I consider myself a lifelong learner. There is a long list in my planner of books I want to read, activities I want to try and hobbies I want to learn. The list grows and grows as I meet more people and learn of awesome things they are doing in the world. I have several friends who are masters of canning. They grow bountiful gardens in the summer and can their harvests to preserve for the rest of the year. This process is absolutely fascinating to me. Most of these friends grew up doing it and think I am slightly nuts for being so enthusiastic about something that is very normal to their lifestyles.
After listening, watching and learning from them, I decided this was something I needed to try, even if just at the basic level. A few weeks ago we went strawberry picking and loaded up on 27 some pounds of juicy berries. We had the best time picking out the plumpest, sneaking lots in our mouths and enjoying the summer sun. Now it was time to give canning a try for myself!
We cleaned and trimmed the strawberries, mashed up our jam concoction and jarred many, many servings of delicious strawberry jam to last us an entire year. The recipe and process were both so easy that I wanted to share it with you! After a long time of cruising the internet, the best recipe I found is straight from the back of the pectin jar. Public service announcement, I went the easy way out and did freezer jam. This does not require a canner and is a bit less commitment, although I admit, not as official.
8 oz mason jars
1. Hollow out and smash 1 2/3 cups of strawberries in a bowl (these measurements fill about 2, 8 oz mason jars).
2. In another bowl stir together 2/3 cups of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of pectin.
3. Combine all ingredients and stir well.
4. Let sit for ten minutes until it becomes a thick consistency.
5. Spoon jam into 8 oz mason jars, leaving a 1/4 inch open at the top. Secure lid tightly and let settle for 30 minutes.
6. Refrigerate jam for immediate use or freeze to use later.