberry Jam, Pepper Jelly, Quick Grape Jelly, Bing Cherry Jam, Sweet and Sour Pepper Relish
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
This book has 400 different canning recipes. It is a great resource for traditional recipes as well as more modern combinations. The how to portions are not as detailed as that of the Blue Book. The most useful part for me that I turn to over and over again if the Produce Purchase Guide. It is a very accurate guide for how much fruit or vegetables you need to get the correct yield for the recipe. I use this ALL the time.
Some of my favorite recipes from this book are Peach Jam and Cherries in Syrup.
Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication - Canning
This magazine is on sale at retail stores until August 9th. Run out now and get it! It has some really interesting recipes, many great recipes for gift giving. It starts with "10 super-simple, no brainer" canning recipes, perfect for the beginner.
Some of my favorite recipes from this magazine are Tomato Basil Jam and Vidalia Onion and Maple Conserve
If you are interested in learning to can, you can't go wrong with these resources.