Sunday, June 24, 2012

Canning Season Has Begun!

A huge shout out to Wenger's Produce (especially Kara and Scott Wenger) for this post! I just spent the last 3 hours making freezer jam, strawberry freezer jam that is, and now I can say, canning season is underway. With my 5 year old gal participating in Safety Town two weeks ago, VBS at our church a week ago and last week getting caught up on life, I missed strawberry season. Strawberry season has come and gone so quickly this year, I am realizing canning season maybe a little earlier since we had such a mild winter. Since we are expecting number 3 in August, picking strawberries already makes me nauseous just thinking about it. My husband, my 2 year old little Mr. and I went on a gator ride down to the produce farm and ran into the farmers, who thought they may have one day of picking left. They so graciously picked a couple buckets of strawberries for us on Saturday. They were very ripe, but just perfect for jam, and if I would have had extra I would have made a strawberry pie, but no extra this year! I bought 3 boxes of Certa Sure-jell, 2 extra bags of sugar (I already had one). I cleaned my jars and got set to can.

For a recipe of Strawberry Jam (which I think I have on another post):
2 cups of strawberries crushed (I put them in my food processor and pulsed)
4 cups of sugar
Add the sugar to the strawberries and stir until the sugar is dissolved

Wait 10 minutes, and within those 10 minutes stir your strawberries occasionally. In another bowl put in one packet of Certa Sure-jell Pectin and 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice (I didn't have fresh lemons and used the bottled lemon juice I have on hand).

After the 10 minutes is up, stir in your Pectin mixture and stir together for 3 minutes. Add your mixture to your *favorite jars and freeze until ready to use.

I made 6 batches of strawberry jam, using 6 packets of Certa Sure-Jell or 3 boxes (there are two in each box). My two buckets of strawberries yielded exactly this amount. I mostly use small jars that I keep from pickles to caramel sauce, etc. I used 28 jars and filled them all! Each recipe allows 4 cups of strawberry jam, which would be the small half pint jars. I used about 2 and a half 5 pound bags of sugar for all 6 recipes.

Speaking of *favorite jars, I ran across some old glass JIF peanut butter ones that my grandparents used every year to make grape jelly in. A couple even still had their stickers on them with the date. One fell off as I was washing and it said GRAPE 1988 in my grandmother's handwriting! Made me miss her all the more today as I know she was the original person who taught me the value of canning and saving your food for the year ahead. I miss her!

Well go out there and get to canning friends!

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