Strawberry & Rhubarb Jamtasmagoria

I got some local strawberries already!  Last year we didn’t get our hands on any until mid-June. I also got a whole mess of rhubarb from my boss’s wife.  It was time to make JAM!

Last year I made one batch of plain strawberry and one batch of strawberry rhubarb jam. With two boys eating jam on breakfast toast and PB&J lunch several times a week, we went through all 16 half-pint jars, plus a couple other flavors too. I made the same two batches Monday night.

Making jam really couldn’t be much easier. Cut the green bits off the top of strawberries and crush them. Measure according to the directions in the recipe.  I got both recipes from inside the pectin packet.

Get the jars sterilized and reuse the same boiling water for the water-bath canning. Warm the lids and jar rings to a near-simmer.  Bring the berry-sugar mixture to a boil rolling so hard that you can’t stir it down. [Adding a half-teaspoon of butter keeps down the foaming.] Add the pectin packet (which is a jelling aid to firm up the finished product) and boil for exactly 1 minute longer. Remove the jam from the heat and ladle into the hot jars. Clean the jar rim, put on the lid, and put the jar into the water bath pot. After all the jars are in the boiling water, time 10 minutes and you’re done.

Remove the jars to a counter to cool.  As they cool, a vacuum forms, sucking the lids down firmly with a PING!

Let the jars cool overnight and then put them in the canning pantry. Don’t laugh, you’ll turn a closet into a canning pantry eventually. It happens.

Repeat after me:

Canning looks easy

“Canning looks fun”

“I CAN do that”

Okay, now go get a dozen jars and get started!  The quality of the product you will be making rivals the best top shelf black label jar of $9 jam you can buy.  When considered at this price point, I saved hundreds of dollars doing just this one night of canning:

Year One:

  • Dozen new canning jars that come with lids – $11.00 (8 jars needed)
  • Four cups crushed strawberries from about 2 pint containers – $7.00
  • Pectin – $3.00 (Contains enough for 2 batches)
  • You already have a pot big enough to can half-pint jars in…just use any stock pot
  • Set of jar funnel, lid lifter, jar tongs and headspace measurer – $10.00

That comes to $31.00 for your first 8 jars of jam, or less than $4.00 each, with extra jars and pectin let over and tools that will last several years.

Year Two:

  • You are reusing the same jars
  • Package of 12 new flat lids – $2.50
  • Four cups crushed strawberries from about 2 pint containers – $7.00
  • Pectin – $1.50 (Enough to do just one batch)
  • Use the same stock pot as last year
  • You are reusing the jar funnel, lid lifter, jar tongs, etc.

That comes to $11.00 for 8 jars of jam, or less than $1.50 each for stuff the same quality as the best you can get at any store.

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    2 responses to this post.

    1. Posted by gardengeekette on May 13, 2010 at 6:59 am

      first of all, I *love* the title of this post :) And you make canning jam look so easy! I hope I can try this soon :)

      Reply

    2. Posted by Leslie on May 16, 2010 at 7:58 am

      I like that!

      Reply

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