Win a Copy of Southern Living’s Little Jars, Big Flavors

April 11, 2013 | By | Comments (366)

 Win a Copy of Southern Livings Little Jars, Big FlavorsYou’ve planted, watered, pruned, picked, and peeled; now, it’s time to put up!  Southerners have been preserving the goodness of the garden for centuries and Little Jars, Big Flavors is our tribute to the tradition. From our favorite Bread-and-Butter pickles to modern riffs on old classics—we’re talkin’ Mimosa Marmalade—this pretty book is full of small-batch recipes that’ll impress experienced preservationists or ease newbies into the craft.  And since we can’t pass up a chance to entertain, we recruited Southern belle and Southern Living Contributing Editor Virginia Willis to do an entire chapter dedicated to hosting the ultimate DIY event, a putting-up party!

You Could Win a Copy of Little Jars, Big Flavors!
Just tell us your favorite canning or preserving memory in the comments section of this post between now and May 31. We’ll pick our 10 favorites to get a free copy of the book. Click here for full legal rules.


  1. mo8389long

    As a child I lived next door to my grandparents, they had a garden and a strange gadget. I was so small I didn’t know exactly what it was.

    Fast forward, 26 yrs, I was “couch surfing” on my mentor couch. I didn’t want to be late for a huge meeting that could affect my future. I arrived a little early and found my mentor and her “date” they had a huge tub of fruit and were making their own jam. It seemed like alot of work. But they sure looked like they were having fun. So I left them alone for their date.

    Today, I have a little one. And last year, I decided to go old school You can’t really depend on mentors. But If you can save money grow your own food, even when your job tanks and you get the short end of the stick. Grandma had the right idea. They did want me to graduate but I’m going teach the little one how to survive before and after college. 😉

    May 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm
  2. Monica Riley

    Monica Riley
    The most fond memories I have is the canning of plum jam with my granny & cousins all as little girls enjoying good quality time spent together & of course the awesomeness of flavor smeared onto a warm home made cat head biscuit. Not to mention the feeling of accomplishment when needing a new jar of jam to step out in the canning shed & grab one from the shelf & know that you assisted in this final product. I can almost taste that jam from long years ago in South Georgia.

    May 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm
  3. Lynne Humkey

    My grandparents always had a large garden that grandpa cared for and grandma put up, so I grew up watching them. My mom never really cared much for either, happier to buy “ready made”. I have been married 36 years now and started gardening years ago to have fresh vegetables for my growing family. With the children gone and time on my hands I have grown the garden to include herbs and berries and began canning about 10 years ago, finding I love having fresh all winter long. Mom can’t have seeds in her diet – so reaps the benefit of pickles that I have seeded prior to canning just for her. She loves them. So far all has worked except for my jelly, which had to be turned into fruit butter or ice cream topping, as it only solidified some once chilled – I plan to practice further with that this year!

    May 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm
  4. Sara Knight

    I’m not a traditional gardener or canner. I don’t plant forty tomato plants to a row or put up vegetables in quart jars. I do the fun stuff like the time I made pear cactus jelly. Now that was an experience. My neighbor not only had the cactus but also the recipe.

    After carefully picking the fruit with long tongs I cut them up and put them in a big pot to cook. When done I let the fruit cool and strained it through a jelly bag. I strained it again, again, and again; I lost count after seven times until there was not any stickers left in the bag. The cactus stickes were like fine sand and there must have been millions of them.

    It was a lot of work, but the rose colored jelly looked beautiful in the little four oz jars. After going thriugh all that work I was stingy with my jelly and only shared small jars with family and friends.

    One more thing. Making cactus jelly is a good memory, but it’s someting I never want to do again.

    May 2, 2013 at 7:52 pm
  5. Pat Pittillo

    Pat Pittillo, Florida
    My mother used to can anything and everything from our garden and others. Our cellar was lined with shelves of canned fruits and vegtables. She passed away last year but I will never forget those days watching her cook. We had a small kitchen with limited counter space but it never stopped her from making everything from scratch including breads, bakery items and canned goods. She was the best cook ever. I have recently (within the last two years) started canning jams, jellies and making my own hot sauce from peppers that i grow. There are many times when I wish I could have a recipe for a smaller batch to accomodate the small quantity of peppers that I have on hand at the time. This book is the greatest idea. I’ve tried to remember all that she taught me and have to say so far I’ve had good results. I simply love it and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing all those beautiful jars sitting there on the counter and your kitchen smelling of boiling fruit and those peppers steaming away. There is simply nothing like it. I’m always anxious to start another batch when the fresh fruit is in season. Mangos are going to be ready real soon. I am lucky to have neighbors that give me all I want. There is nothing like a mango cake when its off season or fresh out of the jar like peaches. Yum
    May 1, 2013 at 2:20pm

    May 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm
  6. Gloria Rose

    My favorite memory is of picking Cherries right off a tree for the first time in my life. Being a city gal I had never done this and was thrilled to be invited to do so, plus, I was able to have all I wanted, what a thrill! I picked them all afternoon and I ate lots, just popping them in my mouth and freely spitting out the seeds, I was in hog heaven! My friend explained how to pit them before canning. When I got home I started pitting them to can, however, I was shocked to find that every single Cherry had a worm inside. Yuck! I had been eating those worms all afternoon. I called my friend and told her, as I thought they were bad, she just laughed and said “I had just had a little protein with my fruit” and to just remove the worm and go ahead with my canning. I am 70 year old now and I have never forgotten that Cherry picking adventure that took place 40 years ago.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:32 am
  7. Kimberly Bonner

    When I was a little girl my grandmother canned everything. s
    She had a green thumb and could grow anything. I remember standing in the kitchen with the big pot of water on the stove and me taking the tops off the strawberries or just enjoying all the grow up talk with my mom and my grandma. This was a time when I was allowed to stay no matter what they were discussing. My grandmother made her own mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup. And even the mint jelly for our Sunday Leg of Lamb. I have just started canning with my own daughters(I have four of them) and it turns into a free for all at times. But I hope I am creating the same fond memories for them that I have.

    April 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm
  8. debbie burns

    I remember one time my dad was making some pickles to be canned outside at the picnic table. I asked him if I could see what was in the pot. He opened the lid and I stood on the picnic table and leaned over the pot and took a great big ole whif and the smell of all the spices and the steam burned inside my nose. I will never forget that. I was only 8 or 9 I think. I soooo would love to win this book. Saw it on Home & Family this morning. I have been wanting to learn how to can for the longest time.

    April 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm
  9. Carol Riley

    My favorite memory about this involves my father-in-law. He was one of 12 children in a family of sharecroppers, growing up in the Texas Panhandle during the Depression. He obviously never forgot the struggle of growing up during this difficult time, as he always maintained a vegetable garden of well over an acre, growing everything imaginable – and canning every last bit of it. One Thanksgiving many years ago, during a visit with my husband’s family, we sat down to a dinner that included no fewer that seven or eight different home-canned vegetables and fruits – such a feast, both for the eyes and the palate! To this day, that remains one of the most delicious meals I have ever had. Years later, on another visit with him, he pulled me aside as soon as I came in the front door, anxious to show me his just-completed cache of canned goods – and I was stunned at the sight of well over a hundred jars containing the most picture-perfect vegetables you have ever seen. As he saw my expression – mouth clearly hanging open, eyes wide open, stunned at the sheer quantity of jars on the shelves – he laughed and whispered to me, “not bad for an old man, huh?” Not bad, indeed! Although he is no longer with us, it is impossible of me to think about anything home-canned or preserved without thinking of J.D. and remembering the obvious pride he felt at his handiwork. 🙂

    April 30, 2013 at 12:06 pm
  10. Andrea Long

    I loved and miss the whole family and our neighbor Gladys all working together to prepare the fruits and vegetables for all of those jars. All of us jammed around the kitchen table, newspapers covering everything, piles of garden goodies in the middle, and more buckets of produce to go near by. Being hot and sticky for most of the day, but in the end seeing all those jars lined up on the counter top or containers in the freezer. I miss those days a lot. I’ve recently have started exploring canning on my own, mother always did the canning herself to keep us safely away from the pressure cooker. So I feel I’m learning everything for the first time. Her grandmother had a pressure cooker explode and she was hurt, so mother was always concerned that with that. I’m looking forward to making my grandmother’s “last of the garden” this year, I’ve expanded my gardening plan and want lots of goodies to put up for this coming year’s cold season. Thanks for the offer, the cover looks beautiful.

    April 30, 2013 at 9:37 am
  11. Amanda

    My favorite canning memory is my first experience of canning. My husband and I just moved into our first home. Our acre of land is overrun by blackberry brambles. We would spend time everyday collecting buckets and buckets of sweet berries. We had berries coming out our ears and I decided to try my hand at preserving them. That first attempt at canning as successful. I was so proud of those gleaming jars of deep purple sweet stuff. I’ve now canned everything from okra to peaches but I still get excited when the weather gets warms and those little white blossoms appear on the thorny branches because it marks the beginning of canning season!

    April 29, 2013 at 10:07 pm
  12. Laura Manspeaker

    My favorite memory of canning came just last year with my children, 16, 13, and 9. We made sour cherry jam. This was the first time we ever canned anything, EVER. The jam turned out fantastic. So much so my kids and I went out and purchased a canning cookbook to see what else we could do. Now it is spring and the kids are already talking about canning strawberry jam when we go to pick our own. They want to bring their friends over to help. (They have never canned either). I feel like I have started something. A new generation of canners and they don’t even know it. I LOVE THESE BONDING MEMORIES WE ARE CREATING TOGETHER!!!! : )

    April 29, 2013 at 12:21 pm
  13. Alexis Barton

    My favorite memory is of my grandfather driving over from Mobile each year with my uncle to collect pears from the orchard down the road from our house. My uncle, a lanky teenager, would scramble up the limbs and shake the branches, so that pears heavy and hard as baseballs would thud to the ground. My brother and I picked them up until the paper bags my grandfather had in the trunk were brimming. Then he’d drive us home and make pear preserves swimming in amber juice and studded with cloves, the smell warming the kitchen, making us clamor for a spoonful over his scratch biscuits. After his passing, it took years before we could bring ourselves to eat the last jar he’d made.

    April 29, 2013 at 10:58 am
  14. kathy agate

    We preserved memories on notes in the family Bible. They were written in pencil and wearing, but we were able to write them over in ink:)

    April 28, 2013 at 9:05 pm
  15. Karen

    The best memory…for me it is seeing my family and friends enjoying my pickles, jams and jellies. Second best…my husband’s favorite is a cucumber relish that we make together using an old meat grinder to chop everything perfectly.

    April 28, 2013 at 8:40 am
  16. Jeane Radabaugh

    My mother and I standing in her kitchen before dementia robbed her of her ability to concentrate and teaching my youngest daughter to make “Grandma’s three berry preserves” which she always made with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. I hope that some day I will be able to teach my youngest granddaughter with the same patience and love that my mother taught her mother.

    April 27, 2013 at 8:38 pm

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