August 15, 2009: 99 Jars of Food on the Wall, 99 Jars of Food...

OK, it's not 99 jars, only 32.

(From left to right) Today I finally picked enough strawberries from my garden to make strawberry jam. I had crushed and frozen the last picking, and with tonight's picking I had four cups of crushed berries. Earlier today I picked bell peppers and jalapenos (the hot ones from the planter) and made hot pepper jam. Then I pickled yesterday's cucumbers and got three jars of bread and butter pickles. The small jars of salsa were a combination of one pint of yesterdays peach salsa that didn't seal (see rant later) with leftovers of the big pot of salsa I canned earlier in the day (recipe follows). Finally, the 7 jars of salsa on the right are Annie's Salsa. No relation to my Annie ;-) Between picking and preserving, along with the other mundane chores like cooking and cleaning and running to the store for another two dozen jars, I've been at it for over twelve hours today. I'm getting slow in my old age!

Begin rant:

I'd canned over a hundred jars of food this past few weeks, with no problems. This week I bought some Kerr jar lids, and four out of the ten I've used didn't seal. I had to take two quarts of tomatoes and cook them down to make tomato sauce, then one of those didn't seal! Then there was the one jar of peach salsa that had to be processed again. Look at the brand new Kerr jar I bought today......

That's two burnt glass bubbles in the side of the jar. How could this pass inspection? Evidently there is no inspection.

Another Kerr jar that won't seal. Can you see the dip in the rim at the back of the jar?

I can't show you another new Kerr pint jar that came in a case I bought last week, because I already trashed it. They come with lids and rings on the jars, and when I removed the ring from it, there was a big chunk of glass broken from the rim. About the size of half of a dime. And there was no glass inside the jar or the box, so the lid and ring were put on a broken jar, it didn't break in transit.

What has happened to quality control with this company? I used to trust their products, now not so much.

Yes, I emailed the company. No, they haven't responded.

End rant.

This recipe receives rave reviews on GardenWeb. I haven't tasted the finished product yet, but the uncooked tasted delicious.

Annie's Salsa

8 cups tomatoes, peeled, chopped and drained (slice the tomato on its equator to expose triangular openings into the seed pockets. Squeeze it over a bowl to get out most of the seeds and goo, then chop the remaining meaty part and only use that. )
2 ½ cups chopped onion
1 ½ cups chopped green pepper
3 - 5 chopped jalapenos (I used 5 and left the seeds in one)
6 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp pepper
1/8 cup canning salt
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar (bottled lemon or bottled lime juice can be substituted, or a mixture of any of the three)
16 oz. tomato sauce (large can, 12 ounces)
16 oz tomato paste (2 small cans, 6 ounces each)

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil, boil 10 minutes. Pour into hot jars, process in a boiling water bath, 15 minutes for pints (20 minutes for quarts).

Makes 6 pints

*mine made 8 pints.


  1. Wow that is really a bad string of products that you encountered from Kerr. I have used their jars for years, but honestly have not purchased any for long time - because I have so many jars that I am at a loss where to store all the unused ones that I have that almost never get called into use (back ups!).

    I copied the Annie's Salsa recipe off to a file so I can pull it out later when I am in Salsa making mode.

  2. KitsapFG, I'm out of jars, except quarts, and I'm not buying any more. I'll do a couple of quarts of dills for Mr. H and, if I have enough cucumbers, some for my daughter. If I get enough strawberries, I'll do freezer jam.

  3. Granny! That is an insane amount of canning you've been doing LOL. Look at all of that yummy stuff. I printed out that Salsa recipe as not 10 minutes ago I said to my husband "I need to make some salsa". :)

  4. Crystabell, it's an easy recipe...well, except for all the tomato peeling, coring and seeding. zit does make a lot, and it had rave reviews from everyone who had made it. It sure did taste good before I cooked it! I left the seeds from one jalapeno in mine, I'm hoping it has enough heat.

  5. Crystabel, it pays to read before posting. It was bad enough to spell your name incorrectly, but..."zit does make a lot"....really! LOL

  6. Are you sure it isn't Annie's recipe. She might really like salsa. My dog liked mildly spicy food.

    That is a lot of canning. I wish I had all your tomatoes to can. I would be so happy about that. Well OK I'd probably be sick of canning, but then I'd just start freezing.

  7. Daphne, believe it or not, tubby little Annie is a very picky (and light) eater!

    I'm out of pint and half pint jars and both freezers are full. I don't want to buy more jars, because I'm not planning on growing so much next year. What we can't eat fresh from now on will be given away. I have lots of quart jars, so I might do a few more tomatoes and some dill pickles,, but that's it. I have to find room in the freezer for all the butternut squash and pumpkin!

  8. Wow Granny! That is a lot of canning. I am canning a little today too…about 10 pints of beans.

    Those KERR jars are just plain dangerous, especially the jars with the flaws in the glass. What are they thinking? So glad you contacted the company. I hope you receive a reply. Be careful.

  9. OH that Annie's Salsa is so good!!!! We just polished off a jar of it tonight when we had company over. It's fantastic.

  10. Wow, I'm impressed! If I canned for 12 hours, I would be in the psych ward by midnight! I am hoping my tomatoes will time themselves with bunches being ready when my husband gets home next weekend so I can can WITHOUT children bugging me!! I wish I could say "I can't believe it" about your jars and no response from company, but these days nothing surprises me anymore. Except that seed company...still in awe of their customer service, lol!

  11. I'm glad to hear that, Ribbit. I haven't tried mine yet.

  12. Erin, don't get me started on "customer service" again. Can you believe I emailed the car dealer we bought our last car from and told him we were looking for a new car. He called the next day, and I told him I'd been pleased with the service we got from him before, so I wanted to do business with him again. He said he was in his car, calling from his cell phone, and would get right back to me. A week later I emailed again, because I hadn't heard back from him. Monday I emailed and told him to forget it, we'd buy our new car elsewhere. Sheesh!

  13. Look at all those beautiful jars!!! Congratulations Granny on getting so much canning done! You go and go and go... just like the energizer bunny!

    You're going to have so much preserved food to enjoy when you come back to WA next spring!

    My tomatoes are just starting to turn!!! Yeah!!!! I'll be making tomato sauce and salsa before long!

    Oh, I bought some of those Mrs Wages packs the other day. I want to try the ketchup one!

    Thanks for sharing Annie's Gardenweb recipe. That's the one I'm going to try!!!

    Hugs from Wyoming!

  14. GrafixMuse (I don't know why blogger gets these comments out of order, I almost missed yours)I wish I had a pressure canner for my beans! I have to freeze mine, but I'd much rather can them.

    Toni, Mr. H, who is the one who says we're taking the car south this year instead of the pickup, and that we only have room for the animals and our clothes so nothing else goes, saw all that food in one place yesterday and didn't realize I'd canned that says we MUST take some of it with us! So I'll probably take a box of assorted stuff. I'll make sure I have the strawberry jam ;-)

  15. Oh good Granny! So glad that you'll be taking some of your canned yummies back to AZ with you!

    Yeah... Mr H!!!

    Definately strawberry jam... and sauce... and pickles.. and...

    Gosh Granny... now you'll have the predicament of having to pick and choose! Hmm... now you need a trailer to attach to the pickup... or a new pickup... forget the new car!!!

    OK... I'll be quiet now... LOL!

  16. Those are horrible jars! All of my quarts and half my pints are hand me downs, but I will be very diligent about inspecting the new jam jars.

    I love love love my hand me down from family pressure canner. One of the smartest things I've ever gotten from them. I just had to buy a new pressure regulator and next year I'll buy a new sealing ring, but it's a million years old and still wonderful.

  17. Stefaneener, yes...inspect before using. If I had seen those jars before using others from the boxes I'd have taken both cases back for replacement. Can't just take one or two jars back.

    I had a new pressure cooker, too small to be a canner, but gave it to one of my daughters. Sometimes I do things like that, then wish I had them back.

  18. Did you hear back from Kerr? Seeing the poor quality jars has me concerned about purchasing more of their product- especially if they don't have the desire to respond.

    I love you blog! Great and inspiring photos of canned items.

  19. Esperanza, they never did respond. I have a feeling they could care less about their customer service, as I believe they have a monopoly on the canning products. I think Kerr, Ball and Golden Harvest are all produced by the same company now.

    Thank you for your nice comments about my blog!

  20. Esperanza, I just sent them another email. We'll see if they ignore this one too.

    I realize you have a monopoly on the canning supplies that can be purchased, but I'm still disappointed at your lack of customer service. I sent you an email ten days ago, but your "trained home canning expert" evidently is either non- existent or too busy to respond. If you would care to see photos of two of the three jars that were of inferior (unusable) quality, or read about all four (including one box of lids), just visit my blog at

    I would think you must agree that your quality control is not very good when products with such obvious flaws are allowed to be placed in the stores.

  21. About the Kerr jars...
    You know, you'd think that they'd respond. Maybe a phone call would be better.

    I bought some canning supplies the other day... and all I could think about was your Kerr jars!!! Your photos of those jars came to mind!

    And I said... I'm NOT buying Kerr stuff!

  22. Toni, Kerr and Ball are both owned by the same company. I don't know whether Kerr is an inferior product to Ball now, or what. I do know I can only find Kerr and Golden Harvest at Wal*Mart. Oh well, I have enough jars now to (hopefully) last me a lifetime! My neighbor just brought me over 14 new half-pints. Someone had given her several boxes full, and she was nice enough to share.

  23. Ok, I love that salsa recipe and copied it over to our recipe folder. Hope I get the chance to try it out. Our jalepenos are looking great but the tomatoes...still got my fingers crossed. Glad to hear that yours are coming along nicely. Also, thanks for the heads up on warped canning jars, I will keep that in mind if I have any problems. Too bad everything is made so cheaply these days.

  24. Mr. H., we just couldn't get enough of that salsa this past year. We went through over 30 pints, if I remember correctly, and ran out long ago. This year I'm leaving out the canned tomato sauce and substituting a can of crushed pineapple, and it's really good. I'm also using red pepper flakes, as I still have no hot jalapenos. I'm just using all bell peppers. At least I can control the heat by using the flakes.

  25. I will have to try this when we get some of those tomatoes ripened. Sounds so good.

    1. It's a keeper, Langela. I used red pepper flakes in 2010 and got it so hot we couldn't hardly eat it! I had to mix it with plain canned tomatoes. The jalapenos definitely work better.