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Personalize your wedding by canning your own wedding favours

I would say I see mason jars in about 50% of the weddings I’m a part of and it makes me so happy. Sometimes they’re filled with jam, some have candies; they’re used as glassware and decor and I see them so often for a very good reason; they’re nice, practical, affordable, and reusable. Whenever I see a mason jar I kind of get excited because I’ve seen so many beautiful things encased in them. 

If you know me, you know I am hands on and I spend far too much time in the kitchen. I had my first introduction to canning when I was a kid and my mother would take advantage of the free child labour of myself, my siblings, and as many of our friends as were allowed to come over. She would send us to the closest blackberry bramble and sick us on those delicious fruit and treacherous thorns and when we came back with the berries we didn’t eat, she would make vats of blackberry jam and can them in a big ol’ pot. I don’t remember seeing that pot again after we made the huge cross province move when I was seven. 

In highschool I worked for a Mexican restaurant and became their goto salsa making person and I made that salsa in very large quantities. After I made the move back to the coast I found myself wanting THAT salsa, but I only knew how to make it in the restaurant service volume. Remembering my mother’s canning pot, I started looking up how to can my salsa, and so began my obsession with filling mason jars.

Last year, a good friend of mine, Tanja of Jelger and Tanja Photographers wanted to learn to make my salsa after getting some at our wedding (remember this photo? I’m pretty sure Tanja was drooling behind the lense) so I finally caved and included her on one of our canning days. She was so easy to work with and so willing to learn, I asked her if she wanted to learn to can some other things. Things that our couples could also learn and use for their wedding. So our pseudo styled shoot/canning session was born. 

Lemon Curd

I made lemon curd for the first time in November 2017 and Omigod that shit is good. It’s basically eggs, lemon, sugar, and butter but I will admit it’s not the easiest thing to make, but totally doable! The thing about canning this favour though is it does have a relatively short shelf life compared to everything else we made in this session. Once you make this delicious treat it needs to be consumed within 3 months. 

Recipe and instructions

Food – 8 Lemons, Lemon Juice, 5 cups Sugar, 22 Eggs, 1.5 cups Butter
Time – 45 minutes for prep, 15 minutes to cook, process for 15 minutes
Yield – 20 small jars
Fun puns to stick on the favours: “Pucker up!” 

  1. From the lemons, make 1 cup of lemon zest and 2 cups of lemon juice; supplement with lemon juice from the bottle if needed. 
  2. Seperate 14 of the eggs, keep the yolks, the whites are not used in this recipe. I highly recommend you make some yummy meringue cookies. 
  3. Mix lemon zest through sugar and let sit 30 minutes. 
  4. Heat water in double boiler. In top of double boiler off the heat whisk eggs, gradually add sugar and zest. 
  5. Whisk in lemon juice then add cubed butter. Put the top of the boiler on the heat. Stir with a spatula continuously until mixture reaches 170’f. 
  6. Remove from heat and strain. 
  7. Stir mixture till thick, about 5 minutes. 
  8. Leave a half inch headspace when filling your jars. Water Bath them for 15 minutes.

Caramel Dip

This addictive yumminess was introduced to me in 2016 and a big draw point for me to make it the first time was the utter simplicity. And the shelf life is almost irrelevant because its eaten so quickly it doesn’t have the time to go bad! This snack has literally only two ingredients and is so hands off it takes up so little of your time to make which makes it a perfect wedding DIY. 

Recipe and instructions

Food – 2 cans Sweetened Condensed Milk, 3 teaspoons vanilla
Time – 5 minutes for prep, 8 hours for processing
Yield – 6 small jars
Fun puns to stick on the favours: “Love is Sweet”, “Stuck together”

  1. Open the cans of sweetened condensed milk and split them among the 6 jars
  2. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla in each jar and mix
  3. Throw a lid and ring on the jars and put them in the crockpot, covering them with water about 3 inches above the lids
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours
  5. Done. SOOOO easy, right?

Pickled Jalapenos

I’m a big fan of spicy foods and pickles so pickled jalapenos are a staple in my pantry and there’s nothing better than some homemade pickles. Obviously, I am all about giving food as gifts, not to mention receiving them! Food is my love language. These are picked using an open kettle method that some people are hesitant to use for safety reasons, but I have yet to have any issues and it has been done this way for 100s of years, but I suggest you use your own discretion when making that decision. I process this way because it keeps the crunch of the Jalapenos.

Recipe and instructions

Food – 2-3 Jalapenos, Vinegar, Water, Salt, Garlic
Time – 30 minutes to prep, 1 day for processing
Yield – 1 small jar for every 2-3 Jalapenos
Fun puns to stick on the favours: “Keeping love spicy”, “Our marriage will be as spicy as these Jalapenos.”

  1. Start a pot of boiling water, boil your jars in them. Everything needs to be hot when it goes together in the jar except the jalapenos.
  2. Combine equal parts water to vinegar to make the brine, heat on the stove
  3. Slice the jalapenos & mince the garlic
  4. Ensure your lids and rings are hot and ready to go
  5. Shove your hot jars with jalapenos and a ½ teaspoon of minced garlic (or if you’re like me, a full tablespoon!), top with brine (leave about ½ inch of headspace), put on your hot lid and ring, finger tight, and place upside down on a tea towel and leave it sitting there for 24 hours. Voila, we have pickled jalapenos!

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