Frackie's Road to Frugality


Homemade Strawberry Jam – Canning!
April 13, 2010, 6:09 pm
Filed under: canning | Tags: , , , , , ,

So, I did the unthinkable. Something our mothers used to do. I bought a canning set from Walmart to attempt to make some homemade strawberry jam. My expectations were low because I have heard that canning is truly an art. But, why not just dive in, right?

The huge canner was $18 at Walmart and the canning utensils were $8 (which turned out to be very useful). This morning me and Arianna went to the local U-Pick strawberry patch called Bamboo Farms and started loading up. I picked. Arianna ate strawberries! I got almost 4lbs of strawberries picked and it came out to $7. I couldn’t wait for nap time to attempt my canning.

I read up on how to can and I am so thankful that I did. I learned that you can only put a canner on a gas stove and not our flat electric stove. Thank God we have a gas grill that worked perfectly!  So, once the little one was down for her nap I started prepping the strawberries. I had picked exactly enough! I used our potato smasher and started crushing them. There is only 3 ingredients to canning strawberry jam: strawberries, pectin, and sugar. I got the pectin at Walmart as well for like $2 a box. This is what makes the jam thicken. So, once I got all the ingredients cooking on our stove and ready to go in the mason jars I made sure that the water in the canner that was outside on the grill was hot and ready to do it’s magic. I thought I was only gonna have enough jam to make (4) 16oz jars but I had enough for 5! Yay! More money saved! The canner is what preserves the jars…so it is the key ingredient if you want to keep you jam for 12 months. So, I filled up the jars and put them in the boiling water inside the canner.

Once they boiled in the canner for 10 minutes, I was done! They just need to sit out for a day and they should set! I was really nervous if they were gonna preserve but I checked the lids a few hours later and none of them popped up when I pushed on the center! They look beautiful and I cannot wait to have them on my waffles in the morning!

I had to make the initial investment on supplies but now I have it for all my future canning projects! My mom used to can tomato sauce and I plan on doing that next. With my husband being deployed I haven’t made our homemade sauce in months, but this gives me the perfect opportunity to can the sauce in perfect portions. Then I could store them for up to 12 months and take it off the shelf when I want spaghetti. I am so excited about this new endeavor! This is truly a lost art that is going to be a huge money saver. If you grow your own vegetables then this is a must! This also gives me the opportunity to make some things for my husband and send them to Iraq without spoiling! I plan on sending him one of the jars I just made.

Here is the recipe and information I used: http://www.pickyourown.org/jam.htm

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Very nice! It feels great to learn a new skill like canning, especially when most folks no longer know how. It makes you ‘mysterious.’ 😀

Comment by Jimmy Cracked-Corn

Yes, it feels great to learn ancient arts! 😉

Comment by frackie




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