Friday, May 27, 2011

A Berry Productive Day

We were finally able to can strawberry jam yesterday. We have been trying since the beginning of May but between broken bones, tornadoes, no power, camping, business trips, and life in general we almost missed strawberry season.

We were able to get 20 quarts picked that morning. Over the past few years we realized that strawberry jam is our family's favorite so this year instead of doing batches of strawberry, then blueberry, and blackberry we would just one large batch of strawberry.

Maggie was very helpful this year and spent most of the morning cutting the stems off the strawberries. Emma wasn't feeling very well so she spent most of her time in the yard with Papa. We started around 10AM and finished up around 3 with only a short break for some homemade soup for lunch.

We canned almost all 20 quarts of fresh berries but did save a tray full to flash freeze for smoothies later. The berries were so fresh and so good. A good portion went into our mouths while cutting and some hot jam/syrup went over some cold vanilla ice cream.

We were blessed with a cloudy cool day. Canning can sure heat up a kitchen. We were not diligent in eating all the apple butter, applesauce, and pie filling we canned last fall. Since we were running low on jelly jars, we used pint jars and a few quart jars. And the way we eat jam around here it's much easier to have bigger containers. : )

Last year's Strawberry Canning


The Munck Family said...

Way to go...looks very productive! We too love strawberry jam...hope to can some this weekend :)


joyfilled said...

Looks delicious!!

Laura said...

Yummy!! Look at Maggie doing such a good job with that knife! We canned strawberry jam for the first time, and in retrospect I should have done 5 or 6 batches. It's almost gone already. I can't wait to try blueberry! Do you cut some of the sugar, or do you use the whole amount? I tried cutting the sugar in half and it didn't set right.

Quinn said...

You've got me all excited! I can't wait to get sweaty & jam sticky in the kitchen ;)

Emily, wife of Jeremy said...

I leave the amount of sugar alone. I am no canning expert but I know that some of the recipes can't be changed or it changes it's ability to preserve (a lot of that has to do with veggies though). There is a different kind of Sure-Jel that you can use that lets you use unsweetened apple juice and/or no sugar. I have never used it though. So was this your first canning experience? How did it go, other than not setting right?

I know. Isn't canning so much fun!!!

Laura said...

My first canning experience went great, except for the second batch (with less sugar) not setting right. It tastes fine, it's just kind of runny. But it's great for putting on ice cream or in oatmeal, and it's still okay for sandwiches.


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