However, kiwi jam is the family favorite, so it's time to get going again. And one of the things that I wanted to get done before starting up is my 2013 Can Plan. I first made a plan last year, which I knew would be my largest canning endeavor ever (thanks to an amazing location with lots of local fruits and veggies). It really helped me focus, and helped me to not be overwhelmed, when I was drowning in strawberries and cukes and everything else.
Basically, a Can Plan is a road map... for jams and jellies and pickles, I make a list of recipes I want to make in the upcoming season, organized by fruit/veggie. When I have free time, I will photocopy those recipes and organize them in sheet protectors in a large 3-ring notebook. I will sort them by season. (For example, kiwis first, then strawberries, then peaches, etc. according to the order they ripen here in Hampton Roads). For corn and greenbeans and other veggies that get canned straight-up, I will simply list how many pints/quarts I need to put up of each, and I will also estimate how many pounds of produce it will take to do so. Last year, I kept a running list of the recipes I'd made and how many jars they made. I also attempted to list how much produce I bought. This will help in my 2013 estimations. (For example, since we're about out of dehydrated peaches, I know that I need to buy more than I did last year. Since we still have plenty of salsa, I probably won't need to make as much as I did in 2012.)