This weekend was nothing short of amazing. I got in a lot of quality time and conversation with my best friend; what could be better than that? We also managed to try quite a few new recipes, pick strawberries, play two rounds of Wizard of Oz Life, and start the new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
We kicked off our Saturday by heading out to a strawberry patch out in Enigma. The drive took a little bit, but I have to say the berries were ripe and sweet enough to be worth it. We picked two gallons worth because I knew that I wanted to make some strawberry jam to kick off my canning season this year. We finished off our trip with some strawberry ice cream made from fresh strawberries. We waited until the next day to can and used only the ripest berries so that they didn’t end up spoiling before we could eat them. I started writing before we finished canning:
“I’ve been listening to the Living Homegrown podcast lately and it definitely has me in the mood to break out my water bath canner and get down to preserving. I started canning last year and I had a blast. It’s hard work and sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you plan, but don’t let that get you down. There’s something so fulfilling to me about walking into the pantry to grab a jar of something I made.”
Just like that, the beautiful rich red strawberry jam that we canned this weekend didn’t set. I felt like I had jinxed myself immediately after typing that paragraph. Why couldn’t I just wait to start writing until my jam had cooled? Truth is, my jam wasn’t going to set whether I wrote that or not. I added some extra strawberries and didn’t quite offset the other ingredients enough to match. I re-canned it while Josh was gone this week and it’s better than ever, just added a little more pectin and gave em another bath in the canner. They’re sealed, set, and ready to go!
If you’re new to canning and want to try a great strawberry jam recipe, try out this Strawberries and Cream Jam! There’s no cream involved. It gets a mild creamy taste from the addition of a vanilla bean. It was super simple, just don’t play around with the ingredients! That’s a pretty good rule of thumb for all canning recipes. Sometimes that could cause issues in the stability of your preservation, and could even make your loved ones sick. The recipe is a guest post by the same woman who writes and narrates the Living Homegrown Podcast that I spoke about earlier. If you’re into canning or other means of preservation make sure to check her out!
Are you planning on tackling canning this year or ready to get back to it? What’s your favorite canned item?