This past Fall I had two posts about learning how to make and can my own applesauce and apple butter. If you want to re-live my journey here and here are the links. I realized that canning really isn’t that hard, it just takes some time. I also learned that the time and effort involved is well worth it when you get to enjoy the final product.
With Spring fruits now available I figured what better way to try my hand at canning again than with strawberry jam. I did the research on-line and found several different places that we could go to locally pick our own strawberries. Unfortunately, the day that the weather worked out for us was the day I had to work. Steve, being the great and fun dad that he is took the girls with some friends of ours. I was really bummed that I missed out on the fun. They came home with lots of strawberries. Natalie especially was very excited about making jam with the strawberries that she helped to pick. I had to work the next day also and made sure that before I came home from work that I had all the supplies so that we could spend the following day making jam. I came home and the flat of strawberries were sitting outside on the ground. I asked Steve why and he explained to me that the entire flat was rotten and had started to grow mold. Yuck! (Natalie actually noticed if when she got up from her nap and told Steve that the strawberries had cotton on them.)
It was cold and rainy for the next 2 days so the girls and I couldn’t go pick more strawberries. I did some more research on-line and found out that there is a Farmer’s Market near us on Wednesday afternoons. The girls and I went to visit and came home with 4 quarts of strawberries from Agriberry. A local farm that is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
Here is a picture of the strawberries we purchased:
Yes – they were as yummy as they look!
I had helpers with mashing the berries for the jam. Can you believe I forgot to take a picture?!?!?
Here is a picture of one of my helpers (along with her favorite bear Radar) and some of our finished product:
We actually ended up make 16 8-oz (half-pint) jars. I gave several away as end of the year gifts for Natalie’s teachers at preschool, we enjoyed one ourselves, and I took one to Bible Study this morning with a loaf of Ukrop’s English Muffin bread I picked up at Martin’s this morning. Yum!
The jam was so easy to make, and taste so yummy that I am actually contemplating going out to a berry patch again this weekend so we can make more for ourselves and gifts throughout the year.
Are any of you experienced canners? What is your favorite thing to can? Do you keep it all for your family or do you share it as gifts? How do you determine how much to can to save for a year?