Saturday, April 6, 2013

Summer in a bottle

I picked up my Bountiful Basket this morning, which included bananas, oranges, apples, asparagus, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, celery, zucchini, peppers and a pound of strawberries.  To that I added 16 additional pounds of fresh strawberries!  It's jam-making day for me.

Have you ever wished you knew how to make home made jam?  I know a lot of people say they would like to do it, but they think it's too intimidating.  Let me tell you, bottling/canning/preserving is NOT as hard as it seems.  It is actually pretty straight just have to have the right equipment.
*Leave a comment below if you are interested in a post about the necessary equipment

Ok.  Here we go.  This is how you make home made strawberry jam that will last for years and years.  Not only is it delicious, but look how gorgeous it is!
Nom Nom Nom
5 cups crushed strawberries
1 package pectin
7 cups sugar

large pot
1C measuring cup
potato masher
4 pint jars with lids (or 2 quart size jars)
canning funnel
jar lifter 
Step 1:  To start, you need 4 pounds of strawberries, this will yield approximately 5 cups of crushed berries.  Cut the stems off the berries and crush them with a potato masher.  The jam is much better if you leave the berries a little chunky, so the potato masher works great.

(Before you move on to step 2, you'll want to get your canner ready.  I use a steam canner.  I get the water in it, turn the heat up and let the jars get hot inside the canner.  I also put the lids in hot water to soften the seal, which helps ensure a good seal on the finished product.)

Step 2:  Mix a package of Pectin (Sure Jell) into the strawberry mixture and bring to a boil on high heat.  Once it gets to a rolling boil (does not stop bubbling when stirred) add 7 cups of sugar.  Return the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, and let it boil for exactly one minute.  Remove the pot of jam from the heat, and using a ladle and a canning funnel, pour it into your hot jars.  Place the preheated jar lids on the filled jars (leave 1/8" space for expansion), screw the tops on, and close the steam canner.  The jam needs to process for 12-15 minutes.

 Once the time is up, use a jar lifter to remove the jars of jam from the canner.  They will (obviously) be very hot.  Set them on a towell on the counter to cool for up to 24 hours.  This is my favorite part of all time...the popping!  One of my favorite sounds is that of the lid popping, telling me that the seal is good and the canning was a success!  When you hear this sound, it should put a smile on your face.  It means you did a great job!

I'm by no means an expert canner, but I do have a lot of experience  with canning jam, juice, pickles, peaches, pears, apple pie filling, salsa, tomatoes, and tomatillos.  I'm happy to answer any questions!

1 comment:

  1. Look at you!! Looks delicious. I miss bountiful baskets so much. Dang California has too many regulations to let them come here. We do have many, many options for other farm boxes, but the one I tried wasn't nearly as good. So, we wait until May for the farmers market. If only they had one year round. I'd like to know how you make your salsa!! Please share.


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