Cans, Bands, and Fruit….Oh My

So for some odd reason…maybe its my not so secret desire to be a 1950’s housewife I have always wanted to make my own jams, jellies, and preserve fruit. I remember my grandparents basement being filled with jars of god knows what from who the hell knows how long ago on shelves in the basement and I have been intrigued since. My MIL makes amazing bread and butter pickles every year and we always look forward to those glass mason jars of goodness.

Over the year and our goal for a more sustainable/eco conscious life we talked about how we could work on better utilizing our garden and local produce. So I began looking up canning and preserving-and to be fair some of this is still way out of my comfort zone I figured we all start somewhere… don’t wake up one day and suddenly are homesteading in the true sense. Plus you know I don’t actually live on a farm so I need to be setting realistic goals here.

So I set out on my first easy to achieve goal…..Jam! So let me start by saying it isn’t as easy and busting out some Mason jars and boiling some fruit and that is it….nope apparently you need a whole set of crap to do this and do it so you don’t poison your whole family. So I started in the best place possible….Amazon. I bought a starter kit for canning that came with all the stuff I needed and the jars. For the price it was worth it because it wasn’t that much more than buying the jars themselves.

So then after this I went berry picking. I decided to do strawberry jam first and then I moved on to Cherry. So let me be upfront…..unless you are growing your own berries this isn’t really a cost saving thing…even if you don’t count the canning supplies I bought the price of fruit is staggering. I spent over 50 dollars both and Cherries and Strawberries (each). I do have to say the making of the jam was far easier than I thought. It’s basically cut up the fruit, add the sugar, and cook till boiling, add the pectin, boil some more and then put it in jars and boil the jars.

Bring the cut strawberries and sugar to a roiling boil
This is the pectin I used for the strawberry jam. I use liquid for the cherry
The filled jars waiting to be put into the water for boiling

I am working a bit on my technique….one of my strawberry jam batches came out more preserves than jam (that is secret code for the jam didn’t fully set). There are so many recipes out there to try…so I would suggest if you want to try this endevour go find a recipe that you look and is easy for you to understand. I think I looked about about ten before I just ended up using the one that came in the box of pectin. For my cherry jam I used this one

I will be making peach preserves later this week and I will posts about that separately. I know it sounds so silly but making this jam really put a smile on my face, and when I put a dollop on my toast or swirl some in my grits its nice to know I made it. I often don’t do things because I am scared to try something new and fail…but the older I am getting I am thinking more and more why the hell not try…what is the worst that could happen!

The finished product

So what is your thing that you have wanted to try and make but have been saying nah another time…..

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