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Squirreling away jam for winter

Canning is easy.  Really it is!  If you have never done it you should give it a try.  There is nothing better than opening a jar of summer freshness well into the winter.  I have canned many things - okra, green beans, salsa.  For these use recipes in an old taped together cookbook called Kerr Home Canning Book.  It was given to me by my mother-in-law. 
It has old illustrations like this one that I enjoy looking at too.  I hope those hairdos don't come back in style!
I like to make jam the best.  Mainly because I like to eat it and because I hate the store bought kind.  Recently, I had a comment asking to do a post on how to make jam.  So, here you go... how I make jam.

This is what I make sure I have before I start:
1 box of half pint jars with screw lids and bands (washed)
1 box of Sure-jell pectin
fresh fruit
a bag of sugar
You also need a large pasta pot.

For my jams, I use the recipes in the Sure-jell box. The recipes have never failed me. It is important that you measure precisely.  Basically, you cut and barely mash the fruit.  Add the fruit pectin and bring to a full rolling boil (still boiling when you stir it) on high heat.  Add the sugar and bring back to a full rolling boil.  Boil for 1 minute exactly then remove from heat.

(While you are doing this, you need the jar lids warming in hot, hot water.)  Ladle jam into clean jars.  Wipe any spills off the jar rim.  Screw on lids and bands tightly.  You will need a tea towel to hold the jars.  They get hot fast!  Pour any extra into a bowl to eat with a spoon.  This is my favorite part!

Hot jam will seal itself but just to be safe, I do a hot water bath.  To do that all you need to do is place the jam jars in a deep pot, maybe the one you just used.  Cover them with water 1 inch deeper than the jar lids.  Bring to a boil.  Boil 10 minutes.  Remove jars and cool.  Jam needs to set at room temperature for 24 hours to set.  If you can wait that long to dig in, you have more will power than me.
Next, enjoy the fact that you have squirreled away fruit for the winter in your pantry.  And if you make enough, you just might be able to give them away as Christmas gifts maybe in racks like these.  That is what I am going to do.  Friends and family, please act surprised when I give them to you!


  1. I LOVE old books! That looks like a great one. I think our canning book is by Ball. Seth is the canner in the family and I am always on him to make condiments and new jam. We just bought some fresh pears at the farmer's mkt, 5 for $1. I'm going to have him make some pear jam next weekend!

  2. I may just have to try that some day.


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