I love canning. My mom taught me how to make jam when I was a teenager and she learned how from her mom and her grandma. Growing up, we had a plum and an apricot tree in our backyard, so when June and July came around and the fruit was ripe, we'd hurry to pick the ripe fruit before it fell or the birds got to it. Then we'd spend an afternoon cleaning, pitting, crushing and stirring pots of molten sugar and fruit. The reward at the end of the day was the satisfying POP when the jars sealed and snacking on the leftovers.
If you've never made jam before, it's fairly simple and lots of fancy tools aren't required. I didn't own a water bath canner until this year. I just processed jars in my big soup pot. I don't own a pressure canner either. I love this post and send it to anyone who's interesting in canning for the first time. It's a great place to get the basics.
Half pint mason jars are my favorites to use, (both in standard and wide mouth, but in late summer, they sell out pretty quickly in my local stores, so I will order from Amazon, and save from having to drive from store to store hoping some are still in stock.
Every year my husband and I typically give whatever we canned as gifts to friends, coworkers and family, so the jars naturally NEED some sort of fun label. I created a couple of new ones this year and I added them to my Etsy shop for purchase.