Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm jamming!

Every Sunday, I start to prepare for the week.  I try to get meals planned, and breakfast options made.  My boys go to daycare three days a week and I like to have muffins ready for those days.  It just makes everything run smoothly.  The boys get a muffin and fresh fruit then we are off and running but this Sunday I mixed things up. 

I had an opportunity to get a flat of strawberries through my CSA with Kretschmann’s Organic Farm last Friday.  They don’t actually grow the strawberries but get them from a local partner farmer.  Unfortunately, they are not organic.  I had done some searching and it is very difficult to find local, organic strawberries.  I took them anyhow and decide to embark on my first canning experience.

I cleaned all the strawberries on Saturday night, made a trip to Wal-mart Sunday morning for supplies, and started my strawberry jam on Sunday afternoon.  I enlisted my husband to cut the strawberries with me.  He did a much neater job then I did.  I was covered in strawberry juice by the time we were done cutting the probably close to 9 lbs of strawberries. 

I used a no refined sugar, pectin-free strawberry jam recipe provided by 100 Days of Real Food.  The process was fairly easy.  The biggest issue I encountered was my stove.  I have a beast of a stove from the 70’s.  It is brown and it is a double oven/stove all in one big monstrous piece. The canning pot I have barely fit on the back burner.  I would have used the front big burner but I had little choice since it doesn’t work… umm did I mention I could use a new stove/oven?

The strawberry jam turned out good.  All 14 of my jars sealed and while I know that doesn’t guarantee everything went well, I was excited.   The jam itself was pretty good, it is a little sweeter then I like but it was definitely a good, easy recipe to start with.  I tested a small drop on a plate and my boys would have licked it clean if I let them.

I was also successful in making my neighbor hungry and reminiscent.  My neighbor to the right asked my husband if we were making strawberry jam because she could smell strawberries all afternoon while she was working in her garden.  She also said it brought back memories of making jam with her mom as a child.  

I’ve got the itch to do more canning.  Do you have any tried and true recipes you love?

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