Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strawberry Jam!

I've been wanting to get into canning & preserving & all that, seeing as I do have quite the garden going right now & if I'm able to do something with what I'm growing that's going to save me money down the road I might as well, right. Well. Not too keen on if I'm saving any money this year, but can see the potential for it to pay off in years to come.

I had a small stock pile of frozen strawberries in the freezer. I mean, hell, if you're able to get 8 lbs of strawberries for $5 you might as well get while the getting is good, right.

So I finally got all the supplies I would need to make some jelly. Canning utensils - jar tongs, headspace measuring tool, air bubble releaser, magnet on a stick to lift the hot lids out of the water, canning jars, & pectin. So far so good. I had the pan that I was going to be doing the water canning in, so I was set.

Then with all this laid out in front of me I realized I really had no idea as to what I was doing. My aunt does a lot of her own canning. My grandpa makes a LOT of jelly every year, but alas, I've never been there to witness any of this. So I went into this project exhausted and blind.

I studied & read the directions more times & MUCH for throughouly than I normally read any directions, until I was sure I was ready to do this.

Mashed up the strawberries.

Heated the jars & lids in hot water.

Then added the pectin, some apple juice, & sugar to the strawberries while boiling them.

Once it was done boiling I picked my jars up out of the water, funneled in the strawberry jam (to-be).

Set both jars back into the boiling water with the lids in place.

10 minues later I took them out of the water.

Set them on the coutner.

And waited.

I was rather a bit skeptical & anxious about it as it appeared to look like mashed strawberries...and that's it..and wasn't too sure if the lids had actually sealed.

12-24 hours later you should be able to know if the jam did well.

This morning when I got up I checked on them. They were sealed! YAY! I slightly turned the jar, to see if they'd set. The jam was set!! YAYAYAY!!!!

Now I have two jars of homemade, by me, strawberry jam sitting on my counter.... I'm kinda sad about the thought of opening one of them up to see just how well I did. LOL They look so pretty sitting there on my counter.... I didn't use the exact right size jars & think that my strawberry measurement was a little short, but nonetheless, here they are! I can't believe out RED they turned out, they're so pretty!

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