Sipping Chocolate In A Mason Jar Present

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This present can be as simple or fancily decorated as you like.

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Sipping Chocolate In A Mason Jar

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup dry milk
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp chocolate chips

Directions:

Take a clean, dry, Half-Pint mason jar. Pour in the dry milk, tap gently to settle. Layer on cocoa powder, then sugar. Tap gently again to settle. Sprinkle salt and chocolate on top. Seal tightly.

Decorate jar as desired, tucking a note with “Pour mix into bowl, stir well to mix. For each serving, place half of dry mix in a mug, add 1 cup boiling water. Stir well, until blended.”

Makes 2 servings total.

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Holiday Dishes: Sweet Treats Done Naturally Book Giveaway

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One of the more fun ebooks I have made was Sweet Treats Done Naturally, which I brought out last year, just before the Holiday season!

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As my gift to my readers, I am giving Sweet Treats Done Naturally for free December 10th ~ 14th, 2014 on Amazon. While it is a Kindle book, it can be read on a Kindle, Kindle apps for smartphones, ipads, tablets, laptops and even your home computer.

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With 18 recipes, you will have plenty of inspiration for the next few weeks – and plenty of presents to hand out.

Feel free to share and let everyone know about it – so that they get a copy as well. Happy Holidays everyone!

Small Batch Canning: Spiced Apples

ApplesSpiced

At IFBC last month I had what I would classify as an epiphany. When I go to blogger conferences, I never know what I will come home with for inspiration. I don’t go to them for learning really, there is only so many times you can listen in on about “SEO Targeting!”, but rather for the chance I might come home with an idea(s) I cannot turn off. It doesn’t fail me – but I also never know what I direction I will be going.

This year I found it in a class titled “Cooking Backwards: The Art and Science of Local and Seasonal Cooking“. Sounds fancy, right? Not so much! More about a class I almost blew off, but was in rapture. And so was everyone else there – it was about knowing your farmers, your markets, eating the unusual – and buying food and then creating dishes that take that food to the front. Part of the discussion covered what Oxbow Farm has done locally in teaching other. Greta Gardin, Audra Mulkern, and Christina Miller were the speakers.

For someone who sat in that class wearing her “I Eat Local Because I Can” shirt, this was an affirmation class. A high-five that I needed.

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There was no chatting in the back of the class. Everyone there was listening. But what it set off in me was immense. I wanted to leave after that class and go home (that is when I know I have found my cause. One time, while backpacking, I had an idea pop in my head – and I cut my trip short, so I could get home. That idea went huge, so I listen!). I didn’t go home….I was a good girl this time – but oh my mind swam that night. I couldn’t focus. I realized that what the ladies speaking had hit home: I didn’t just need to know my farmers and where my food comes from. I needed to grow more of it. I needed to be one of the women they are discussing. I finally have enough land to grow on, and it is sunny enough. It isn’t easy work, I won’t claim it is. But I came home and started plotting out the changes. More on that to come, to say the least! Lets just say Farmeress Sarah has been busy….

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I also had a great time talking with the people from Washington State Fruit Commission – with their awesome canning infographics. I love Yakima apples and when I saw a huge box (25 pounds) of freshly picked Apple Crisp ones on Saturday at the farmers market, you know came home with me!

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I adapted a recipe out of Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which if you can/preserve, is a bible – from Robert Rose books (who have even more titles on preserving). I used an “extra-light” syrup, meaning it has less sugar. Honey Crisp apples are pretty sweet naturally. If you like a sweeter apple (and have started with a tarter variety), consult your canning guide and make a “Light” syrup.

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Spiced Apples

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 5½ cups filtered water
  • 10 pounds apples
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice or Produce Protector
  • 7 half sticks cinnamon
  • 1¾ tsp ground allspice

Directions:

Wash canning jars, with bands and new lids, in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Bring a large pot of water to boil, take off stove, add in clean jars and keep covered.

Fill canning pot halfway with water, bring to a near boil, then let simmer.

Peel, quarter and core apples. As you cut each apple, place in a large bowl of water treated with lemon juice or produce protector, to prevent browning.

Heat sugar and water in a large pot to a boil over medium-high heat. Add in drained apples, return to a boil, simmer very gently for 5 minutes, until heated.

Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel. Layer in apples to the top of the jars, then a small amount of hot syrup, gently tap on counter. Stick in a cinnamon stick and sprinkle on ¼ tsp allspice in each jar. Add more apples, if they can fit, then run a sterilized chopstick around the inside of the jar. Top off with more syrup if needed. Leave a ½” headspace.

Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.

Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process pint jars for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, let sit for 5 minutes uncovered, then carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.

Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.

As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!)

Makes about 7 pints.

PS:

Should you have more hot apples left over than jars, well, don’t worry. They are tasty for eating under ice cream, or with yogurt, or on top of oatmeal. Just drain and store in the refrigerator for up to a few days. Also, if you haven’t read Ball’s new guidelines on canning lids and rings, be sure to check it out!

Cold Pack Sweet Canned Blackberries

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Tucked away into a low shelf in many grocery stores are cans of berries. Many people never notice them, and even if they did, would they buy them? They are usually very expensive for a small can, that only has a few berries in it. And are packed in a heavy syrup, which simply means a heavier amount of sugar. The berries become too sweet. Blackberries, once ripe, don’t need a lot of sugar. If underripe, well, let them ripen ;-)

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Have a bumper crop of berries given to you by Mother Nature? Maybe behind your house?

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Train your small ones to keep the brambles under control…..

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Ever thought of preserving them for winter? By canning them in a simple syrup, you can drain them later and make pies, cobblers and even mixed into yogurt. And you can control the amount of sugar used. PS: Once you get confident in canning, you can pack these berries in hot apple juice even!

And you might make your own special ones happy in winter – with a treat of late summer brought out. Alistaire has been very sad realizing that berry season is nearly done for the year –

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Canning need not be time consuming, nor scary. A few simple tools and you can be making small batches of goodies in your kitchen – that you can enjoy ALL year long. Canning is renewable, resourceful and after a few visits to the water bath, more than pays for itself. A simple kit, such as the Ball Discovery Kit, will get you going:

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Add in a Ball Canning Utensil Kit:

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And a few kitchen towels and canning jars, and you are all set. You don’t even need a dedicated water bath canning pot – and large pot will work. If you do decided you love canning, you needn’t spend a lot. A simple 11½ quart mini-canner from Granite-Ware is all you will need. (Made in the USA as well!)

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Just buy quality upfront. Don’t try to save money with off brand jar – buy Ball or Kerr, they are made in the USA. Same with the lids – only buy them. They are BPA free, made in the USA. Off brands are made in China, so you get what you pay for. I see mason jars as an investment. I often give jars away, but mention this “What is the first rule of the Mason Jar Club? You return the jar and band, and you might get refills” ;-) Funny is, I said that to a guy recently and he was “Oh…that is why people quit giving me stuff”. Hahaha!

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Cold Pack Sweet Canned Blackberries

Ingredients:

  •  Blackberries, washed and drained (see below for how many)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 5¼ cups water

Directions:

Wash canning jars, with bands and new lids, in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Bring a large pot of water to boil, take off stove, add in clean jars and bands, and keep covered.

Fill canning pot or large stockpot halfway with water, bring to a near boil, then let simmer.

Make syrup by combining sugars and water, bring to a boil, either use immediately or keep warm.

Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel. Ladle ¼ cup hot syrup into the bars, using a sterilized canning funnel. Pack in 1 cup blackberries, gently tap on counter. Add more berries. Pour hot syrup over the top, then run a sterilized chopstick (or a plastic air bubble remover) around the inside of the jar. Top off with more syrup if needed. Leave a ¼” headspace.

Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.

Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process pint jars for 15 minutes, quart jars for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.

Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.

As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard the contents immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!) As long as you sterilize the jar, it is fine to reuse later.

Notes:

The syrup makes about 6½ cups, and is considered a “light syrup”. When canning fruit and berries, you will need 1 to 1½ cups of syrup per quart jar, or ½ to ¾ cup per pint jar. Always hedge on the higher amount being needed, and keep an extra jar or two ready to be used “just in case”. That said, you can expect 4 to 6 quart jars or 8 to 10 pint jars total. Now for the berries, I can fit 1 to 2 cups blackberries per pint, so aim to have 15 cups of berries at minimum. If you have extra berries, no loss, just toss them on a baking sheet and freeze, then transfer to a zip-top freezer bag. You can use frozen blackberries later on for eating, baking and even making jams & jellies.

Disclaimer:

While I can on a glass top stove, I cannot tell you that is a good choice. Many glass top stoves forbid canning in their warranties. This video from Fresh Preserving is helpful, and if you are out of warranty, well…you can be like me ;-)

Spiced Pickled Canned Blackberries

Blackberries

Le sigh! The last of this years blackberries are coming ripe. We had a good run, but the extreme heat shriveled some of the last of the season. Still, we found plenty to pick out back – and to nibble on as well!

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This recipe came out of a “hmmmm” moment. In that pickled foods are even hipper than they should be, with each year passing. But, alas, it is rare that if you do see a super hipster recipe for pickled berries, that it is made for canning. More likely it will be for “refrigerator pickling”. Which is of course the equivalent to making “refrigerator” fresh jam. Easy, great tasting…but doesn’t last long. With that type of pickling, you can only make one batch at a time. Great if all you want is a tiny bit, but I like a few jars to tide me over the long cold months ;-) Pickling that is canned isn’t relatively hard, you just need to follow the basics (ratio of vinegar to water, proper handling) and the sweetness/flavors you can play with.

Which brings me to something else: since we moved into our new house I have noticed how much easier canning is. What used to be an all day project is now an hour or three. Mostly it is due to a great counter layout and having my gear accessible. If all you need to do is grab a few items and get going, suddenly canning seems easy! And with small batch canning, you are not canning 20-30 jars!

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Spiced Pickled Canned Blackberries

Ingredients:

  •  6 to 7 cups blackberries, washed and drained
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice

Directions:

Wash canning jars, with bands and new lids, in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Bring a large pot of water to boil, take off stove, add in clean jars and keep covered.

Fill canning pot halfway with water, bring to a near boil, then let simmer.

Heat sugar, maple syrup, water, vinegar and spices in a tall saucepan to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add in blackberries, simmer very gently for 5 minutes.

Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel. Pack in about 1 cup blackberries, gently tap on counter. Pour hot syrup over the top, adding a few more berries if they can fit, then run a sterilized chopstick around the inside of the jar. Top off with more syrup if needed. Leave a ¼” headspace.

Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.

Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process half-pint jars for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.

Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.

As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!)

Makes about 7 half-pints.

Spiced Strawberry Jam

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The Ever-Bearing Strawberries continue to sneak in, and I managed to make a quick batch of jam last weekend before I went hiking. Simple. Quick. Do it now, and you won’t regret it in January!

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The spices deepen the flavors of the jam, especially the vanilla, which leaves a creamy essence. It is so good on yogurt and even atop strawberry ice cream.

Spiced Strawberry Jam

Ingredients:

  • 5 2/3 cups mashed strawberries (measure after mashing)
  • 7½ Tbsp Ball® Real Fruit™ Classic Pectin
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 5 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Wash canning jars, with bands and new lids, in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Bring a large pot of water to boil, take off stove, add in clean jars and keep covered.

Fill canning pot halfway with water, bring to a near boil, then let simmer.

Mash berries with a potato masher and measure.

Following directions on pectin container, measure and put berry mixture in a large pot, stir in pectin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to full rolling boil over high heat (a boil that doesn’t stop when stirring). Stir in sugar quickly, return to a full rolling boil, cook for 1 minute after it returns to the boil. Take off the heat and stir in vanilla.

Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel. Ladle the hot jam into the bars, using a sterilized canning funnel. Leave a ¼” headspace.

Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.

Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.

Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.

As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!) If you are using a different brand of pectin, be sure to read their directions and to follow them.

Made 5 pints, expect to get about 10 cups worth of jam, so you can vary jam jar size if you wish.

Small Batch Strawberry Jam

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End of July brings Everbearing Strawberries into season, and a small batch of jam doesn’t take long to capture the bright taste of it.

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Small Batch Strawberry Jam

Ingredients:

Directions:

Wash canning jars, with bands and new lids, in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Bring a large pot of water to boil, take off stove, add in clean jars and keep covered.

Fill canning pot halfway with water, bring to a near boil, then let simmer.

Mash berries with a potato masher and measure.

Following directions on pectin container, measure and put berry mixture in a large pot, stir in pectin. Bring to full rolling boil over high heat (a boil that doesn’t stop when stirring). Stir in sugar quickly, return to a full rolling boil, cook for 1 minute after it returns to the boil. Take off the heat.

Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel. Ladle the hot jam into the bars, using a sterilized canning funnel. Leave a ¼” headspace.

Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.

Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.

Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.

As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!) If you are using a different brand of pectin, be sure to read their directions and to follow them.

Made 2 pints and 1 half-pint, expect to get about 5 cups worth of jam, so you can vary jam jar size if you wish.

Sweet and Hot Pickled Green Beans

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As I was prepping this batch of beans, I had decided to use a pack of Ball Heritage Collection Pint Green Jars. Looking at the side of a jar, molded in, is “100 Years of American Heritage “. Growing up, canning was pretty much uncool. Who did that when you could go to a store? My Mom did. But then, we were pretty much poor, so we had to. Had to. Think about that. We ate way better food because buying it made was more money. In the 1980’s it was so embarrassing that my Mom canned. She also made bread, dehydrated food….yeah, it was a rough childhood ;-) I am grateful to her though, that she did teach me how to can and not be intimidated by it. It isn’t hard, it is pretty low-tech and if you do it at night, after the kids go down to bed, it is quiet and the work goes fast.

The history of these cool jars is this “2013 marked the 100th anniversary of the development of a series of jars, designed by the Ball brothers, each intended to be better than the one before. 1913 saw the launch of the first true “Perfect Mason” jar followed in 1914 by the “PERFECTION”. 2014 marks the second year of a multi-year limited edition series with the introduction of the Spring Green Jar. These vintage-inspired green jars maintain all of our modern standards for quality and reliability.” I bought a ton of the blue ones, and snagged the green ones as soon as I saw them! I even bought the matching Ball Green Color 6-Pack Lids and Bands (they come in blue as well!).

I took a recipe from Blue Book Guide to Preserving and adapted it. I played with the spices and vegetables and added in sugar, but didn’t mess with the vinegar or processing time (don’t mess with that!). Do I recommend my recipe? If you feel safe, then yes. I feel comfortable with what I did, but I have canned a lot. If you are new to canning, get a copy of The Blue Book or Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and follow the recipes exactly!

Greenbeans

Sweet and Hot Pickled Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • 2½ pounds fresh green beans
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (about ½ pound)
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
  • 1½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1½ tsp yellow mustard seed
  • 3¾ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3¾ cups filtered water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp sea salt

Directions:

Rinse, drain, and rinse beans, drain well and lay out on new paper towels to dry. Remove any leaves and wilted beans, discard.

Wash 6 pint canning jars, bands and new lids in hot, soapy water, rinse well.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to a boil, set aside and keep jars in it till needed. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer, add in lids and bands, take off heat and keep covered.

Fill canning pot halfway with water, bring to a near boil.

Bring vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a tall saucepan.

Line up the beans in batches, and trim off the tops, discarding. If beans are long, cut in half.

Remove top off bell pepper, discard with seeds and white parts inside, slice thinly.

Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel, divide beans between jars, fitting in. Squeeze in slices of red bell pepper. Drop in a garlic clove in each jar and ¼ teaspoon of each spice. Gently tap jars to settle. Using a canning funnel, pour in hot vinegar to near the top of each jar. Sterilize a non-metal utensil (a chopstick works well, dip into boiling water) and run along the inside of each jar, to remove air bubbles. Top off with hot liquid as needed, leaving ½” headspace. Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.

Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.

Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.

As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!)

Makes 6 pints.

Seedless Marionberry Jam

Marionberry

I love marionberries. The bigger, tastier blackberry. We have two plants that grow out back – a Marion is a hybrid of Blackberries that produce a large sweet and tart berry. Out West, they are the preferred blackberry. Alas, none in this picture I took a few weeks back were ripe ;-) But since then, we get a few each day to nibble on!

Marionberry

Thankfully, I know a few local farms that grow them. Canning tip: buy as you can, freeze on cookie sheets, then bag up. Once you get enough, then you can thaw in the refrigerator and carry on with jam making. While this seedless jam does take a bit extra time (and arm muscles) to press out the juice and thick pulp, the bonus is no seeds. I am not a fan of seedy jam. Just don’t like it! But neither do I want jelly. The thick pulp gives the jam great texture and flavor. It is simply amazing served over handmade vanilla ice cream…

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Awhile back Kirk bought me the best unistaker for canning: Norpro 605 Canning Lid Rack. It makes it so much easier to pick up the lids for canning, and they don’t stick together! It also is great when you are washing the lids, once rinsed, you pop them into the rack and they are ready to be inserted into a hot-pot of water.

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Seedless Marionberry Jam

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups prepared berries (measured AFTER prepping, see below)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 ½ Tbsp Ball® Real Fruit™ Classic Pectin

Directions:

Wash 6  half-pint jars, with bands and new lids, in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Bring a large pot of water to boil, take off stove, add in clean jars and keep covered.

Fill canning pot halfway with water, bring to a near boil, then let simmer.

Mash berries with a potato masher. In small batches, add a bit of berries to a fine mesh sieve, over a large bowl. Push against the berries with a silicone spoon or spatula, to press the juice and fine pulp through. Keep working at it until there is mostly seeds left, discard seeds and repeat till done. Periodically, using a second spatula, scrape the back side of the sieve and knock into bowl. (Note: just how many berries you will need depends on how juicy the berries are. I think I started off with 12 cups or so.)

Following directions on pectin container, measure and put berry mixture in a large pot, stir in pectin. Bring to full rolling boil over high heat (a boil that doesn’t stop when stirring). Stir in sugar quickly, return to a full rolling boil, cook for 1 minute after it returns to the boil. Take off the heat.

Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel. Ladle the hot jam into the bars, using a sterilized canning funnel. Leave a ¼” headspace.

Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.

Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.

Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.

As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!) If you are using a different brand of pectin, be sure to read their directions and to follow them.

Makes 6 half-pints.

Blueberry Jam: Canning Summer

BlueberryJam

Jam making isn’t hard, if anything, it is one of the simplest ways to learn how to can! And…if you use pre-bought pectin it is even easier. Be sure to read the boxes/containers of pectin, some types have preservatives added (usually liquid pectin). Sure Jell and MCP brands are both sold on the West Coast and are preservative free. I had found a box of Sure Jell I had bought last year, stuck in the back when we redid the pantry, and a flat of blueberries waiting for me. When you think about it, it isn’t a lot of work to have 8 jars of jam, that will see you through winter.

BlueberryJam

Blueberry Jam

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups crushed blueberries (measure AFTER crushing, you will need about 8 cups whole berries)
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 package dry pectin

Directions:

Wash 8 half-pint jars, with bands and new lids, in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, and drain on a clean kitchen towel. Bring a large pot of water to boil, take off stove, add in clean jars and keep covered.

Fill canning pot halfway with water, bring to a near boil.

Following directions on pectin insert, measure and put berries in a large pot, stir in the entire package of pectin. Bring to full rolling boil over high heat (a boil that doesn’t stop when stirring). Stir in sugar quickly, return to a full rolling boil, cook for 1 minute after it returns to the boil. Take off the heat.

Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel. Ladle the hot jam into the bars, using a sterilized canning funnel. Leave a 1/8″ head space.

Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.

Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.

Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.

Want to see a pectin box insert that will walk you through canning jam?

As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!) If you are using a different brand of pectin, be sure to read their directions and to follow them.

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