Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Jam, Pickles and Onions - Oh My!

Home Canning and Preserving . . .
(Yes, I Can!)

During the Summer, I finally quenched a desire to do some home canning. I've always wanted to but never took the time to learn. In searching for the information, I realized that the process wasn't that difficult. Following the proper recipes, canning can be a safe and fun experience...and a delicious reward!

Along with making bread & butter pickles and some red onions in red wine vinegar, I found a recipe for strawberry jam that only takes half the amount of sugar. It tastes wonderful and you can't even tell that the sugar is reduced. It makes 6 to 7 half pint (8oz)size jars and goes like this:

You will need:
6 cups crushed strawberries
4 cups sugar (instead of the usual 7...eek!)
1-1/2 packages Ball No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin
4 Tbsp lemon juice

1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
2.) MIX 1/4 cup sugar with the No Sugar Needed Pectin. Set remaining sugar aside.
3.) COMBINE crushed strawberries, lemon juice and sugar/pectin mixture in a 6 or 8quart saucepan. Bring to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. It should take about 5 minutes to come to a full boil that cannot be stirred down.
4.) ADD remaining sugar and boil again for one minute, stirring frequently. (If you bring it back to a full boil fairly slowly (on medium heat rather than high) that will help reduce foaming).
5.) SKIM off any excess foam. (Foam... What is it? Just jam with a lot of air from the boiling. But it tastes more like, well..foam, than jam, so most people remove it).
6.) LADLE hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
7.) PROCESS in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

My younger daughter and I got together and also made some tasty Spirited Blueberries (a lucious topping used over pancakes or ice cream . . .) and some spicy salsa (yum!). Home canning is a great way to spend time together in the kitchen and these homemade, yummy items also make great gifts.

I highly recommend a book called "Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving".

Aroma Fields Candles & Bath


Larky Lady said...

Marilyn, you are one awesome lady! Look at all you are doing! Look at all that you have accomplished! And some of that while taking treatments, too. Just great! Thanks for sharing. I'm so happy you are my friend. Mildred

Hua said...

Hello Marilyn,

What a great post. These look yummy. I would definitely try to make it for myself!

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Zal said...
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