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Adventures in canning

I’ve never canned anything before, but I got it in my head that when we got our strawberries this week, I should make jam.

So I did.  🙂

First off: ZOMG strawberries.

They were really, really good.  See?

ZOMG ZOMG strawberries!

Seriously, they were SO delicious.  So naturally, not all of the berries made it into the jam, ifyouknowwhatimean.

ZOMG strawberries!

I mean, they weren’t juicy AT ALL. Nope, nosirree.

Not juicy at all, nope

Anyway, it turned out that canning was both a pain in the rear and easier than I expected.  I ordered a really nice home canning set
from Amazon over the weekend, but I really need to get an actual canner, since the biggest pot I have is too small to fit the canning rack. Oops. I MacGyvered it using a toaster oven rack though, so it’s call good. 🙂

So, to the recipe!  I adapted this from the honey-strawberry jam recipe in Preserving Summer’s Bounty: A Quick and Easy Guide to Freezing, Canning, and Preserving, and Drying What You Grow.  I substituted balsamic vinegar for the lemon juice for a more complex flavor, but used sugar in place of honey simply because I didn’t have enough honey. 🙂

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

You’ll need:

  • 1 quart of fresh, ripe strawberries, stemmed and crushed
  • 2 tbsp high-quality balsamic vinegar
  • Packet of pectin
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar

And here we go!

  1. Hull, slice, and crush strawberries (I hand-sliced then and then used a potato masher because I wanted there to still be some lumps in the final product).
  2. Place strawberries into a stainless pot and add balsamic and pectin.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat and then add sugar.  Stir constantly.
  4. Once the mixture is at a boil that doesn’t stir down, set a timer for 10 minutes.  The mixture will start to expand (and you’ll start to worry that your pot is big enough!), but will then start to reduce.  Stir constantly.
  5. Ladle mixture into scalded half-pint jars and boil for 5 minutes.  While boiling, lick spoon thoroughly. 🙂
  6. Cool jars, save, and enjoy at your leisure.

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Hooray, I really made jam!!!

2 Comments

  1. Melissa Ann says:

    I learned to can our first summer married when we were both out of work. I MacGyvered our stock pot with it’s pasta insert/strainer thingy. I couldn’t do anything larger than a pint, but it worked. We need to make Jam so bad. We’re down to the last jars since I was too pregnant/tired to do it last year. They’re strawberry fig… and according to D, they don’t go well with peanut butter (well…duh…). Good job with your jam experience!

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