The Canning Begins

My family, including me, has a sweet tooth.  They love jam, especially berry jams.  So today was the first day of the 2012 jam canning season.  First up, strawberry jam…nothing special with rhubarb or wine…they just want the pure stuff around here.  They are addicts…going through a jar a week.  Now I may not be the best at math, but I figure that means 52 jars…yikes!  The batch I made today is equivalent to  a whopping 8 jars…Lord help me..yes, that is a real prayer.  While reading the instructions I became concerned because it says that the jars are only good for 6 to 8 months.  The idea of doing all this is so I can preserve fresh produce for the rest of the year.  I know many of my older family members use to can everything on their farms, I am sure they kept them for up to a year.  unfortunately they are all gone now, so I can not ask them what they did.  So I am turning to the bloggers to let me know what they do.  Please let me know if I can keep the jars longer, or what I can do to make sure they are good for a year. Thanks…

God Bless

Julia 

10 Comments

10 thoughts on “The Canning Begins

  1. It depends on how you can it. If you use the old method, where you boil the jars, then put the hot jam in and turn the jars upside-down, with no further processing, they won’t last all that long – the contents are not sterilized, so a lot of them tend to mold after a while. If you use the newer method, of filling clean jars, then processing in a boiling water bath (basically submerging the filled jars in boiling water for a period of time – I think 10 to 15 minutes for Edmonton, but you’d have to look that up – it is based on altitude), then they will last longer.

    Also, if you store them in a cool, dark place, it will slow the cosmetic changes that lead a lot of people to throw out canned goods after 6 months to a year – the contents slowly darken with age, which does not affect the safety.

    We are still using jam from 2009, and it is fine. I water-bath can (the newer method), and we store the jam in a coldroom in the basement. As long as the seal is still intact, and there is no mold or seepage, it is probably fine to use. After a few years, the color and flavor start to deteriorate, though, and I just throw stuff in the compost pile at that point…

    • thank you so much…I use the new method so now I feel better…food does not last more than a year around here 🙂

  2. Yes, If you are waterbath canning they will last a year. Make sure you do a variety of flavors so it’s fun to pick a flavor each time. It gets easier every time you do it. Now that I’ve done it a few times, I am appalled that I spent so much money on jam at the grocery store! Some yummy flavors to try are raspberry lemon and blueberry lime (4 cups of berries and the grated rind from one lemon/lime plus the juice). Fantastic! My favorite is tart cherry jam. We use our jams in plain yogurt, too so we can buy healthier yogurt and still get that awesome fruit flavor.

    • I tries some of my strawberry jam in yogurt last night, you’re right, it was great. The flavors you suggested sound yummy…definitely going to make cherry jam this year.

    • Yes, a multitude of flavors is a good idea. We’re fond of crabapple, currant, and chokecherry jellies, along with the old standards like raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry jam. We’ve also tried dandelion jelly (interesting mild flavor, and fun to give away in gift baskets) and wild rose jelly (too strong to spread on toast, but adds an interesting flavor to baking, especially shortbread cookies). This year I would like to try fireweed and violet jellies, if I get a chance 🙂

  3. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog! Really funny to come here and find a post on canning – I bought a book today on how to get started canning! I’ve never done it but my mother and grandmother both did and I grew up enjoying the “fruits” of their efforts (forgive the pun, I couldn’t resist!)

    • Hi, actually I just canned cherries today for the first time…they sure look pretty anyway. I’m also trying to dry them in my new dehydrator…we’ll see how they turn out 🙂

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