Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Can Can*

Mid-July, we decided to make our own Blueberry Jam after my mom brought some back with her to us from our trip to North Carolina. It was the most amazing jam I'd ever tasted. I'd been wanting to learn how to can this summer anyway, so I thought the promise of 12 half pint jars of heaven was just the motivation I needed to tackle CANNING!

I grew up watching my mom can summer fruits and veggies - but I think the only leg up that gave me was that I knew it could be done.

The process began with getting Rob out to help me in the blueberry patch. We spent a little over an hour picking almost two gallons of blueberries. It was hard, hot, chigger-ful work.

Then we brought our bounty home. Washed them and dried them.

After they were good and dry, I dyed my hands blue mashing enough to make 9 cups of blue goop and added 6 cups of sugar stirring until it was dissolved and boiled until it reached the gelling point. Whew, gotta love that ratio of fruit:sugar!

Then I worked quickly to get the hot jam funneled into hot sterilized jars. Put the tops on and placed 6 at a time into a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Then, I gingerly lifted them out and listened to the sweet popping sound of each and every lid. The popping lids means that the lids have seal and your canning mission was a success. I was incredibly proud.

So far this summer, I've helped my mom and aunt can garlic dill pickles (oh yum! They are great!) and our small group had a tomato canning party. Before the season's over, I'd love to can some fig preserves from our fig tree in the back yard and make some muscadine jelly.

*Don't credit me with the fun blog post title - I think it's Ball's official Canning tag line this year to revive interest in canning!

Also, I can Can only subpar-ly. I'm still learning. I give myself a B-. The jam is oh so tasty, but may not quite just right in consistency and there is a rougue whole blueberry every now and then. But, on the bright side, it won't give us botulism and worst case scenario we have home made blueberry syrup!

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