Saturday, July 13, 2013

I made Blackberry and Strawberry Jam for the First Time!

I consider myself to be quite the domestic person.  Any of my family and friends could vouch for me too, but I have never canned food.  I have dried and frozen foods from my garden, but have not canned.  I really wanted to learn, so I decided to start with one food that others 'in the know' say is easy to do...making Jam.  I love Blackberry and Strawberry Jam and since both fruits are in season right now, I decided they would be the first jams to make.  I've never been able to get strawberries to grow for me, so I had to get my strawberries from someone with a greener thumb than I.  While I was there I got a huge batch of blackberries too.

Like I said, this was my first time making jam...of any kind.  I was more than a little nervous about messing it up and wasting all of this beautiful fruit.  To help me, I bought an awesome book about canning from Ball, the leader in the Canning industry.  The book is called "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving" available at Amazon for under $18.  Since they've been in the business forever, I figured their recipe book must be pretty good.  And fortunately, they speak in terms a newbie canner like myself can understand.

It looked pretty simple, just rinse, de-stem, and dice the berries.

Mash the berries.

Cook fruit with Pectin and sugar...(lots of sugar).   While also boiling jars and lids in a separate pot.

When the fruit finishes cooking, spoon off the foam, then pour the cooked jam into your jars, put the lids on hand tight, and place in the hot water bath pot to 'process' for a short time.

Set the jars out to cool for 24 hours.

The next day you have these beautiful jars of jam ready to enjoy yourself and share with friends.

The chickens got to enjoy these strawberry parts 'n pieces.


And what is the best way to enjoy good Jam?  On fresh baked Artisan Bread of course...I had to bake a few loaves just for the Jam...mmmm!

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!
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