Those of you who have been following me for a while know that last year I started making my own soup and joined a CSA. While I loved both of these, they created a problem. My freezer was overstuffed with soup and veggies. To remedy the situation, I got a pressure canner for Christmas!
I gave it a test run this weekend. If you are interested in making your own strawberry jam, know that because it is fruit, you actually don't need a pressure canner. A big pot in which you boil water would be fine. But I wanted to start on something easy, so strawberry jam it was.
First, you need some canning jars.
Then, you need a lot of strawberries.
Put the jars into the canner and start them simmering. Put the lids in a small saucepan and start them simmering. Remove the husks from the strawberries and mash them.
Add the pectin and put the strawberries in a large pot to boil them. Add tons of sugar and keep boiling. When it is done, you will something that looks like this (you may need to strain off some foam):
Now you are ready to fill the jars. Take out a jar one at a time. Fill it to the designated height, get rid of air bubbles, and wipe the threads and rim. Put the lid on and tighten with a screw band. Put the filled jar back in the canner and repeat until all jars are filled. This step is really where it helps to have special equipment if you are canning jam. But a kit with a jar lifter, funnel, etc is pretty cheap.
When all the jars are filled, get the water boiling and boil for the designated time.
Take out the jars and you are done! Well, hopefully I am done. In 24 hours I can check to see if the lid sealed.
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