Thursday, June 27, 2013

Strawberry Production Canning Results

June 24 production canning results:
Four canners working in two teams did a production canning session in Facility Kitchens. Laurie Brooks was “Leader of the Pack”. They worked with strawberries. One team made freezer jam and the other made canned jam.
Input: 8 flats of strawberries, 4 were hulled before coming in.
Output: 32 pints of freezer jam, 29 pints of canned jam, and at least 16 bags of frozen strawberries. There were 2 failures to seal.
Total Units: At least 77 total units of strawberries processed in one evening!
The next production session is today, Thursday, June 27.  Diane Devereaux will lead a session working with strawberries. To get more information and reserve your space in the canning line visit

Monday, June 24, 2013

Production Canning Results of Strawberry Salsa, June 20th

June 20th production canning results of: “Signature Strawberry Salsa” and strawberry-lemon concentrate.
Thursday evening four canners with Diane Devereaux leading the session processed “Signature Strawberry Salsa” and a strawberry-lemon concentrate.  
Input: We had at least four flats of strawberries and enough of the minor ingredients for quadruple batches of “Signature Strawberry Salsa” and one and a half batches of the strawberry-lemon concentrate.
Production results: 43 processed pints of “Signature Strawberry Salsa”, 7 processed pints of strawberry-lemon concentrate, 2 pints of unprocessed (to be refrigerated) concentrate, and 5 bags of frozen strawberries.
The strawberry salsa may be eaten with chips or poured over pork, chicken, or cheese. The concentrate may be a drink mix with club soda, or used as a smoothie starter, or a daiquiri starter. Both recipes are quite versatile.
Next week’s planned production is for the last of strawberry season and the beginning of cherry season. Possible choices to preserve include more salsa or drink concentrate, cherry pie filling, maraschino cherries, canned cherries, or jam.
To reserve your space in the June 27 canning line, go to to sign up on-line. You bring your ingredients and jars and we provide the tools, the facility, the cleanup, and The Canning Diva leading the session to bring order and increase output.
The Canning Diva’s “Signature Strawberry Salsa” recipe is also available on her site.
Tune in next week for the results of canning production for Thursday, June 27.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Strawberry Salsa Canning Tomorrow Night

ingredients cut and ready to goKick off the Canning Season with the Canning Diva!
The Canning Diva and Facility Kitchens (a 2800 sq. ft. a commercial rental kitchen in Lowell, East on M-21-Fulton St) are teaming up to give West Michigan Canners an opportunity to can together!  Canners will reap the benefits of a spacious commercial kitchen all the while having fun learning a new recipe their families will surely enjoy!
What to Expect:   Canners will be given time and resources to crank out a years supply of the Diva’s Signature Strawberry Salsa for their personal consumption!  Canners will need to bring their own ingredients and jars/rings/lids – however, Facility Kitchens will provide food prep and processing supplies, facility space and utilities and, not to mention, the Canning Diva will be onsite to share her knowledge while keeping production moving forward!
Be sure to reserve your space ASAP as spaces are limited – and will fill up fast!
Important Production Canning Information:
  • You must sign up before the class date as registration closes at 12:01 AM the day of the class. Payment is required at time of registration.
  • Sometimes, we may have to cancel scheduled classes due to: insufficient participation, really bad weather, or other unspecified circumstances. In these cases we will notify you by email and phone and we will refund your payment.
  • You may cancel your registration up to 1 week prior for an equal value class credit. No cash refunds for canning classes unless canceled by Canning Diva. Cancellations within 1 week are not refundable, although you may have someone take your class reservation.
  • We cannot accommodate walk-ins, audits, or unpaid guests.
  • Production Canning is designed for adults, however minor children over the age of 16 are allowed with an accompanying paid parent or guardian.
  • We endeavor to make the Production Canning small, informal, entertaining, informative and fun. Feel free to ask any questions or share your experiences during the class.
  • Each attendee is encouraged to bring enough ingredients and materials to produce as many jars of food for personal consumption as possible within the time allowed.
  • We have non-alcoholic beverages available. You are welcome to bring a beverage of your choice – we have wine glasses.
  • Aprons will be provided for your use during production.
  • Production Canning start promptly at the scheduled time – so plan to arrive with enough time to settle in. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rhubarb & Strawberry Pie Filling and “Signature Strawberry Salsa” Results

June 13 - Production canning results for: Rhubarb & Strawberry Pie Filling and “Signature Strawberry Salsa”
Thursday evening we canned “Signature Strawberry Salsa” and rhubarb-strawberry pie- filling.
Input: Three flats of strawberries (24 quarts), about 30 stalks of rhubarb, and a lot of the lesser ingredients including  jalapeƱo peppers, green and red peppers,  lime juice, cilantro, mint, sugar, vinegar and onions. We quadrupled the recipes from  
  • The hard part was prepping the strawberries, rhubarb, onions and peppers. It took almost 3 hours to wash and chop everything for a quadruple batch of each recipe. Fortunately it is enjoyable prepping and talking while drinking margaritas.
  • The easy part was cooking the pie filling mixture and salsa mixture on the range tops for about 15 minutes.
  • The really fun part was filing the jars. It takes some time and is my personal high-pressure part of canning.
  • Both recipes only need to be water-bathed for a short time, and we were done!
Output: Rhubarb Strawberry Pie Filling - 4 quarts and 11 pints; “Signature Strawberry Salsa”- 17 pints;
Strawberry Salsa marinade – 3 pints processed and 3 quarts unprocessed to be refrigerated for quick consumption; strawberries frozen – 5 bags
Total: 43 units and they are lovely on the shelf, all pink.
What did we learn?  Three flats of strawberries is a lot of strawberries and having Diane Devereaux running the session cuts ingredient waste and reduces failures. Thanks again Diane!
Next week we will again can “Signature Strawberry Salsa” and a canned strawberry – lemon drink concentrate.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Flash Change in Tomorrows Production Canning Session

The rhubarb & strawberry pie filling canning session for tomorrow is changed to next week, June 13, to follow the season’s produce
We planned to can rhubarb & strawberry pie filling in tomorrow’s production canning session. Rhubarb is ready and will still be ready next week. Strawberries are not ready and will be available next week.
We will do rhubarb & strawberry pie filling along with “Signature Strawberry Salsa” in next week’s production canning session on June 13, 2013, starting at 5:45pm going until 10:15pm. To reserve your space in the canning line, go to  
My goal is to make three batches (21-24 pints) of rhubarb & strawberry pie filling and one batch (7-9 pints) of the “Signature Strawberry Salsa” in 4.5 hours next week.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Production Canning Report for May 30, 2013

We started at 5:45pm with three canners, Janet and Clare of Facility Kitchens, and Diane Devereaux, The Canning Diva, who also ran the session.
Janet & Clare brought in 20 pounds of fresh asparagus with the goal of processing it all into canned, pickled, and frozen asparagus.  Diane brought in ingredients to test the creation of her new recipe of conserve.
Michigan asparagus is in the peak of its season and our produce was tender and tasty which was perfect for processing. To prepare the asparagus, we washed and trimmed off the tough ends, then cut the spears to fit in pint jars, saving the cut off parts for freezing. The hardest part of this whole process was getting the spears into the jars. The spears to be pickled were hot packed with vinegar and salt and water bathed. The spears to be canned were packed with just water and pressure canned.  A few spears and the reserved ends were blanched, vacuum packed and then frozen.
Tally! 9 pints of canned asparagus in water, 9 pints of pickled asparagus in vinegar and salt and 5 bags of frozen asparagus for soup. We easily accomplished our goal in the 4.5 hours.
Diane focused on perfecting her new conserve recipe; check out her facebook page at for pictures and details. Tally! for Diane, 9 pints of very colorful conserve.
Clare Seesing is in from Kansas City and is learning and helping to preserve the summer's harvest.
Next week we are producing rhubarb & strawberry pie filling. Stay tuned!
To sign up and see the list of ingredients for the pie filling visit