Sunday, July 22, 2012

We are Jammin! Cause the jammin is GOOD!

This is my best friend June, for ten years now we have been raising our kids, exchanging stories, encouragement, and laughter and experimenting in the kitchen. Every Tuesday and sometimes on Sundays well get together and make something yummy. Last Tuesday she and her four youngin's came over my house and we made and canned a whole 'lotta jam!

This is her littlest one. Hes a cutie pie, and he approves of the jam! Since he approves, I will share it with you! Here is the step by step guide on how to make and can your very own strawberry jam. It looks like its pretty involved but its not, its super easy. If you haven't canned before, this is the best to start off with. You can find this recipe in the Ball canning book.
You will need 5 cups of mashed strawberries.
4 tables of lemon juice (to add acid)
a pad of butter to reduce the amount of foam needed to be skimmed later
a package of powered fruit pectin
7 cups of sugar.
a big stock pot
and a huge canning pot
8 oz canning jars

rinse the strawberries, then hull them, and cut them in half, or in slices
Mash them up and measure them as you go. Should be five cups of strawberries.

yummy mashed strawberries! Take the mashed berries and put them in your big stock pot. Then add 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, a pad of butter, and the packet of pectin. Whisk that all together.

(If you have one of the containers of pectin, use 3 tablespoons)

(This is a pad of butter)

Cook the mixture on medium high heat stirring occasionally until it gets to a rolling boil, then add in the 7 cups of sugar all at once.

Turn the heat up! Once it gets to a raging boil, where if you stir it, it will not stop boiling. let it cook for a minute or so more. Then skim off the foam on top. It looks like whitish stuff.
Now I like to keep my jars in a pot that I have sterilized them in. I sterilize them by putting them in the canning pot and boiling them. Once they have been at a boil for five minutes I will turn it off and let them sit in the hot water. Then I fill my sink with boiling water and transfer them there using wire tongs. BE CAREFUL! The jars are hot! Boil the lids also and set them aside. The jars have to be hot when you pour the hot strawberry jam in them, because of not, the change in temperature will make the jars crack.

Now take each jar out of the boiling water, fill it with the jam leaving a 1/4 of head space. Take a butter knife and run it around the edge of the jam to break any bubbles. Using a clean rag dry any jam that might have dripped off the lip of the jar, then put the lids on the jar, no need to tighten the lids super tight, just tight enough there is a bit of resistance.

Once all of your jars are filled with the jam, its now time to give them a really really super hot water bath. Take your canning pot, and make sure you either line the bottom with jar lid rings, or if you have one, a canning rack, you just want to make it so that the bottom of the jars aren't touching the bottom of the pan.
This is my beauty! Is it possible to LOVE a pot? If it is, I love this pot. My heart sings every time I look at it, and the joy it brings me is blissful. Its definitely a part of this family. OK, Ill stop being gushy now, lets move on!

Now you want to fill the pot with water, I usually use a pitcher and transfer the water rather then try to haul this heavy pot of jam and water from the sink to the stove. I thought of this after the second time I canned. I know, sometimes I can be a bit slow, I call it "mommy brain". Once your pot is filled with water, till the jars are all covered by an inch of water over head, put the lid on and turn your stove on high. And let it get to a boil. The raging boil. You will want it to be raging boiling for 10 to 13 minutes abouts. Then turn the heat off and let it sit for 5 minutes.  

This is what a "raging boil" looks like. when you say "raging boil" make sure you say it with a southern accent, its so much cooler that way.

Once they have sat for 5 minutes, take your handy jar tongs that I picked up at a local Walmart and carefully remove the jars and set on counter, I usually put a cloth down  or my wooden cutting board. This is the really awesome part of the whole process, when you take out the jars, or after they have been sitting for a bit, you'll hear a "pop". That's when you know you did it right. That little "pop" from the jars means that the lid is sealed, and its such a satisfying sound. Say it with me "aaaaaah".

Here is June and mine's latest bounty. She did most of the canning while I refereed the children and she did a mighty fine job! I think our next canning adventure will be fig jam, with the figs picked from a friends tree! So "wink wink" and "nudge nudge"  stay tuned for a post about making figgy jam! Happy Homsteading ya'all!
01 02 03
04 Pin It 05 06
07 08 17 18


Post a Comment