Monday, June 27, 2011

Jam Time!

So this weekend my mom and I made 3 batches of jam. This is something I've been wanting to do this year. I was hoping to go pick some strawberries at a good price and be able to make lots of jam and also freeze some. Unfortunately here in OK the strawberries aren't doing so well this season.

But my mom saw that Aldi had strawberries 1lb for $1, which was the best price we'd seen, so we decided to make some jam. We also picked up some plums, because David loves plum jelly.

I'd found a recipe for a Strawberry-Honey Jam recipe a couple of months ago so we were going to try a batch of that, a batch of plum and a batch of strawberry-blackberry-raspberry. We just used the recipes that came on the insert with the pectin.

This would be the part where I was a good blogger and took lots of pics of the process but I wasn't and I didn't. It took us a few hours to  do and my mind was not on taking pics, SORRY!! This was my first time making jam but my mom has done it tons of times, so I just helped or did what she told me to do.

We started by putting our canning jars in the dishwasher to make sure they were sterilized and then put the new lid tops (not the screw on part) in a pot of boiling water.

Then LOTS of washing, cutting and crushing the strawberries. We used 2 packages of strawberries mashed (with the potato masher) minus 3 cups and then added about that much of blackberries and raspberries (my mom just had some frozen that we threw in at the last minute).

Then lots of stirring adding in the pectin and sugar and more stirring and boiling and wa-la we had jam! We filled jars and put on lids. Then on to the next batch.

We made the Strawberry-Honey recipe next. It called for lemon juice and honey instead of sugar. It was basically the same process but boiled longer. However it didn't make as much jam because it didn't have all that sugar taking up room. I think it made about half what the berry recipe did. But I'm excited about it because I won't feel so bad about eating it!

The plum jam was last. We had to cook the plums first then put in the pectin and sugar and somehow we ended up with more plum than the berry.

We were really tired after making all that jam but I'm really happy that we did it! I came home with 12 8oz jars of jam and that was my half of what we made. I don't really think it came out to save me much money, after buying the jars, fruit, sugar, pectin and honey but the amount was spread out over time. I bought the jars months ago and the honey weeks ago. The fruit wasn't a bad price but it would have been better to get it even cheaper. Next year it will be cheaper because I will already have the jars.

My other reason for making homemade was because buying jam at the store without high fructose corn syrup is expensive. I wanted to have some jam with regular sugar or organic sugar or honey. So while the berry and plum jams have regular sugar in them they don't have HFCS which is bad for us but it hurts me too. I want to enjoy eating my jam and nothing beats homemade!

I have plans to can other things as well but I'll share how that goes when we get there.

Have you canned anything or made homemade jam/jelly? Do you have any recipes to share?

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