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Early Season Strawberry Jamming

Eeeh! I am excited…this weekend is Vida Vegan Con 2013, in Portland, Oregon. You can all put on your jealous hats ūüėČ I snagged a ticket from the awesome folks at So Delicious a few weeks back! I¬†attended¬†the first Con in 2011, and I have a feeling this one will be even better. Hope to learn more, meet even more new friends/network and just have a good time! I am sure I’ll get some blogging in as well.

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It’s middle of May so it’s time for canning season to start, especially before it gets really hot! And what better than strawberry jams? I know I preach it, but canning is simple. It only seems scary! And strawberry jam is pretty much fool-proof. The worst is if you somehow mess it up…you’ll have strawberry syrup, stored in the fridge. But I can tell you that these two recipes won’t fail. Lets say that I slightly cheated. Instead of my usual trickier Pomona’s Pectin method I used Ball¬ģ’s revamped Classic Pectin, which I had come¬†across when our local hardware store opened their massive new store recently. One thing they have is a huge canning and preserving section, it is glorious!

I had come to avoid¬†commercial¬†pectin due to rampant use of preservatives in it. Theirs isn’t perfect, it still¬†has¬†dextrose, but is minus the nasty¬†potassium¬†sorbate. On a side note, it seems that Kraft¬ģ has changed theirs as well. The MCP and Sure-Jell dry pectin boxes are now free of preservatives as well. The Certo liquid¬†pectin¬†has it though. So read boxes! But get out there and have fun. If you have a few hours you can easily make a years worth of jam that your¬†family¬†will love. I put in about 2 hours and now have 15 8-ounce jars stored in my pantry ūüôā
SJ1

 

On this recipe: it is a full sugar one, with more pectin added. If you like really thick, really sweet, this is one to try. I used a variety of sugars, instead of boring granulated sugar, to give the jam a deeper flavor. You can use granulated instead for a lighter flavor.

Lemon Strawberry Jam

Ingredients:

Directions:

Fill water canner about ¬ĺ¬†way full with water, place jars in water. Bring to a low boil over medium heat as you prepare jam. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil, add bands, sterilize, set aside on a clean kitchen towel. Turn saucepan off, add in lids and set aside.

Add strawberries, lemon juice and zest to a 8 quart tall saucepan, mix well. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling that can’t be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.

Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam if necessary.

Sterilize a clean canning funnel and ladle in the simmering water. Pull jars out of hot water with tongs, draining as you go. Lay out on a clean/dry kitchen towel.

Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving ¬ľ¬†inch head space, using a funnel for less mess. Wipe rim with a damp paper towel. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Place jars in your canning rack (how many fit depends on your rack size/shape). lower into canner, making sure the jars are completely covered with water. Turn up to high and bring to a boil covered.

Process with water boiling for 10 minutes. Remove jars with a jar lifter, set on a dry kitchen towel and cool. Listen for popping ‘pings’, check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. If any haven’t sealed, refrigerate those jar(s) and use up within a month. Otherwise, canned jam is good for a year, store preferably in a cool and dark area.

Makes about 9 8-ounce jars.

SJ2

3 ingredient jam. Simple, time-tested, easy but with a twist: using sucanat sweetener instead of traditional granulated sugar. It gives the jam a neat depth of flavor!

Strawberry Jam

Ingredients:

Directions:

Fill water canner about¬†¬ĺ¬†way full with water, place jars in water. Bring to a low boil over medium heat as you prepare jam. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil, add bands, sterilize, set aside on a clean kitchen towel. Turn saucepan off, add in lids and set aside.

Add strawberries to an 8 quart tall saucepan, mix well. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.

Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam if necessary.

Sterilize a clean canning funnel and ladle in the simmering water. Pull jars out of hot water with tongs, draining as you go. Lay out on a clean/dry kitchen towel.

Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving¬†¬ľ¬†inch head space, using a funnel for less mess. Wipe rim with a damp paper towel. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Place jars in your canning rack (how many fit depends on your rack size/shape). lower into canner, making sure the jars are completely covered with water. Turn up to high and bring to a boil covered.

Process with water boiling for 10 minutes. Remove jars with a jar lifter, set on a dry kitchen towel and cool. Listen for popping ‘pings’, check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. If any haven’t sealed, refrigerate those jar(s) and use up within a month. Otherwise, canned jam is good for a year, store preferably in a cool and dark area.

Makes about 6 8-ounce jars.

SJ3

Jam makes wonderful gifts…just make sure you¬†remind¬†your lucky¬†recipient¬†that if they follow the old school rule of returning the jar and band, they just might get more! ūüėČ And don’t forget to mark your lids with what is in there, along with the month/year!

~Sarah

FTC Disclaimer: Wholesome Sweeteners provided us with the sweeteners used in these recipes.

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Sweet Pickled Onion Rings

I love Robert Rose cookbooks, over the years I have¬†received¬†and reviewed a number of them and haven’t had a bad one yet. So to my surprise, Kirk showed me a book at Costco last week¬†and¬†asked if I had it. No, I didn’t and how had I missed this one?

The Complete Book of Pickling: 250 Recipes from Pickles and Relishes to Chutneys and Salsas was published in 2009, so I can see how it slipped by me. At that time I had kind of turned my eye on canning (which was dumb really, as I was still teaching others how to do it!). The past year has been a turn-around for me, with feeling inspired to create. And even though it is midway through fall and not when one thinks of canning, the thought of sweet pickled onion rings had my mind wandering. The onions are often my favorite part of bread and butter pickles. To have a jar just of them? Sure, why not. Well, maybe if I had thought it out a bit I might have found another recipe. The part where I’d be peeling and cutting pounds of onions didn’t enter my mind as I was drooling¬†about my awesome pickles I’d be eating soon. Hah.

And being the cheap-o I am, I brought home a bag of small onions (which are called for in¬†the¬†recipe), and I was reminded why I pay the extra $ for sweet onions for day-to-day cooking. Wow. After crying up a storm, reeking up the kitchen at 7 pm and crying more, I did get out of it 10 pint jars of onions. Maybe the tears were worth it ūüėČ I figure with canning and pickling that it is worth the effort and messes for flavors I would never find in a store. If you like pickling, check the book out – you will find something to fall in love with. But maybe splurge on¬†the¬†pricier onions ūüėČ

PS: I did adapt the recipe in one way – I doubled the recipe. If I was going to cry, I was going to get a ton out of it! The recipe is presented for a normal batch.

Sweet Pickled Onion Rings

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds small onions (2-3″ size)
  • 2¬Ĺ cups granulated sugar, preferably organic
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp pickling salt
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • ¬ľ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 5 cups apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Fill a large canning pot about¬†¬ĺ full with water, heat over medium-high as you work.

Jars & Lids –

Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in hot water until you are ready to fill.

Wash the bands and lids, bring a saucepan of water to boil, add the lids and rings, let sit until you are ready to use. (Use new lids each time, bands can be reused.)

Onions –

Peel the onions, trim the ends and cut crosswise into¬†¬ľ” slices.¬†Separate¬†into rings in a large bowl.

Combine sugar, mustard seeds, salt celery seeds, turmeric, cloves and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until sugar and salt are dissolved. Boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.

Pull the jars out of the hot water, drain quickly, place on a clean kitchen towel and pack onions in to 1‚Ä≥ below the top. Sterilize a ladle in your canning pot, fill the jars with the hot vinegar to¬†¬Ĺ‚ÄĚ below the top. Release any air bubbles with a sterile plastic spatula or chopstick, add more vinegar as needed. Take a new paper towel, dip in hot water and wipe the rims. Put a lid on, finger tighten a band around.

Add the jars to a canning basket, lower in the canning pot. Bring water up to a rolling boil, process for 10 minutes with the lid on. If you need more water to fully cover the jars, take it from the stockpot you sterilized the jars in.

Turn off heat, let the jars sit for 5 minutes with the lid off. Carefully remove the jars with a jar lifter, set on a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave undistributed till cold (overnight). Check that the lids have all popped, if any have not, store in refrigerator, use within a month.

Pickling takes time ‚Äď don‚Äôt open your pickles right away. Let them sit in a cool and dark corner of your pantry and do their magic for at least a couple of weeks.

Makes about 5 to 6 pint jars. Pickles are usually good for a year+ when sealed and stored properly, once opened store in¬†refrigerator¬†for up to a month. And be sure to write on the lids what you canned and when! You’ll be happy you did ūüėČ

~Sarah

Canning Honey Spiced Pears

A couple of weeks ago I found out had won a $100 prize in a drawing that Snikiddy¬†Snacks had hosted, for those filling out a survey they sent in an email. Yeah, those “Take Our Survey!!!!” sometimes do pay off. It came in the form of a pre-paid American Express card delivered by FedEx. After yukking it up about being a Hundredaire, I was stumped with what to do with it. Finally a light clicked on and I spent most of it on canning jars. So unsexy I know. Normal people would go buy shoes. Or go out to eat. I buy canning lids. And jars. Although I went all crazy and got the “fancy” ones from the Elite Ball Collection. Which I found don’t fit in my canning rack. Snort. I¬†improvised¬†by putting a kitchen towel in the canning pot, over the rack.

 

On Sunday I had found a box of last-of-the-season pears from Washington that smelled fantastic and were about $1 a pound. They all were ripe this morning so I decided to have fun and try something I hadn’t done before, to can pears. When I was young and my Mom canned, I didn’t get¬†why she did it. After all, one could easily go to¬†the¬†store and buy cans of them, no? The point that they were fresh and customizable went over me. At $6 for the pears + the other ingredients, I am not exactly making them cheaper than commercially canned ones – for me it is about what goes into them and creating¬†artisanal¬†fruits! But then, when did canned pears out of a metal can ever taste good, even if you can buy them for 50 cents on sale? They have always reminded me of¬†the¬†free lunch program in¬†elementary, the year after Mt. St. Helens exploded and wrecked¬†the¬†local economy. Tinny tasting pears,¬†acidic stringy¬†canned spinach and frozen milk. Nothing like gov’t surplus. Canning the pears made me smile and think of my Mom, packing quart jars full of pears and peaches late at night and knowing she was right. Fruit should be enjoyed and celebrated – not just slopped out of a metal can. If anything, I truly want to enjoy my food. And the work I put into it? Most times it makes the food taste better and I appreciate it more.

To my Mom…who I was thinking of this afternoon. When I saw this rock I knew I was in the right place – it was shaped like a female torso with a humpback, a little smaller than my palm. Stuck in the tide on the Pacific, in the Olympic’s. My Mom’s ashes were in my backpack and I walked along a section of the coast. I wanted to set her free but wasn’t sure. When I saw¬†the¬†rock I knew it was right. That was in¬†February¬†of 2008, she passed away in the summer of 2006. I let her ashes fly in the wind and slowly go out in the ocean with the tide. The fall before that, I spread my Dad’s ashes in Montana, along a wild river of his youth.

 

The rock comes¬†with¬†me when I hike, nestled in the top of my backpack, going to places I wished she had been able to see with me. Alpine lakes, mountain tops, long winding sections of forest…..

 

At home, “she” is on my kitchen counter, with me, while I cook and create. It is a soothing reminder of her ūüôā I’d like to think she’d have approved. And that she’d have happily enjoyed my pears.

 

Honey Spiced Pears

Ingredients:

  • 6 pounds ripe but firm pears, preferably organic
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, preferably organic
  • 1 cup raw honey, preferably local
  • 1 cup apple cider¬†vinegar¬†(5%¬†acidity), preferably unfiltered
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp whole allspice
  • 1 tsp whole¬†coriander¬†seed
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 4″

Directions:

Jars –

Wash 5 pint jars, along with bands and new lids. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil, turn off and add the rings and bands to it. Cover and set aside. Add the clean jars to a large stockpot, bring to a boil. Turn off and keep covered.

Fill a large canning pot¬†¬ĺ full of water, bring to a simmer. Sterilize a ladle, funnel and jar lifter (I dip them in boiling water). Set a clean¬†kitchen¬†towel on a counter near the stove.

Pears –

Peel the pears one at a time, trim the top and bottom, cut in half and core with a small spoon. Place each half in a large bowl full of cold water and a tablespoon vinegar (to prevent browning).

Add the spices to a tea ball or a jelly bag, tie closed and add to a tall saucepan.

Add the sugar, honey, vinegar and water to the saucepan, bring to boil. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer carefully for 10 minutes (watch it CAREFULLY, it can boil over).

Drain the pears gently, add to the hot syrup. Bring back to a boil, turn heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the spices, discard them.

Take off the burner, set on a hot pad next to the towel. Drain the jars and set them on the towel. Pack the pear halves in¬†the¬†jars (a fork works well). Cover with the hot syrup, using a ladle and funnel. Sterilize a plastic or silicone spatula (or a plastic knife) and gently run it around the jar to remove any air bubbles. Fill with the remaining syrup as needed, leaving a¬†¬Ĺ” headspace.

Take a new paper towel, dip in hot water, squeeze out and wipe the jar rims as needed. Place a lid on, then a ring hand tightened.

Place the jars in a canning rack, submerge in the simmering water. Bring to boil, boil gently, covered, for 20 minutes. (If you live above 1,000 feet follow the extra time as noted in canning books, usually 5 extra minutes for every 3,000 feet).

Lift the jars out, set on a dry towel. Let cool, listening for the lids popping. Allow to cool fully, check the lids for being flat. If any have not sealed, refrigerate and eat within 2 weeks. Otherwise, store in a cool and dry area for up to a year.

Makes about 5 pints.

~Sarah

Pickled Red Grapes with Rosemary

Inspired by a recipe’s notes in Well Preserved: Third Edition: Small Batch Preserving for the New Cook, for Pickled Cherries (on page 139), I set out to make Pickled Red Grapes last week.

The¬†author’s¬†recipe mentioned using grapes instead of cherries, that sounded¬†intriguing. Then I got a shock. Apparently I had slacked yet again in reading labels. Every red wine vinegar (which is called for) I could find had preservatives added. And not one, but two. I do¬†realize¬†that one is simply there due to the wine making process and that there may be organic versions to be had. But I didn’t feel like driving an hour each way to see if that was so. So instead? I simply used apple cider vinegar which doesn’t have preservatives added! And hey, it was¬†cheaper¬†as well. Bonus! And hey, I like the smell and taste of ACV ūüôā

(And what ones were they? Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Metabisulfite.)

Pickled Red Grapes with Rosemary

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds seedless red grapes (weigh after destemming/cleaning)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tsp pickling salt (or kosher)
  • 4 tsp organic granulated sugar
  • 8 3″ sprigs fresh Rosemary

Directions:

Jars & Lids –

Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in hot water until you are ready to fill.

Wash the bands and lids, bring a saucepan of water to boil, add the lids and rings, let sit until you are ready to use. (Use new lids each time, bands can be reused.)

Before starting, soak and rinse the grapes and rosemary in produce wash. Grapes tend to be quite dirty/waxy. Rinse well and set aside to air dry.

Bring a large canning pot of water to a near boil.

Combine vinegar and water in a saucepan, bring to boil over high heat. Pull the jars out of the hot water, add 1 teaspoon salt and sugar to each jar, 2 sprigs rosemary and pack grapes in to 1″ below the top. Sterilize a ladle in your canning pot, fill the jars with the hot vinegar to¬†¬Ĺ” below the top. Release any air bubbles (mine didn’t have the issue, I poured my vinegar in slowly). Take a new paper towel, dip in hot water and wipe the rims. Put a lid on, finger tighten a band around.

Add the jars to a canning basket, lower in the canning pot. Bring water up to a rolling boil, process for 10 minutes.

Turn off heat, carefully remove the jars with a jar lifter, set on a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave undistributed till cold (overnight). Check within a couple of hours that the lids have all popped, if any have not, store in refrigerator, use within a month.

Pickling takes time – don’t open your pickles right away. Let them sit in a cool and dark corner of your pantry and do their magic for at least a couple of weeks.

Makes about 4 pint jars (I had leftover grapes but used all the vinegar). Pickles are usually good for a year+ when sealed and stored properly, once opened store in refrigerator for up to a month.

~Sarah

Hot Pepper Jelly

While I was canning my two batches of rhubarb jam last weekend I decided to make a small batch of hot pepper jelly. Leaving my usual method, I used sugar in this¬†recipe,¬†instead¬†of honey. It is a Pomonas Universal Pectin recipe, slightly¬†adapted. This is spicy jelly, it’ll punch your taste buds (if you don’t like a lot of heat use only 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes).

My idea is to use in stir fries, peanut sauce, added to ketchup and so on. A way to get off sweet chili sauce which has ingredients I am not so happy with. I’d have to say it¬†would¬†taste¬†phenomenal¬†mixed in with cream cheese and spread on crackers.

Hot Pepper Jelly

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp calcium water
  • 1¬Ĺ pectin

Directions:

Jars & Lids –

Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in hot water until you are ready to fill.

Wash the bands and lids, bring a saucepan of water to boil, add the lids and rings, let sit until you are ready to use. (Use new lids each time, bands can be reused.)

For the jelly –

Add the bell pepper, red pepper flakes and vinegar to a large saucepan. Bring to boil, turn to medium-low and cover, simmer for 5 minutes.

To make the calcium water, mix ¬Ĺ tsp calcium (the smaller of the two packets in the pectin box) with ¬Ĺ cup filtered water in a small canning jar, shake till dissolved. Set aside, you will need 2 tsp of it, the rest can be refrigerated for later use. Add 2 teaspoons of the calcium water to the vinegar blend, stir well.

For the sugar & pectin –

Measure the sugar into a separate bowl, take a¬†¬Ĺ cup out and set in a small bowl. Add the 1¬Ĺ tsp pectin to the smaller bowl, blend in with a fork.

To Cook –

Pour the sugar-pectin mix mixture into the boiling vinegar, slowly and carefully, stirring as you add. Stir vigorously till dissolved. Add the remaining sugar and for 2 minutes while stirring, until it comes to a boil, remove from the heat. Pectin gels completely when thoroughly cool, so don’t worry if your jelly looks loose while still hot.

To preserve –

Empty the water out of your jars, fill to ¬ľ‚ÄĚ of the top (a sterilized canning funnel works great). Wipe the rims with a new damp paper towel, removing any spilled jelly, especially on the rim.

Place a lid on top and tighten a band around each jar, place them into a pot of boiling water (such as a canning pot), using a canning rack to lower in. Make sure all jars are upright and that jars are fully submerged, with at least 2″ of water above.

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Take out carefully using a jar lifter or tongs. Have a clean kitchen towel on the counter, place each jar on it and let cool for at least 6 hours, overnight is better. Listen for the ‚Äúpopping sound‚ÄĚ and keep track of how many times you hear it. Check after cooling that the lid is firm when pressed on, if it pops up and down, it isn‚Äôt sealed. If that happens, refrigerate that jar and use within a couple of weeks.

Once cooled, store the jars in a pantry for up to 12 months. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and use up within 3 weeks.

Made 3 8-ounce jars and 1 4-ounce jar.

~Sarah

Rhubarb Blueberry Cinnamon Honey Jam

Up first!

Kirk added my blog to the Amazon lineup for Kindle reading –¬†Gazing In¬†– if you have a Kindle you can take the reading with you and not need an internet connection (or¬†bandwidth) to catch up on my latest posts.

 Gazing In

And today’s recipe?

More delicious and tart rhubarb jam made with Pomonas Universal Pectin.This time with blueberries and spices!

Rhubarb Blueberry Cinnamon Honey Jam

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked rhubarb (measured after cooking, see below)
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • ¬ľ cup fresh lemon juice (1 large)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¬Ĺ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp calcium water
  • 2¬Ĺ tsp pectin

Directions:

Jars & Lids –

Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in the hot water, covered, until you are ready to fill.

Wash the bands and lids, bring a saucepan of water to boil, add and let sit until you are ready to put them on the jars. (Use new lids each time, bands can be reused.)

For the rhubarb and blueberries –

Add the rhubarb to a tall saucepan with a small amount of water. Heat over medium until the rhubarb is soft and thick. Measure and add to a large saucepan with lemon juice. Mash the blueberries a bit and add in.

To make the calcium water, mix ¬Ĺ tsp calcium powder (the smaller of the two packets in the pectin box) with ¬Ĺ cup filtered water in a small canning jar, shake till dissolved. Set aside, you will need 2 tsp of it, the rest can be refrigerated for later use. Add 2 teaspoons of the calcium water to the rhubarb, stir well.

For the honey & pectin –

Measure the honey into a separate bowl and thoroughly mix 2¬Ĺ tsp pectin (from the larger packet) into it, set aside.

To Cook –

Bring the rhubarb mixture to boil over medium-high, stirring often. Pour the pectin-honey mixture into the boiling jam, slowly and carefully, stirring as you add. Stir vigorously 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.

Let it return to a boil and remove from the heat. Pectin gels completely when thoroughly cool, so don’t worry if your jam looks loose while still hot.

To preserve –

Empty the water out of your jars, fill to ¬ľ‚ÄĚ of the top (a sterilized canning funnel works great). Wipe the rims with a new damp paper towel, removing any spilled jelly, especially on the rim.

Place a lid on top and hand-tighten a band around each jar, place them into a pot of boiling water (such as a canning pot), using a canning rack to lower in. Make sure all jars are upright and that jars are fully submerged, with at least 2″ of water above.

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Take out carefully using a jar lifter or tongs. Have a clean kitchen towel on the counter, place each jar on it and let cool for at least 6 hours, overnight is better. Listen for the ‚Äúpopping sound‚ÄĚ and keep track of how many times you hear it. Check after cooling that the lid is firm when pressed on, if it pops up and down, it isn‚Äôt sealed. If that happens, refrigerate that jar and use within a couple of weeks.

Once cooled, store the jars in a pantry for up to 12 months. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and use up within 3 weeks.

Makes about 4 4-ounce jars and 4 8-ounce jars.

~Sarah

Rhubarb Honey Jam

During summer I collected small bunches of rhubarb every week at the farmers market. Washed, trimmed and sliced, then in the freezer. This past weekend I had the time to use up all my frozen stock. I made two batches of rhubarb jam, trying out a simple rhubarb & honey jam first. If you are like me and love the tart flavor of the plant, you will love this jam. The jams are made with my favorite pectin, Pomonas Universal Pectin.

Rhubarb Honey Jam

Ingredients:

Directions:

Jars & Lids –

Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in the hot water, covered, until you are ready to fill.

Wash the bands and lids, bring a saucepan of water to boil, add and let sit until you are ready to put them on the jars. (Use new lids each time, bands can be reused.)

For the rhubarb –

Add the rhubarb to a tall saucepan with a small amount of water. Heat over medium until the rhubarb is soft and thick. Measure and add to a large saucepan with lemon juice.

To make the calcium water, mix ¬Ĺ tsp calcium powder (the smaller of the two packets in the pectin box) with ¬Ĺ cup filtered water in a small canning jar, shake till dissolved. Set aside, you will need 2 tsp of it, the rest can be refrigerated for later use. Add 2 teaspoons of the calcium water to the rhubarb, stir well.

For the honey & pectin –

Measure the honey into a separate bowl and thoroughly mix 3 tsp pectin (from the larger packet) into it, set aside.

To Cook –

Bring the rhubarb mixture to boil over medium-high, stirring often. Pour the pectin-honey mixture into the boiling jam, slowly and carefully, stirring as you add. Stir vigorously 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.

Let it return to a boil and remove from the heat. Pectin gels completely when thoroughly cool, so don’t worry if your jam looks loose while still hot.

To preserve –

Empty the water out of your jars, fill to ¬ľ‚ÄĚ of the top (a sterilized canning funnel works great). Wipe the rims with a new damp paper towel, removing any spilled jelly, especially on the rim.

Place a lid on top and hand-tighten a band around each jar, place them into a pot of boiling water (such as a canning pot), using a canning rack to lower in. Make sure all jars are upright and that jars are fully submerged, with at least 2″ of water above.

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Take out carefully using a jar lifter or tongs. Have a clean kitchen towel on the counter, place each jar on it and let cool for at least 6 hours, overnight is better. Listen for the ‚Äúpopping sound‚ÄĚ and keep track of how many times you hear it. Check after cooling that the lid is firm when pressed on, if it pops up and down, it isn‚Äôt sealed. If that happens, refrigerate that jar and use within a couple of weeks.

Once cooled, store the jars in a pantry for up to 12 months. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and use up within 3 weeks.

Makes 12 4-ounce jars or 6 8-ounce jars.

~Sarah

Blackberry and Marionberry Honey Jelly

Mama brag time!

This little guy has made big strides this past week. ¬†First he mastered sitting up. Then his first and second little toothies came in. I love the¬†toothy¬†grin little ones get. On Tuesday Kirk put Alistaire down on the floor…and he set off crawling for his ball. No¬†warning. Just took off. He bypassed the army crawl and went straight to arms fully extended. And now? He is up on his knees, barely touching the sides of his pack n’ play, straight as can be. Wonder how long till he pulls himself up?

In all my living like it is 1912, I had something I hadn’t tried before. Jelly. Seriously! I started making jam with my Mom when I was little and we made it every year, multiple times a year. But jelly? I don’t¬†remember¬†making it. I am going to guess it was because it took more time, more gear and my Dad didn’t mind seeds. I never much liked seedy jam and we ate a lot of it. Once I moved out, I avoided seedy jam – my stomach hates seeds! This year I picked native Pacific Blackberries, which are better tasting and¬†nowhere¬†as “seedy” in texture – I actually like¬†eating them¬†fresh. Unlike the¬†Himalayan¬†berries we had when I was a kid (the invasive type).

I used Pomonas Universal Pectin¬†to set the jelly and honey as¬†the¬†sweetener. I have found these small batches of jam to be quick – I juiced the berries while making dinner and made the jelly/canned after dinner. It took only a little time. Canning doesn’t have to be an all day affair!

Blackberry and Marionberry Honey Jelly

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups blackberry juice
  • 2 cups marionberry juice
  • 6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons)
  • 1¬Ĺ cups raw honey, locally sourced
  • Pomonoa Pectin (see recipe for amounts)

Directions:

Jars & Lids –

Wash and rinse the jars; put them into a big stockpot; cover the jars with water and bring to a boil; turn off the heat. Let stand in hot water until you are ready to fill.

Wash the bands and lids, bring a saucepan of water to boil, add them let sit until you are ready to screw them on the jars. (Use new lids each time, bands can be reused.)

For the berries –

Mash with a potato masher in a large bowl, press through a fine mesh sieve (strainer), collecting the juice. Measure and add to a large saucepan with lemon juice.

To make the calcium water, mix ¬Ĺ tsp calcium (the smaller of the two packets in the pectin box) with ¬Ĺ cup filtered water in a small canning jar, shake till dissolved. Set aside, you will need 6 tsp of it, the rest can be refrigerated for later use. Add 6 teaspoons of the calcium water to the juice, stir well.

For the honey & pectin –

Measure the honey into a separate bowl and thoroughly mix 6 tsp pectin (the larger packet) into it, set aside.

To Cook –

Bring the berry mixture to boil, stirring often. Pour the pectin-honey mixture into the boiling jelly, slowly and carefully, stirring as you add. Stir vigorously 2 minutes to dissolve the pectin.

Let it return to a boil and remove from the heat. Pectin gels completely when thoroughly cool, so don’t worry if your jelly looks loose while still hot (although this particular jelly is stiff).

To preserve –

Empty the water out of your jars, fill to ¬ľ‚ÄĚ of the top (a sterilized canning funnel works great). Wipe the rims with a new damp paper towel, removing any spilled jelly, especially on the rim.

Place a lid on top and tighten a band around each jar, place them into a pot of boiling water (such as a canning pot), using a canning rack to lower in. Make sure all jars are upright and that jars are fully submerged, with at least 2″ of water above.

Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Take out carefully using a jar lifter or tongs. Have a clean kitchen towel on the counter, place each jar on it and let cool for at least 6 hours, overnight is better. Listen for the ‚Äúpopping sound‚ÄĚ and keep track of how many times you hear it. Check after cooling that the lid is firm when pressed on, if it pops up and down, it isn‚Äôt sealed. If that happens, refrigerate that jar and use within a couple of weeks.

Once cooled, store the jars in a pantry for up to 12 months. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and use up within 3 weeks.

Makes about 8 cups jelly. I made 4 pint jars.

~Sarah

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