Sunday, May 31, 2009
*Tink* *tink* *tink*
The sounds of a job well done, as the cans cool on the table.
Over the holiday weekend, I canned 12 8oz jars of Strawberry Jelly, 6 8oz jars of Strawberry Topping, and 4 pint jars of Strawberry Preserves. There is also about 6 cups of sliced frozen berries for smoothies, and we still had some for shortcakes. For the Jelly, 14.5 cups crushed strawberries made enough juice for 3 batches of jelly. I have no idea how many I started with, other than 2 large trays (maybe 18 of those clamshells at the store?).
I've learned that water-bath canning isn't quite as hard as it seems, and that regular pectin takes a LOT of sugar to set the jellies.I've also discovered things ~not~ to do. Like, say, add the sugar with the pectin instead of later: It keeps the jelly from setting. So, I now have 6 jars of Strawberry Topping (aka, liquid Strawberry Jelly). Two are going to my grandparents - Grandpa will enjoy them!
Jam, jelly, preserves- Jam is crushed berries, Jelly is berry juice, and Preserves are whole berries in their own juice. The Strawberry Preserves have me thinking of Shortcake in January, the Raspberry Preserves of chocolate-raspberry cake :) Either could also be used for pancake topping. I try and think of what I can do with them as I make them - no point in canning something we won't use, and this will (hopefully) avoid blank moments when I'm looking for things to make!