Have you heard about the Canning Revolution that’s blazing across America? Well, this past Saturday, I joined it, along with Natasha (of Living Learning Loving).
I’d seen so much on canning all over the Blogosphere. It seemed everyone was into it, up on it, down with it, and all over it. ….and I so wasn’t. It looked so COMPLICATED! Wire contraptions, jars, tons of produce from your garden. I had none of it. So I simply appreciated others’ pictures and the domesticity of it all.
No more! I’ve now been indoctrinated into the World of Canning. And it was a BLAST!
We started by crushing up four cups worth of strawberries. Followed by seven cups of sugar. Well, we didn’t crush that, we just backed the truck up and dumped it in.
You can’t skimp on the sugar; it’s what helps the jam congeal. Then we added a packet of Liquid Pectin.
On one blog, I read the dry stuff is easier to work with, but we followed the directions included with the packet and had no trouble at all.
We then brought our concoction to a rolling violent boil – one that does not dissipate when you stir the contents. Then we had a short conversation about our violent strawberries. (I think that’s what Hubby wants to name his next metal band: The Violent Strawberries. How hardcore is that?)
After skimming the foam off the top (and putting it in a bowl and eating it on the side), we started filling jars. We had read (and heard) from various sources that the wire contraption submerged in boiling water is not a necessary evil in canning. Hurrah! In order to keep our jars hot and sanitized, we ran them in the dishwasher on hot and took out one at a time. Easy peasy!
We measured with this handy-dandy canning tool to make sure we filled them to within 1/8″ from the top, cleaned the threads, and cranked on the lids.
Our first jar of jam!
We flipped it upside down (it helps with the sealing process, I think because it keeps the lid hot for longer), wrapped it in a towel (also slows the cooling that facilitates a better seal), and finished filling our other jars.
Then we made a better-than-a-Mexican-restaurant quesadilla dinner. Then we baked a couple loaves of cardamom bread (to accompany our jam!). A very productive and delightful Saturday! I think in the end, we both felt quite triumphantly domestic.
And we both knew there was no going back. We were both solidly in love with the Art of Canning.