I am a canning addict. I would fill shelves and shelves with home preserved food, except there are only the two of us, and we have a budget. I have too many jars of home canned food that are over 2 years old, and need to be fed to the chickens. That is wasteful. We also have only a small garden because we lack direct sun back here in the woods. Welcome a fairly new concept-Small Batch Canning.
Marisa McClellan has published two great books on this very subject: Food in Jars-Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round and Preserving by the Pint-Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces. These two books are full of traditional and modern ideas on what to put in a Mason jar. All in small batches. Each recipe makes 2 or 3 or 4 half pint or full pint jars of homegrown goodness.
The next item I found on Amazon, made all of this small batch stuff really doable.
The Ball Home Canning Discovery Kit allows you to water bath in your large stock pot or pasta pot-without dragging out the giant canning kettle-or purchasing a canning kettle! The kit contains a silicone basket that will hold a few canning jars depending on size, and three spankin’ new Ball pint jars to get you started. The handle collapses down inside the pot so you can put the lid on. A canning jar lifter is nice to have, but you can just lift the basket out of the pot and rest it on a folded ta towel until the jars cool enough to handle.
My test batch was Whole Strawberries in Vanilla Syrup from Preserving by the Pint. I cooked up 4 half pints of delicious strawberry syrup! Each half pint is sufficient syrup for a batch of homemade waffles- usually served on Breakfast for Supper Days. Homemade waffles made with your own eggs and topped with your very own syrup-now that is living the Simple Life Style!