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...

Better Homes & Gardens Can It!

The Better Homes and Gardens book Can It! is  by FAR my FAVORITE canning book that I have!

I suggest, no, I demand you go and get yourself a copy….right now.  You can obviously get them new, but I was lucky enough to pick up my copy at a second hand book store for $11.   I can’t imagine that anyone wanted to get rid of the book in the first place. If you can or are getting into canning, you need this book!


Good, now that you have your copy, flip through it and you will find more than 100 recipes.  It has recipes and variations that I think everyone in the world will like.  I also appreciate that every recipe has a picture of what it looks like and gives tips on how it can Can It! - COLORADO URBAN HOMESTEADERbe served. 

To give you an idea of the book, the chapters are titled:  Berries & Cherries, Totally Tomatoes, Scent of Citrus, Happy Couples, From Down Deep, Tropical Treasures, First Blush, Row Crops, Apples & Pears, From the Herb Garden, From the Vine, and Meant for Giving.

Some of my favorite recipes that I have made this year are (later I will be detailing my experience with the recipes so check back for more blog posts or sign up for your email updates):

Pickled …

The Farmer’s Wife Canning & Preserving Cookbook


This book I saw while shopping around Amazon, and I just had to have it. 

I love that it is a collection of recipes that were published in The Farmer’s Wife magazine between 1893 and 1939, and have been reprinted.  Since food regulations have changed and safe canning practices, the book still includes the original recipes that are still considered safe to can using the current canning methods.  But also include original recipes that are not considered safe for canning anymore but just tell you to freeze the item instead and it will be safe for consumption. Each of the freezer recipes are denoted with a snowflake in the upper left corner of a grayed out box.The Farmers Wife - COLORADO URBAN HOMESTEADER

The Farmers Wife - COLORADO URBAN HOMESTEADERI love to forage for wild edibles.  Here in Colorado we have a lot of Crab Apples and Wild Plums.  This book has a bunch of recipes that specialize in the wild varieties, since many times they are smaller than fruits you find at the grocery store or ones that you grow in your garden.

BUT the best part of the book is the following passage from their magazine.

“See Our Shelves Filling With Summer’s Priceless Fruits” by Lucy D. Cordiner  August 1920

Is it not a delight, some early autumn evening, to take Father and the Boys down to the READ MORE...

Canning for a New Generation

My husband was so wonderful and picked up a canning book at our local second hand book store.  It is Canning for a New Generation; Bold, Fresh Flavors for the Modern Pantry by Liana Krissoff.

Book: Canning for a New Generation - COLORADO URBAN HOMESTEADER

It sounded like a cool book because it boasted about its 150 seasonal canning recipes, 50 recipes on what to make with your canned goods and 30 detachable gift labels.

I love how the recipes are sectioned out by season in which you will find the main ingredient.  For my first year canning, these recipes look a little too bold for me and my family.   Many of the more ‘basic’ recipes such as strawberry jam look very easy to make, BUT too bad our CSA is primarily a vegetable CSA with the exception of apples in the fall.  These recipes also use a large variety of ingredients, so it sounds like they will be great using up a bunch of produce.

There are a LOT of recipes that look new and I am sure will titillate your taste buds, so if you are interested in putting up a variety of fruits and vegetables this year, check out this book for great new recipes.  I, myself, will give many of these recipes a chance in the next year….after I ease into my first year of canning.  … READ MORE...

Vintage Plant Books

For Christmas, my family and I drove back to Southern California where my grandparents live.   While I was there I borrowed (or am taking until they ask for them back) a bunch of plant books that my C.G. (crazy grandma) had on her book shelves collecting dust.    Ever since I can remember, she has been ‘crunchy’ as well, so it was no surprise that she had some books that were right up my ally!  Vintage Plant Books: COLORADO URBAN HOMESTEADER

I ended up taking a bunch of books that are about plants and wild edibles that you can eat.   Even before I started this blog, I took a local class on urban foraging, and have been interested in it ever since.  One of the best advice I got from the class was: learn your poisonous plants.    It is much easier to learn the very few poisonous plants rather than try and learn all the plants you can eat.   That is why I grabbed the “Know Your Poisonous Plants
” by Wilma Roberts James as a reference book.   I also grabbed ‘Western edible Wild Plants’ by H.D. Harrington (i wish it had color pictures of the plants, instead it has pencil drawings).  “Common Edible and Useful Plants of the West
‘ by Muriel Sweet gives nice little snippets of what you can do with … READ MORE...