Posted in Homemaking, Recipes

Don’t Can in the Fall?

Some of the best canning I know of happens in the fall.

I love canning quick breads to use for fancy fun, such as those delicate get-togethers where our mothers used to wear white gloves and hats, where the napkins are real and the butter is whipped and the goodies are all made from scratch.

And the tea is hot, not iced, and there is no coffee.

I love to make pumpkin bread and can it for later use. It keeps for months on the shelf, in a jar, in a pantry, without preservatives. And it tastes great, even six months later.

What I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about this bread is:

  1. The bread is round, and therefore somehow nicer for those la-dee-da gatherings or for when you just want to feel better about … things. 🙂
  2. The bread is over-the-top moist.
  3. The bread is super easy to slice thin and straight if you pull it out of the jar slightly and use the rim of the jar as a cutting guide.
  4. The bread makes an amazing and welcome gift.

The trick? Just follow these instructions and have fun.

You will need:

  • A good recipe for pumpkin bread. (Mine follows.)
  • All the ingredients for the recipe.
  • Six or seven straight-sided, wide-mouth, one-pint canning jars.
  • Lids and screw bands for the jars.
  • A pan of hot water for the lids.
  • Fork or lid lifter.
  • Canning funnel.
  • Sharp, non-serrated knife.
  • A sturdy, flat pan with a rim, such as a pizza pan or jelly roll pan.
  • One damp cloth.
  • One totally dry, thick towel.
  • Plenty of pot-holders or oven mitts.
  • An oven.

You will NOT need:

  • Nuts
  • Raisins
  • Any other such lumpy things in the recipe, no matter how much you may love them in your bread, if you want it to keep a long time. If you want it for tomorrow, lumps are fine.


1, Collect your stuff. Set oven for 350 degrees.

Jars like these.
Jars like these.

2. Make the batter. (Recipe follows instructions.)

Batter is ready.
Batter is ready.

3. Load the jars about half full, or a bit more.

Use funnel for neatness. Neatness counts.
Use funnel for neatness. Neatness counts.

4. Place loaded jars on sturdy pan and very carefully set in oven for about 15 minutes or until done. Use toothpick test for doneness.

Ready to bake.
Ready to bake.

5. While bread bakes, prepare lids: Boil water and place lids in it, then remove from heat. Do not boil water with lids in the water. Have screw bands, mitts, and both towels ready.

Ready to can the bread.
Ready to can the bread.

6. Remove one jar from oven individually, and set on dry towel. Quickly trim bread that has risen beyond top of jar with sharp knife. Quickly wipe rim free of crumbs and grease with damp towel and add lid and screw band.

Risen too tall. Trim.
Risen too tall. Trim.
Hide trimmings in your tummy!
Hide trimmings in your tummy!

7. Repeat with each jar, individually. Jars should seal almost immediately.



Sift together into large bowl:

3 1/3 cups plain flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 cups sugar

Quickly add, and stir in only until dry ingredients are moistened:

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 cup melted butter
2/3 cup water

Proceed with instructions above to can pumpkin bread.

IMPORTANT!: Do not add nuts or raisins or any other chunks, if you want this bread to keep a long time. Chunks will not become hot enough to be sterile, in this situation. If you want to use these immediately, chunks are fine!

We are going to love fall this year!

Much later: It loosens easily and slices breezily. Mmm!
Much later: It loosens easily and slices breezily. Mmm!

(This post listed on “My Hot Kitchen” . Lots there to drool over…)


Katharine is a retired home educating mom who writes about all things “woman”, from a Godly viewpoint, here on this site, and at The Conquering Mom.  Her writing appeared in several magazines for 15 years, and she is currently working on several books. She loves to write, speak, teach, cook, garden, spoil her hennies, and watch old movies with popcorn.

Posted in Good ol' days, Homemaking, Inspiring

Use Your Freezer

When our firstborn was about two years old, we bought a brand new deep freeze, on sale, for about $100.00. That was a large sum for us, just starting out, but through 40 years of service it has never caused us one moment of grief and has quietly kept literally tons of food rock-hard, safe to eat, and almost-like-fresh.

That’s at $2.50 per year.

It has had a place of honor in most of our homes, either in the kitchen or in the baby’s room. (It did double duty as a wonderful changing table.) I also bought several sets of rigid plastic freezer cartons, to save the waste of plastic bags. They were also on sale but nine dozen or so cost me around $50.00. Most of those dear little boxes are also still chugging along just fine.

That’s around $1.10 per year.

Every year I froze 75 quarts of blanched corn-off-the-cob, 75 quarts blanched spinach and/or beet greens, and all the fresh blackberries I could get my hands on.

We also tried freezing applesauce, whole carrots, whole peppers, whole apples, whole tomatoes, halves of beef and pork, bread, cookies, cakes, flour, dried beans, corn meal, excess fruit juice, chocolate chips, dog biscuits, dampened laundry, and more.

Oh, I forgot chickens, turkeys, fish, and the last snowball of each winter.

Oh, yes, there was leftover garden seed, too.

And ice cream.

Are you getting the picture?

(We won’t discuss the pheasant skin.)

I am not the type to throw everything into the freezer just because it’s too much work to pressure can it. Yet the freezer is always packed.

Our garden has varied from a tiny, pitiful mustard patch, to a beautiful 50’ x 75’ plot of perfectly fertile sandy loam. In the big one, we planted 17 rows of corn each year. By the Fourth of July, those 17 long rows were ripe and ready. We’d hurry to get it all put up before nightfall and the huge fireworks display in the park.

Now. To get ¼ mile of corn put up in a hurry, you do not pressure can it for an hour per each ten pints! No! The only expedient way, given the necessary elements, is to blanch it briefly, slice it off the cob, and store it in boxes in the freezer.

More tomorrow.