Archive for June, 2009

Canning Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

June 30, 2009

I’ve been wanting to do some canning since at least last year. For some reason, I never got around to it. I think in part because I felt a little intimidated by the whole process. Putting food by doesn’t seem like the best thing to jump into as a novice. There are so many steps and to be honest sterilizing glass jars sounds like a daunting task to me. Luckily this year, I’m getting started early in the season and have a couple of friends who were willing to lend a hand in teaching me how the make strawberry & rhubarb jam last Friday night.

First, I went out to pick up a dozen Ball jars from my local hardware store in Brooklyn. I was able to get about a dozen pint sized jars for around $12.00. The pint jars are a good size but the hardware store also carries quart size and freezer ready jars as well. 

Ball Jars

The best way, in my opinion, to figure out what to can is to stop by your local farmers market and shop for whatever fruit and vegetables are in season. In this case, it was strawberries and rhubarb. Yes, the rhubarb is green and looks a little more like celery. 
Strawberries & Rhubarb

Pectin is another necessary ingredient when making jam. Brooklyn Kitchen carries it and sells it for $4.99/per box. Helpful instructions come with the box, so make sure to refer to them and follow them closely when trying this at home.

Pectin

While we were bringing the pot of strawberries to a boil with sugar, pectin, and calcium water, a few empty Ball jars and lids were boiling in a pot nearby. 

Strawberries

Then, it was time to can. The trickiest part was removing the extremely hot glass jars out of the boiling water with a pair of tongs, but somehow we managed to do it and ended up with at least 6 jars of strawberry jam and 6 jars of rhubarb jam.

Strawberry and Rhubarb Jam

For more information on canning and a great article “Preserving Time In a Bottle (Or a Jar)” by Julia Moskin, check out The New York Times.

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