I did it. I canned jam.
I’ve been wanting to try it for a while, but have been too nervous. I’m not really sure what I was afraid would happen. It’s not as if there is some sort of terrible side effect to canning, like monsters or warts. Maybe it’s because, I’ve heard it’s such a pain? Who knows?
I suppose it doesn’t matter that I was scared to do it. The important thing is that I did it, and now, I have blueberry honey jam at my house, four jars to be exact. Would you like to try some?
I owe my success to this cookbook, Tart & Sweet by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler. This informative resource is organized by season and full of interesting spins on preserves. The blueberry jam was easy to make, but the addition of honey makes it seem a little more special than something you could pick up at the grocery store. The next recipe I’m making is nectarine cardamom jam. Can you imagine?
The book starts by offering the basics on canning. The instructions are straightforward and detailed. My favorite part of the book is the list of problems you might run into with their possible causes. This is HUGE for someone who’s never canned before. Or, at least it was for me.
So, you might be thinking that canning is time-consuming. And, it is, but probably not as much as you think. The whole project took me two hours from start to finish. If you have a lazy Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon, try your hand at it.
As far as supplies go, I picked up mine at Wal-Mart. I got these utensils and a pot with a rack for under $20 that I couldn’t find online. As far as the jars go, I’ve been buying mine at the True Value near our house.
I did have one beef with the book. They mention Pomona’s Universal Pectin exclusively. I couldn’t find it here. Granted, I did not scour the city, but quite frankly, I didn’t want to. You can order it online, but instead of messing with it, I opted for the recipes that don’t need it. (There are plenty.) For those of you who don’t know (I sure didn’t), there are other brands of pectin, but I wasn’t sure if it could be substituted, since Pomona’s comes with some sort of calcium powder. The other thing I wondered about, but couldn’t find in the book, was whether or not it is okay to change the jar size, so I stuck with the recommended amounts. I didn’t know how that would affect the process times.
Overall, I would absolutely, 100 percent recommend this cookbook.