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Sunday, December 5, 2010


I recently started making jam. I had an old water bath canner from who knows where in my storage room and thought I would give it a try. I have now made several successful batches of jam. Wanna try?

The most important thing is to gather ALL the ingrediants and tools that you will need. Once things get rolling there isn't time to hunt for anything.

- A jar lifter is essential for picking up and moving hot jars as well as lowering them into the boiling water.
- The lid wand has a magnetic end and is used for picking up lids from the hot water and keeping them sterile. Lids should be kept in hot, but not boiling, water until ready to use. This helps to prepare the sealant on the jar lid to adhere to the jar as well as helps keep the lids clean.
- The measuring tool lets you easily measure the head space. Head space is the distance from the food level to the top of the jar. It is very important to have the correct head space when perserving food. I also use this to removed trapped air from the sides of my jars.
- The wide mouth funnel helps when packing the food into the jar. It is VERY IMPORTANT to keep the top and sides of the jars clean. Otherwise the lids will no seal properly.

You must start with clean jars. Place your clean jars into a boiling water bath for at least 10 minutes. I leave mine in until I am ready to pack them. You always want to pack hot jam into hot jars.

For this jam you will need:
3 pints of strawberries

1/2 tsp butter
If you don't know what a 1/2 tsp of butter looks like then I can't help ya :)

1 package of powered pectin (1.75 ounces)

7 cups of sugar

Wash, drain, and hull your berries. I use a food processer to crush mine, but if you like chunks of fruit in your jam then you can use a potato masher. You will need about 5 cups of crushed berries. Put these in a large, heavy bottomed pot on the stove. Add the butter and pectin.
Heat on high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Add the sugar all at once. Contiue stirring until the mixture come to a full rolling boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim the foam off with a spoon.

Using the wide mouth funnel, pack the hot jam into your hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Be certain to wipe any drips of the tops and sides of your jars.

Using the lid wand, remove a lid from your hot (but not boiling) water and place it on the jar.

Screw a band to just hand tight on top of the jar and add to your boiling water bath. Continue until you have filled all jars.
Process the jars for 5 minutes in boiling water. Start timing ONLY after the water has returned to a full boil. The entire jar and lid must be under water. It is important to use a wire rack so keep the jars off the bottom of the bath so that water can circulate all the way around the jar.

Remove the jars from the bath and place right side up on a towel to cool for 24 hours. After 24 hours remove the bands and check the lid for a good seal. Push down on the middle of the lid. It shouldn't give. Try a gentle pull on the lid. It should not come off easily with your finers.
Save your bands and jars for reuse. DO NOT TRY TO REUSE YOUR LIDS. They are made for single use only and may not seal properly a second time. No need to sicken or kill your family for a 10 cent lid.
Enjoy your Strawberry Jam. This recipe makes about 10 half pints.

I plan on making cute jar toppers and labels for my jam. I will post a tutorial on that later on.

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