Better than store-bought: Homemade strawberry jam.

Hard to admit, but I’ve never before made strawberry jam that I’ve processed in jars. As a kid, I’d go strawberry-picking with the family and we’d make freezer jam (super easy!). But I haven’t done the cooked-and-jarred stuff. Until now.

I’ve been going crazy for strawberries (witness the huge plastic bucket) this spring, making little strawberry pies, mixing jam and fresh berries into my DIY yogurt cups, eating them on cereal …

Since I’m not a jam-making expert, I opted to use pectin rather than using only fruit and sugar. I used the less-sugar-needed Sure-Jell and had great results. I’ll steer you to the Sure-Jell package instructions for the recipe for homemade strawberry jam. And Canning Across America has an excellent recipe for strawberry jam that doesn’t include pectin.

Canning is a very uncomplicated process that requires easy-to-find equipment (a canning pot with rack, jars with bands and lids, a wide-mouth funnel and jar lifting tongs) and a bit of setup. In fact, once you get the water boiling in the canner (which takes awhile), the jars washed and sterilized, you might as well put up 80 jars of something as 8.

Here are some great resources for information and recipes for canning fruits and vegetables:

Canning Across America
Food in Jars
Freshpreserving.com from the makers of the classic Ball jar and publishers of the Ball Blue Book guide to canning


  

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