Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Jam Making! Strawberry Rhubarb & Strawberry!

One of my favorite things to do in life is to make homemade jams.  It is a stress reliever for me in most cases.  I have only been making homemade jams since marrying my husband, he aided me in learning the process.  It's something we could do together, although since farming full time is his occupation now, he is usually too busy to help me.  I am looking forward to the day when PV is old enough to help.  Two sets of hands make it go smoother, although you can do it by yourself.
 As I will show you today!

Some of you are probably thinking that making jam is a task you do not want to take on, that it is hard.  Honestly, it's time consuming but it's not hard.  You get to have a finished product that you created that your family and friends can enjoy and it's an inexpensive gift made with love for others.  

My favorite kind to make is peach, it's also my favorite kind to eat!  I usually do peach jam in August.  I prefer Colorado peaches to any others, 
but on occasion use other types.  

My first batches of jam this season are Strawberry and Strawberry Rhubarb.

Last year I made only one batch of Strawberry Rhubarb, and it left my house like hotcakes!  I sell and give away jam periodically.   
Although peach is my favorite, the strawberry types were requested the most. 
 So I plan to make more of those this year.

Normally my supply comes from the grocery stores, farmer's markets, and those lovely fruit patches/orchards in our lovely state!  
You can read about our blueberry adventure last July here.

We do have strawberry plants and this year I bought a Rhubarb plant for our garden.  In hopes to create even tastier jam! Fresh from the garden is always better!  We expanded our number of strawberry plants this year, so the production from those will probably be more beneficial next year, along with the Rhubarb plant. 

Here's what I use!


1 tsp butter to keep the pectin from getting to bubbly!



I normally use the SURE JELL recipes.  On the inside of the box, there is a fabulous guide to use with detailed instructions!  If the recipe isn't there, I get online, and search.  I always read reviews though if there are some on a recipe.  I did use the SURE JELL website for the Strawberry Rhubarb recipe.

You will also need a larger canner.  This is where you boil the water, put your jars in before filling them with jam.  Then you put the jars of jam back in to boil in hot water for 10 minutes after you fill them.

This is where I had all the ingredients in my pan, and was boiling it for 1 minute prior to filling jars.  YES I am a risk taker (not).... I have a stove that is instantaneous.  So when it gets to the edge of the pan, I can quickly drop it a notch , and it quickly reduces boiling.  

When filling jars, there is where two people come in handy.  I did these two batches alone, as the hubs is working my craft closet project!

You will remove the jars from the hot water, and fill them, put the lid on, and finish with the ring.  Then put them back into the boiling water.  Boil for 10 minutes. 
Pull the jars out, I usually put my on a towel and cover them.  
I leave them alone for 24 hours!

The jam usually sets up, if for some reason it doesn't, you can read on the SURE JELL insert how to redo the pectin part.  I have only had a couple batches that didn't work out, and I redid them, and it turned out fine.  

One tidbit, MEASURING is of the utmost importance when making jam! So level your sugar with a knife in the measuring cup, and measure your fruit accurately!

And the finished products!

As you can tell, I use a variety of canning jars.  I also make the pint size, but didn't in this batch.  
I plan to post more about making homemade jam in the future!

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