Spiced Pumpkin Butter

I can’t make enough Spiced Pumpkin Butter, I use it in everything that plain old pumpkin puree can be used for because I like (LOVE) the added spice flavors.  I use pumpkin butter to make Pumpkin Spice Waffles, Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins, and Pumpkin Bread!

  • Start by making pumpkin puree from pie pumpkins or bigger jack o’lantern type pumpkins. Each year I find that I use a mixture of both because that is what I grew, had on hand, or got from the farmer’s markets.  If you have never made pumpkin puree before, follow the directions here: Processing Pie Pumpkins for Pumpkin Puree.

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  • The recipe that I use is Spiced Pumpkin Butter from The Better Homes & Garden book, Can It! on page 213.  
  • Making the puree is the most labor intensive part of the process, but once you have puree, the butter is SIMPLE to make.  It is as easy as gathering all the ingredients, throwing it into a crock pot and waiting a few hours for it to cook down to a thicker consistency, then can it and enjoy!   I cook it on high for about 3-4 hours, or until it gets a little thicker in consistency.  Once it reaches your desired thickness, pour it into some clean canning jars (leave 1/2″ headspace) and FREEZE.  

Create a Storage System For Your Canned Goods

Create a Storage System for Your Canned GoodsIf you are just starting into the world of canning or have been canning goods for a while, you will have to organize all your jars and equipment.  If you are newer to canning, it will feel like every canning season you have to organize and re-organize everything…..and that is because you do as your jars and equipment expand.   Here are ways to create a storage system for your canned goods in order to keep everything manageable and expandable.

Expandable Shelving

I am a big fan of the IKEA Ivar System shelving because it is modulCanning Storage System Includes Different Areas of Organizationar and I can keep adding or taking away shelves as needed.   The 11″ deep shelves are perfect for fitting 4 pint jars deep or 3 quart jars deep.  The Ivar shelving units can all be bought individually; the uprights on either side of the shelf and then the shelves.  If you have a corner, like I do, there are also corner units than easily add on to the traditional shelving units.  I use the larger corner shelves to store the larger items like: the pressure canner, water bath stock pot, fermentation crock, etc.

Dewey Decimal System

Okay, so the Dewey Decimal System doesn’t work for canned goods.  However, you should create a storage system for your canned goods  based on the type of … READ MORE...

Canning Inventory

A Canning inventory is very helpful in keeping track of all your canning jars, it details what type of canned goodie you have and how many are available.  Creating your own canning inventory is very quick and simple.

Canning Inventory - COLORADO URBAN HOMESTEADERIf you are like me, I keep all my canned goods down stairs in the unfinished basement since it is darker and cooler than upstairs.  Upstairs in my kitchen pantry is where I post my inventory checklist.  Having a canning inventory list is a great visual of what you have available and could give you inspiration for that night’s dinner!

Creating a Canning Inventory SheetCanning Inventory - COLORADO URBAN HOMESTEADER

Open a word document, and write the name of each different type of canned good on a separate line.  Then, to the right of the item, add a checkbox for every jar of that kind you have.    As you use a jar, just cross off a box.  

There is no need to notate the years of the jars, just the quantity.  You should have a system established so that you use the oldest jar first to keep everything in rotation; if you don’t have a system, check out my post:  Create a Storage System for your Canned Goods


Updating the Canning Inventory Sheet

Your inventory sheet should be updated at the end of October or early … READ MORE...

Vintage Canning Books

I always remember my grandma canning while growing up, mainly applesauce, peaches and pears.   When she heard that I was getting into canning she gave me a bunch of old canning books.

Check these out!

Vintage Canning Books

The Jam and Jelly Time is a collection of ‘America’s Favorite Recipes’ using Certo and Sure-Jell fruit pectins.   This version has a copyright date of 1983.  I love the two tone mauve printing color, and that it has a variety of jam, jelly, marmalades and butters.  Next canning season I look forward to trying the Spiced Apple Jelly.


The old Kerr canning book is the one with the deer on it.  It’s an old one too, but I don’t see a copyright date anywhere on it.   My guess is from the 1940s.  Does anyone have an idea of when it was published?  This book came in handy when looking for a recipe on crab apple jelly.  I have found that many of the new canning books don’t include many fruits and vegetables that are traditionally foraged, like crab apples.   The back of the book has a really great Q&A about common questions and/or problems in canning and gives great answers on why something is the way it is, or how to fix your issue.

It’s really neat to note that the first page it opens … READ MORE...

Crab Apple Muffins

In the fall the wild Crab Apple trees are heavy with fruit about 1″ in diameter.  Generally from one tree, you can harvest a bushel basket full of the little apples. Crab apples, if picked too early can be quite tart, but if picked when they are a dark red/maroon can be just as sweet as regular apples.  

To make these Crab Apple Muffins, first you need to make or have available, Crab Apple Butter.   This Crab Apple Butter is, hands down, the best thing I have canned all season!  I have given a few jars away, and have gotten only compliments back.  I wish I could take credit for the recipe, but it came from:  Mennonite Girls Can Cook – Crab Apple Butter.

To make Crab Apple Muffins, just follow the recipe below to make some muffins using a half jar (4 ounces) of the crab apple butter.  These muffins are an extremely sweet breakfast treat, or great as a tea-time snack.  I have to admit, I found this recipe a few years ago on another website, but for the life of me, I can’t remember where.  Please let me know if you find the original recipe so I can give credit where credit is due.  In the mean time, I will pretend I am amazing enough to … READ MORE...