I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of canning and preserving food, taking what you grow in your garden and preserving it for winter or preserving the overabundance. My grandma used to can everything – in their garage my grandparents had what we called the “fruit room” where they had probably 200 canning jars filled with honey, jam, green beans, tomatoes, etc.
I’ve always wanted to make homemade jam, it’s so much better than any store bought jam. Last summer in July I made freezer jam and it was so delicious, you can read that blog here. I liked making the freezer jam because it was fewer steps and way less time to complete. However, it was freezer jam and not the real process of cooking and canning the fruit. The major downfall of freezer jam is just that, it’s freezer jam and can’t be stored anywhere else unless it’s opened and then it can be stored in the fridge. But who has all that extra space? Plus it makes it really hard to give away as gifts if it’s frozen.
When I made the jam last summer I took some on my family camping trip and my brother absolutely loved it. In fact he loved it so much he bought me a canning set for Christmas so that I could make more jam in hopes that he would end up with some of each batch!
I haven’t had a chance to pull out the canning set until now and I was so excited to finally make my first batch. The recipes for jam always blow my mind, I cannot believe how much sugar goes into each jar! I think I may have to try a low-sugar recipe next time just so I feel better about eating so much jam!
Since this was my first go at canning, it took me a little longer from start to finish. I always read and hear how canning can be simple but if you don’t sterilize enough or cook enough then it can all go bad. So I made sure to read and re-read every step before moving on. But I did it and I’m excited to make more jam soon! Or actually I should try making something else first before making more jam.
The worst part about canning is how long it takes for the pot of water to come to a full boil, twice! It’s a massive canning pot and probably took a good 45 minutes for it to get to a roiling boil. Plus boiling the fruit and pectin took about 30 minutes on the stove, so it was sort of a sweaty sticky few hours there with all the heat.
BUT, the jam was so worth it! It’s so delicious – who knew you could love jam so much?!
I had fun learning a new “skill” one that I may not utilize as often as I’d like, but nevertheless a fun thing to know how to do. So don’t be surprised if you see more blogs about canning. The one thing I won’t do yet, is post recipes. None of these canning recipes are mine, they’re ones I’m finding in cookbooks or from online trusted sources, so if you’re ever interested in a canning recipe just send me an email and I’ll send you a link or book name! And maybe one day I’ll actually have a recipe of my own! :)