Friday, September 2, 2011

I Can Can!

My best friend, Ann, cracked up to no end when she read a post on Facebook I wrote, saying something about canning.

I don't even know where I came up with this idea.
I certainly haven't ever seen it done before. I grew up in a suburban household with a working mother and a father who grilled everything.

I was inspired by The Pioneer Woman.
I made a New Year's Resolution to learn how to can stuff.
Mostly because it sounded like fun, and home canned things just look so pretty.

I don't think I took pictures of every single step a la P-Dubs, but here's what I have for you. If I can "can," you "can" too!
I had a couple of coupons, so I picked up a starter kit and an accessory kit at Wal-Mart. I had a giant stockpot already, that we got as a wedding gift. Yay.

I happened to notice that the Ball Mason jars are made in the USA. I'm all for this. Especially right now, when our economy needs a boost. Buy American when you can!

I cleaned and hulled 4 packages of strawberries.
And placed them on a some parchment paper, on a rimmed cookie sheet.
Simultaneously, I warmed the little green basket in the big stockpot.
And in another pot, I heated up the lids.
I smashed up the strawberries with a potato masher.
And put 'em in my dutch oven. (Which does, yes, so happen to be the same COLOR as The Pioneer Woman's)
Then, I added this stuff I had previously never heard of:
And a ton of sugar. (Even though this was "low" sugar) Haha!
Heat and stir.
I forgot to photograph this part, but I used a funnel, and scooped the warmed berries/sugar/pectin into the jars, and screwed the lids on. Then, I submerged them in the water in the basket thing.
And, I waited.
And, then I sat them out on the counter, and heard them "pop," and with every little pop, I did a little dance of joy.
This was time consuming. Because I had to buy the canning stuff, it really wasn't "cheap" this go around, although, that stuff can be used over and over (except the lids). So, in this day and age when you can buy a jar of strawberry preserves at Aldi for $1.00, no, maybe it doesn't make the most sense to can your own strawberry jam to save money.

But you know what?
It was fun.
It was an accomplishment.
It's been fun giving the jars to friends as gifts.
And, I know every. single. thing. that's in there.

So, try it! You "can" do it.
Har. Har.


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl said...

Oh, your jam looks beautiful, Dana!

Anonymous said...

Can we have a canning date???

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Kristen, thank you! Thanks for checking in on our little blog too :)
And Jessi, YES!!! I have a jar for you!