~ I am thankful for this lady:
This is my friend Katie and yesterday she coached and helped me do something I've been wanting to do for a while...make strawberry jam! She had me over to her house and together we made 20 jars of jam! I am truly grateful that she took time out of her schedule to help me step by step with this tackle. Here are some pictures:
This is me stirring the strawberries and pectin. I found out during my research on how to make jam that pectin is a natural substance found in berries, apples, and other fruits. The pectin you buy at the store is a concentrated version to enhance the level of naturally occurring pectin in fruit, allowing for the jam to set properly. And that, my friends is your education on pectin.
Here's the beautiful finished product:
Here's the beautiful finished product:
Katie gave me this antique mason jar...it is one of many that her grandmother gave to her. I will cherish it.
I also want to document the process in case you're interesting in making jam and for when I make it again next year.
~To make the 20 jars, Katie and I actually made four separate batches of jam. One batch made 4 1/2 pints of jam.
~First we rinsed and cut the tops of the berries. Then we mashed the berries with a potato masher until we had 6 cups of berries.
~Katie filled each jar (four pint size and one jelly jar) with hot water and placed them in a separate pot. She then added water to the pot until the water was about 1/2 way up the jars and turned the heat on high (you can see the pot of jars in one of the above pictures). This allows the jars to really get hot, which is what you need in order for the jars to seal. Also, in a bowl she placed boiling water (she used a tea kettle to heat the water, but she also told me you can bowl water in a smaller pot on the stove) and then added the lids to the bowl. This allows the lids to get really hot, which is what you need in order for the jars to seal as well.
~We then added the berries to a pot as well as one box of Sure-Jell, oh and about a tbs of butter (this helps reduce foaming)...continuously stir. Once this started to have a rolling boil we added 7 cups of sugar (all at once...not one cup at a time)...continuously stir.
~Once the berries with the sugar added started to have a rolling boil we set the timer for 1 minute...continuously stir. When the 1 minute is over we immediately took the pot off of the heat.
~Katie took a "jar tong" (I don't know if that's the technical name) and removed one jar from the pot and poured out the hot water. Then, using an oven mit, she held the jar, put the funnel in the jar and ladled the jam into the jar, filling it almost all of the way. She removed the funnel and wiped the rim of the jar.
~Using a fork, Katie removed one lid from the hot bowl of water and added it to the jar, screwed on the ring, and turned the jar upside down. At this time we set the timer for 10 minutes (this is because the jar has to remain upside down for at least 5 minutes. Setting the timer for 10 minutes allows you to know that the last jar you filled has been upside down for at least 5 minutes. So to clarify...the process of filling all of the jars takes a little less than 5 minutes. When you set the timer after you've finished the first jar, when you're done filling all of the jars you'll have about 5 minutes left on the timer and that's how you know the last jar definitely has been upside down for 5 minutes. I hope that makes sense). She then repeated this process for each jar...remove water, funnel, fill, wipe, lid, ring, upside down.
~When the timer went off we turned the jars upright (keep in mind the jars are still hot) and within a 1/2 hour you hear a 'pop' which means the jar has sealed...it's amazing.
~She told me to set the jars on my counter and not to do anything with them for at least 24 hours.
And there you have it...Jamming 101. There are other options as far as the canning goes but this method involved not using a canner at all, which was nice.
I can't wait to crack one open! Thank you Katie!!!!!