Spring 2014 Book Festival: Simply Canning + Interview with Sharon Peterson

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: June 28, 2019
Spring 2014 Book Festival: Simply Canning + Interview with Sharon Peterson

Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival.  Sharon Peterson, the author of Simply Canning: Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning, is joining us for an interview and is also providing one lucky reader with a free copy of her book.

Now here is the thing.  It was my pleasure to meet Sharon a year ago at a Ready Set Prep Summit in Dallas.  She is a smart, delightful and talented lady and I am so happy to feature her book today.  Not only that, the timing is perfect since I am attending my first canning class today!  Talk about serendipity!

Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

Simply Canning - Backdoor Survival[46]

An Interview with Sharon Peterson

1.  Tell me about your book, Simply Canning. What is it about?

The title says it all!  Simply Canning, Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning.  In addition, from my website I offer a printable companion pdf: Pantry Journal, A Home Preservers Notebook System.

2.  What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

The site itself started out as a hobby site and grew and grew. I had people requesting the information in book form so they would have access offline. That is where Simply Canning the book was born.

The Pantry Journal is a tool I’ve developed for myself. When I realized others would benefit I took a hard look at my own notes, made some improvements and added things to make it even better and easier to understand.

3.  How long did it take to write?

Goodness, Simply Canning the book took months and months. I don’t have an exact time frame. The Pantry Journal was much quicker. I was already using the notebook system, I just prettied it up and organized it for others.

4.  Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading and using your book?

Home Canning and/or home preserving is a skill that anyone can master.

It may be essential in the future but it is also fun! It is a lot of work, so don’t get the wrong idea. But home canning is one of those things you can learn a little as you go. It is not hard, but it IS an exacting process for many foods.

You MUST use proper methods for safety. It is also a rewarding task. There is something about providing your own food for your table. I am blessed to be able to grow much of my own, but even if you don’t have the space to garden you can still provide for yourself healthier foods through farmers markets, local fruit orchards and other local sources.

5.  Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I am married 19 years to a great guy who works hard for his family. I’m a homeschool mom to 4 sons. Two are grown and left the nest so my dinner table is shrinking. I love to read, and garden. I love skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. I don’t get out nearly as much as I’d like!

6.  As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

For unexpected events. Mostly I have this strong desire for a simpler life.

7.  Do you have plans for another book?

Honestly, I don’t know. I have much to share!  Maybe I will.

The Book Giveaway

A copy of Simply Canning has been reserved for one lucky reader.  Here is today’s giveaway question:

What is your favorite food preservation tip?

To enter the giveaway, you need to answer this question by responding in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Wednesday with the winner notified by email and announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz.  You will have 48 hours to claim the winning book.

Note: If you are reading this article in your email client, you must go to the Backdoor Survival website to enter this giveaway in the comments area at the bottom of the article.

The Final Word

As I mentioned in the beginning, we are attending a hands-on canning class today.  It is so exciting for me to be able to surround myself with experienced canners who will give me the confidence to get started on my own.  I still need to purchase a pressure canner to replace the one I ordered last year that was too darn tall to fit under the hood over my stove.  That said, I am committed and Sharon’s book, as well as her website, Simply Canning, are going to guide me to success!

I hope you will enter the giveaway to win your own copy of Sharon’s book!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight Item:  Simply Canning: Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning

Do you know the most important information for safely home canning? Simply Canning the book… will lead you step by step through the most important canning safety information for both Pressure Canning and Water bath Canning. This book also includes canning directions for most basic foods.

Learn how to can tomatoes, green beans, canning meat and fruit. Then have fun and create jam and jelly, marmalade and fruit butters.

Learn what canning equipment you really need, why a pressure canner is imperative in some situations, and when waterbath canning is perfectly acceptable. Home Canning can be fun and rewarding. Do it right and you will be providing a pantry full of safe healthy foods for your family. Canning Methods, Canning with a pressure canner and a waterbath canner. What is botulism? How can it be easily avoided. Canning Vegetables, canning meat and more.

Bargain Bin:  Today is all about books.  Listed below are all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone.

And if not, at the very least pick up the free Kindle app so that you can read Kindle books on your PC or favorite electronic device.

Spring 2014 Book Festival #5 – Fiction
Brushfire Plague: Reckoning
Through Many Fires: Strengthen What Remains
Flight of the Bowyer
The Jakarta Pandemic
The Perseid Collapse
Leaving The Trees
Fury of the Fifth Angel
Fugitives from Northwoods
Phoenix Island: A Tale of Disaster, Survival, and Rebirth

Spring 2014 Book Festival #5 – Non-Fiction
The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness: Life-Saving Skills, Supplies, Tactics and Plans
Simply Canning: Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning
The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster
The Prepper’s Cookbook: 365 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals
Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure: A Prepper’s Book for Kids
The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months


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No list of books would be complete without my own e-book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.

The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage is a book about food: What to store, how to store it and best practices. It is a roadmap for showing ordinary citizens that long-term food storage is not something that will overwhelm or burden the family budget.   It is based on my own tried and true experience as someone who has learned to live the preparedness lifestyle by approaching emergency preparedness and planning in a systematic, step-by-step manner.

Whether you simply want to prepare for natural disasters or whether you believe the world is headed toward a major food crisis, this book is for you. It covers basic tips and techniques you can use to stock your food storage pantry so that you can be assured that your family will have food to eat, no matter what.

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59 Responses to “Spring 2014 Book Festival: Simply Canning + Interview with Sharon Peterson”

  1. I’m new to food preservation – last year was first year canning — So I’ve not got a “TIP” to share… I’m loving testing the different methods of saving food (Canning, Freezing & drying) and figuring out which I like better and how to use it.

    Maybe my tip might be one of my personal goals for the year — Keep Records. For example I grew tomatoes, canned, froze, & dried them last year. But I did not keep track of how many plants I had in the garden and how many jars of sauce, or diced tomatoes or juice or how much I froze and how many pounds I dried and now I’ve run out of some already and I have no idea by what amount to increase my garden to so that I may have enough to last the entire year until I start getting more from the garden.

  2. I love canning, but all I can think of is when you get all of those fresh veggies, go to work immediately! Get those things put up as fast as possible and all the veggies will stay very fresh…and you get to eat them that way.

  3. Thanks for the chance to win the book. I think my favorite food preservation tip came from my neighbor when I started canning…”Do everything you can outside.” She has a wooden picnic table she cuts on and can set up her food mill on and a propane burner and a hose nearby to clean up. The burner is kind of like the ones people deep fry a turkey on. One of our first projects together was to can pickled beets. Boy, did I understand why outside was a good idea after seeing the red mess that made! I now enjoy working outside. It makes me feel like my homesteading ancestors would approve. There is something about it that makes me feel akin to them and nature.

  4. Pressure canning is quite simple but can be intimidating. Get someone to show you or take a class like Gaye. Once you see how easy it is, you will feel empowered and look forward to not only canning, but to savoring the great rewards.

  5. Freezer Jam … Easy, Fresh and inhaled at an alarming rate in my house. I am just starting to move away from processed/prepackaged foods. Strawberry Freezer Jam was where I started. I am hoping to grow & can some foods this year, too.

  6. Don’t put it off because it’s intimidating. Take a class, learn from a friend, read a book. You’ll find once you get started you wonder why you waited so long.

  7. My tip is to make sure your jars are in good condition(no chips or cracks) and follow the recipe exactly.

  8. My tip would relate back to home brewing as well as canning. “Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize”. Make sure that all of the equipment you’re using during the canning process is clean AND sanitized. This will keep your canned foods safe to eat, skunky beer is one thing, but a dose of botulism is yet another.

    Happy canning!

  9. Getting a Foodsaver food vac and the jar attachment is a great way to use your canning jars when they are waiting for the next fall harvest to come around.

    We keep some of our used canning lids and re-use them for storing bulk items in our jars with our Foodsaver. I inspect the lids first to make sure they aren’t bent or anything else looks bad about them, run them through the dishwasher and put them back in a lid box marked as used, so I don’t end up grabbing them for my canning projects. When jars get emptied of their fall harvest they are cleaned up and refilled with bulk items. I have been doing this now for several years and I have never had a re-used lid fail on me once. Every time I open up a stored jar of Quinoa, powdered milk, sugar, beans or whatever, I hear that wonderful whooshing sound of air rushing back into a vacuum. I know my food has been well protected in my basement from any critters or moisture that would have otherwise ruined it. And the best thing about it all, is it only cost me the little bit of electricity to seal them up, since everything else is being re-used.

  10. I don’t know how up can but I have a huge All American pressure cooker still sitting in box in the garage.. I call it THE BEAST. I’m too scared to try without help, maybe I can find a class. What I have been able to do is freeze. I don’t have a huge space for gardening but have a raised box along side of my house I grow greens, tomatoes, bell peppers , cucumbers. Most of it gets eaten, but I have learned that you can freeze whole tomatoes without stewing them first as my grandmother did. No fuss just put in a freezer bag. I just used some frozen cherry tomatoes stewed up rather quickly with onions garlic & fresh greens from garden last night and it was delish!! I need this book and prob a seasoned canner to help me at first, I’m scared to use it.

  11. Never tried canning or any other methods of preserving before so I don’t have a tip. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book. I have been thinking bout canning since my Mom canned all the time. I thought she was just so “old fashioned” and I never planned to can on my own. Ah, youth… :0). Now, since I am getting started prepping, it is a skill I wished I had taken more seriously.

  12. Learn to can from someone who has been using this skill for generations. Go to their home, watch them can in real life, take notes and even ask if they would watch and help you on your first canning attempt.

  13. I love to can and see all of those pretty jars that are going to save me a lot of money. I am going to can some meat this year. I have not done this before but looking forward to finding some chicken, etc on sale and learning to can it. My tip is to make sure your food is as fresh as possible so it will taste fresh when you eat it.Thanks for the chance to win the book-would love to have it and share with my daughters.

  14. Go ahead and invest in a pressure canner and a good canning book, it’s worth every penny. And plant that garden!!!

  15. Last summer was my 1st summer canning home-grown corn. I was preparing the corn outside, sitting in the shade – the sun moved (who knew?!), and I got quite a burn! Even if you’re in the shade – use sunscreen!

    Not exactly a food preservation tip, but you really do want to prepare the corn outside – what a mess!

  16. I have been water bath canning for years, but never had till last year the “kit” that sure made it a lot easier and more efficient. The “kit” is a Large mouth funnel, jar pickerupers, magnetic stick to pick up the lids from the hot water and ladled with pour spout. The only reason I bought the kit was it was purple and it grabbed my eye. Best impulsive buy.

  17. I am new to food preservation and I’m just in the information gathering stage, so I don’t have any tips. I’m finding it a bit overwhelming!

  18. No tip, just a question.
    I have read many reviews where people said that the “Tattler” reusable lids were basically a waste of money. They said that many of the lids are warped or have manufacturing defects that keep them from sealing.
    Does anyone here have any experience with the reusable lids?

    • I am using Tattlers with my metal screw bands, for the second year. So far, I have had ONLY 1 NOT SEAL. I feel they are a good investment and do plan on buying more.

  19. My favorite food preservation tip is to research and make sure that you are following safe practices. There’s a lot of bad information on the internet and older books that have procedures that are no longer considered acceptable. Better safe than sorry!

  20. Practice, practice, practice. I have been canning for 3 years now (but always with others), and I am still not confident at all in my abilities. I think I need to do it multiple times per year before I will feel confident.

  21. My canning tip is, if you see a large pile of used canning jars for sale for cheap at an estate sale or something, make sure they are already clean!

    I bought a bunch thinking I’d gotten a good deal, but they were all a bit “dirty”. What a chore and slight bit of nightmare that was trying to clean them all up.


  22. I don’t really have a tip BUT, to me, knowing the difference of the two types of canning, pressure canning versus water bath canning is a “TIP” everyone needs to know. That, and knowing what the up front cost you should expect. I am clueless on all the above but I REALLY WANT TO KNOW. I’d take canning over store bought any day.

  23. My favorite food preservation tip, canning isn’t really that difficult. Read up on canning and give it a try. You’ll be very surprised how easy it is. Yes there’s work involved but it’s not as fearful or dangerous as people have been made to believe.

  24. Soggy pickles! For the freshest snappy dill pickles – pick cucumbers, clean and put in jars within two hours. Don’t pick cucumbers and wait all day to pickle them. The next day is way to late.

  25. What is my favorite food preservation tip? Well I would have to say freezing. That won’t work if the stuff hits the fan… I really need this book. I have no idea how the canning process works.

  26. i have never canned and always wanted to learn……… the only thing i did learn was making jam/jelly……tip…make sure when picking ‘wild’ berries in the woods they are edible ones for humans…….if not you get really sick 🙁 !

  27. Be versatile! I’ve canned grape jelly and fig preserves, frozen my basil pesto and dried the rest of my herbs.

  28. My basic food preservation tip is; I let my wife do it. She does a pretty good job canning. I think she gets better at it every year. I am involved by helping with gardening and harvesting. I am looking forward to this year’s garden and all the canning she will be doing when the harvest comes in.

  29. My tip is to keep your jars sorted! I keep mine sorted by size ( pint, quart, jelly) and by mouth size ( regular or wide mouth). When canning is in full swing you can easily get the right size for what you are making.

  30. I love to can! The tip I would like to share is “DON”T KEEP IT TO YOURSELF”! As you can your fruits and vegetables, teach someone else. It’s very important these days to pass along this knowledge.

  31. I just learned that after using and opening a food saver bag you can reuse it by turning it inside out and washing it in the dishwasher on the top rack so that it gets hot enough, then place in on something like a wine bottle or A water bottle to dry for a few days. After which time it may be reused with your Food Saver. And, as said earlier practice, practice and more practice. I am learning to can jams without useing store bought pectin, there is most definitely a learning curve. I am interested in canning books. If anyone knows of canning books that have recipes for: gravy, things like mushroom wine simmer sauce, mandarin orange simmer sauce, sauces like tavern style pot roast sauces. Safeway select and campbells have these types of sauces for sale, if they can CAN these convenient concoctions so can we.

  32. I’m new to food preservation so I don’t exactly have a tip, however, I would say to just get started if you’re new to it or are experiencing anxiety about doing it. I’ve started with dehydrating and so far my family is loving everything to the point that what I’ve dehydrated isn’t lasting long! This summer I’ll begin my foray into canning. Would love to win this book to help me on my journey.

  33. Canning vegetables with my mom is great but I am just now starting with dehydrating too.I am looking forward to learning that way to preserve as well.

  34. My favorite food preservation tip is, don’t can stuff you don’t like cooked. My mom used to can spinach, and while it is yummy fresh in a salad, I always thought it was gross cooked. Nowadays if I canned it, I would never eat it. It would go to waste. So I plant several things in my garden that I love fresh, including spinach and asparagus, but I don’t can them. I only can things I know will get eaten.

  35. My tip would be to label everything and include the date processed. I have been doing this on everything I freeze and will continue to do so when I start canning & dehydrating this year. Would love it if I could find a canning class to attend in the Baton Rouge area and win this great canning book. 🙂

  36. I am about to start canning fruit and vegetables, make jam no problems, definitely need to learn about canning meat. My tip would be to keep a record of how many plants you harvested from, the total weight of each fruit/vegetable used and the number of jars, securely labelled. Nothing worse than having labels fall off and not being sure what it is. Another tip is keep your dehydrated products in the freezer if possible, they keep at least 6 – 12 months longer. I’m sure this book would help me in my learning journey.

  37. My tip is buy canned food on sale! I really need this book as I would like to learn to can. Thank you very much for your great book giveaways!

  38. My tip would be to use an up to date canning instruction book. I still like my old ones for recipes but use the new processing times.

  39. My tip(s) are be sure to buy ripe, unbruised or blemished fruits and vegetables. Store properly until you are ready to can or freeze. Follow proper methods for getting food ready and packing to ensure quality. Good luck to everyone canning/freezing/drying foods for future use. It’s truly better tasting and better for you.

  40. I try to can LOTS at one time, when I sterilize my jars, I will save counter space by putting my jars into the oven on warm setting. They stay sterile in the heat and jars are warm which I feel helps canner or hot bath come up to temp faster.

  41. My tip is for those who want to find a canning class. Look for your local (agricultural) extension agent for referrals or perhaps to find the class itself. Also consider your local college or community college in their adult education, or continuing education, or non-credit classes. They are called different things in different places, but you’ll find it.

    Good luck everyone!

  42. i have canned for over 40 years and just recently learned to remove the rings from your jars before storage! thank you so much!!! 🙂

  43. It’s pretty basic, but critical: use only quality ingredients! If you’re going to take the time & put in the effort, quality ingredients (especially produce) are essential. I made tomato chutney last year, but the tomatoes weren’t quite ripe so the chutney was bland & colorless. I won’t make that mistake again.

  44. I haven’t begun food preservation but have been looking into canning. Just have to get myself comfortable with the process and then get the tools I need. Hopefully not too much longer.

  45. My tip is to dehydrate tomatoes and then grind them to a powder. You can then mix the powder with a little water to make up tomato paste or sauce whenever you need it or add a little powder to soups and stews. I love it!

  46. My favorite tip for canning is to not touch the cans once you pull them from the water bath. I do not touch them for 24 hours. No wait, maybe this is my favorite tip… use the best and freshest ingredients that you can find, and ORGANIC.

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