My mother is an avid canner. Growing up, I remember always seeing her with her canning supplies making fabulous jams! Though I usually do not consume jams, I still found the process fascinating. Therefore, I decided to learn from the best this Easter weekend. Since the weather is becoming progressively more gorgeous, I decided on making a strawberry-rhubarb jam! Though I wasn’t able to get my ingredients at a farmers’ market this time, strawberries and rhubarb are available at the summer farmers’ markets starting in June.
The whole process was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I learned that in order to store the finished product on the shelf, the cans have to be sterilized first. This is done by boiling the cans for approximately 10 minutes. If this step is not done, the jams must be stored in the refrigerator. I did not realize that so few ingredients make up jam. This recipe only consisted of five ingredients! Though simple, the product is delicious!
Recipe taken from Ball’s Blue Book: The Guide to Home Canning and Freezing
- 4 cups of strawberries, washed and stemmed
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb (about 4 stalks)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 package of powdered pectin
- 5 ½ cups of sugar
Crush strawberries; place in a large sauce pot. Combine chopped rhubarb with strawberries. Add lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add sugar; return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving ¼-inch head space. Adjust caps. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Yield: about 6 half pints.
Canning is a fantastic way to use up any extra fruits that you may have from the farmers’ markets! Additionally, jams made from farmers’ market fruits taste better because the fruits are fresher! Another difference I like between buying jams and doing it yourself is the fact that the homemade jams are more textured and not just smooth.
I love learning new cooking techniques and ways to prepare foods. I think next on my list is going to be bread making. Something my mom also does frequently! I believe that cooking is becoming a lost art due to the convenience-oriented nature of our food system. Cooking and food preparation can be extremely time consuming and with the fast-paced nature of today’s world, many people opt for the faster method (i.e. packaged foods).
I hope you guys get the opportunity to try canning at some point. I had fun doing it! If you haven’t done it yet, you should definitely try it. Go to the summer markets, find some fresh fruits, and start canning!
Till Next Time,