Canning Party!

We won!  Ball Canning sent us this kit to have a "Discover You CAN" House Party!  

It was really fun & we learned a lot.  We made strawberry jam, which I don't really even like, but I was desperate to learn more about canning.  

We made a plain strawberry batch & added blueberries to another batch & added peaches to the 3rd batch.  Of the 3 batches, we cooked 2 & made 1 batch of "no-cook".  We used Classic Pectin, Instant Pectin & Liquid Pectin in the different batches.  And we even experimented with some jars that we simply turned upside down after putting the lid on.  We didn't even process them & they sealed just like the others!  My neighbor who couldn't attend the party told me that trick the week before.  We learned SO much!

This picture shows the strawberry & strawberry-peach batches.  The photo below is of the strawberry-blueberry batch.  It was significantly smaller.  We think it's because we used the "no-cook" method which means we didn't boil the fruit, sugar & pectin mixture.  When we boiled the other batches, they got very frothy & puffed up which added volume.  The batch we didn't cook should be super-dense.  It was much easier to skip the cooking step, but I was disappointed to get 9 jars instead of 14.
Canning is a great skill to have, but making jam is not cost effective unless you grow your own fruits & veggies or can source them very inexpensively.  We got 42 half-pints out of 20 pounds of fruit & 10 pounds of sugar!  I'll stick to canning what I grow for now.

I'm looking forward to some pickles, salsas, pestos, tapenades & hot sauces!  Who knows...maybe I've found my calling & will come up with the next Tabasco!  :)  

P.S.-  Thanks for being patient with my absence.  I still love you & I will try to be more consistent now that life appears to be a tad less complicated...for the moment.


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