In Which I Scratch a Canning Itch (Recipe: Honey Strawberry Jam)

Local flavors marry in this four-ingredient, sugar-free, Honey Strawberry Jam and I’ve finally scratched a summer itch – canning!

When July arrived and I hadn’t canned or preserved a single thing, save for a few bottles of strawberry-infused vodka, I began to panic a little. Yes, even though I’m the one who coached you on how to get your act together for the canning season, I’m still trying to kick-start my efforts.

So partially as incentive to get canning and partially to get out of the post-camping cleanup, I purchased a large flat of fresh Québec strawberries with the intention of making them into jam. Goodness knows when I was going to get the opportunity, as my summer days are jammed packed full of picnics, bike riding, backyard baseball, finger painting and other important activities. However, when Danny called around lunchtime one day this week to let me know he’d be home from work early, I knew I had my chance. Jam would be made by evening or I’d be a monkey’s uncle.
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Home Canning in the Winter Months: A Round-Up

Just because many of the farmers markets have closed down, and the roadside produce stands are boarded up for the winter, doesn’t mean we have to pack away our canning jars and declare the season over. There are still plenty of fun preserving projects to be relished (groaner!) during the darker months of the year.

In some ways, canning from November to May is more enjoyable than during the hectic summer months. The pressure in August to put up the season’s bounty before it spoils can take the fun out of it. In winter you can choose your recipes with leisure without fear of fruit over-ripening – plus the temptation for a nap in the sun or a trip to the beach is no longer a distraction!

Right now, fresh Canadian cranberries are in stores and I’m getting ready to simmer up a few batches of cranberry sauce. Perhaps after that I’ll plan an apple project, because we go through apple butter like, well, butter.

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Canning 101: Freezer Jam (Recipe: Nectarine Raspberry Freezer Jam)

Written by Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity.

Freezer Jam is a great way to break into the preserving scene. The recipes are made in smaller batches, require little to no cooking (which gives them a fresher taste) and need no special canning equipment.

All you need to do is puree or mash some fruit, mix it with sugar and pectin and throw it in the freezer! [Read more…]

How to Make Homemade Jam in 30 Minutes (with no special equipment)

What would you say if I told you that it was possible to make a small batch of homemade jam today? I imagine your schedule is already jam-packed (pardon the pun, couldn’t resist), as is mine, but I’ve discovered a new way to make jam that is quick, easy and totally doable for the busy mom, career girl or both.

OK, you’ve heard about freezer jam, but what about microwave jam? In her book, 250 Home Preserving Favorites (Robert Rose, March 2010), jam expert Yvonne Tremblay created a line of homemade jams that she called ‘Micro-Mini Jams‘: very small batches of jam, cooked in the microwave and requiring no special canning equipment.

What a fantastic concept! I’ve used the microwave to reduce liquids for sauces and such, but never thought to whip up a batch of jam. It makes perfect sense though, because the batch of jam is so small, there is no need for sterilizing or processing. Simply jar the jam and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks -if it lasts that long. [Read more…]