Thursday, April 29, 2010

When life gives you strawberries

or is it when life gives you lemons?
Hmm, whatever.... when life give you strawberries on sale for $1/pound, you make jam.
Or at least, you try to. While Travis was working on his poster board, Mama was making jam.
This was my first attempt at making jam. Heck, my first attempt at canning all together.
Those handy dandy jar lifter thingys? Yeah, get one. I wouldn't recommend using grill tongs to lift hot jars out of boiling water. It's not very effective. I think I only dropped one, but still.
I followed the recipe in the Ball fruit pectin box. I'm wondering how it will turn out though. It said that 5 cups would equal 8 pint jars and it didn't. I had almost a quart left over. I didn't measure out 5 cups of strawberries but it said that was equal to about 5 pounds. I used 4 to 4.5 pounds.
And you may notice, the strawberries that didn't get quite smashed enough floated up the the top. (Smashing strawberries with a potato masher as recommended is pretty flippin hard).
The lids sealed but the jam hasn't "set". It's been 4 days now. The directions said it could take up to 2 weeks to set. I ended up shaking them up last night to mix it back together. Don't know if that was a good idea or not. I just didn't want strawberry jelly with strawberry chunks on top. Any canning experts out there who can tell me what to do about that?

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