Ryan is so sweet.  I wanted to take a community education course for preserving foods.  One because I want to know how preserve foods better and more naturally.  Also because Ryan keeps expressing interest in having preserved food in case we get to a point where we would need it.  Emergency, natural disaster, complete and utter economic disaster.  That sort of thing.  When I told him about the class series and the cost, he paid for me to take it.  

Tonight was the first of four classes.  I got to learn about jams and jellies and see several different demonstrations.  I was easily the youngest person in the class.  Apparently, making homemade jam and jelly is not popular with the 20-somethings on a Friday night.  Go figure.

I came home with a small sample of strawberry rhubarb jam and no-sugar added blueberry jam.  I now need to go on a quest to find Pomona's Fruit Pectin because it is the kind that can be made with sugar or splenda.  I want to use that kind the most, but also plan on making some freezer jam from the Ball/Ker brand pectin and they have directions on the pack for both.  I also learned that you can make jam without fruit pectin, but you have to use sugar, as it binds the liquid all together, but you have to simmer the heck out of the fruit, until it reaches 220 on a candy thermometer.  

Then I need to get some fruit to actually make the jam.  Once my strawberries start ripening I will use some of those.  Though not sure I'll have enough off my two smaller plants to make 4 cups needed for one recipe.  But if I get one of the Flex Batch bottles of pectin I should be ok for smaller batches.

Either way, this will keep me busy until next month's class; Pickling.  Hopefully my zucchini will be on by then so I can make relish.  :D

From: [identity profile] wobblerlorri.livejournal.com

You can order Pomona's online http://www.pomonapectin.com/order/index.html

Most of the pectin manufacturers (Sure-Jell, Ball) make low or no sugar varieties of pectin. So I don't know how important it is to get Pomona's, unless you like making a jar of calcium water and spending 5 times what non-crunchy mama pectin costs...

If you get Flex Batch pectin, it's the same as regular make-it-with-sugar pectin. It's made by Ball, and has the same ingredients as Sure-Jell (dextrose, fruit pectin, citric acid).

I find the Ball products tend to run significantly less than Kerr. You can also find canning jars in thrift stores sometimes -- just be sure the rims aren't chipped and there are no cracks. You can reuse the bands from year to year, as long as they aren't rusty, but never never never reuse the lids!!

I put up fruit and vegetables every year from my vegetable garden. If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to email me. You may even want to follow my gardening blog http://lorrisgarden.livejournal.com . I mostly only update it during the growing season, but I blather on about fruits, vegetables, and canning/freezing.

Food preservation is really easy once you get the hang of it. I personally tend to overprocess a bit -- better safe than sorry!

From: [identity profile] punkyami-chan.livejournal.com

The lids was one of the questions I had last night and forgot to ask because I was scribbling notes about answers they were giving to other questions!

I added your gardening blog to my LJ list. I think I will probably be one of the few who also over processes. No botulism for me, thank you!

Bi-mart, a local store here in OR has a large canning section. I know they don't have the Pomona's, but will be getting the Flex Batch Pectin since they have that. I'm going to start with that and then see if I need the others.

We got to taste the different jams and jellies at the end. I really don't like raspberries much but the raspberry jam made with splenda was amazing.

From: [identity profile] wobblerlorri.livejournal.com

Yeah, the sealing compound on the lids only works once. And don't boil the lids!!! You'll ruin the sealing compound. Put them in really really hot water (bring some to just before a boil) while you're filling jars, but don't ever boil them.

Be sure you have a church key or a can opener with a lid popper thingy on it to get the lids off when you go to open one.

I also leave my bands on. I don't know, I'm sort of superstitious about taking off the band and leaving just the lid.

Get the Ball Blue Book of Preserving. That's the only bible you'll need for canning just about everything. Also spring for a jar gripper thing and a lid wand. You'll love them.
Edited Date: 2011-06-18 02:33 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile] punkyami-chan.livejournal.com

I actually wrote down the Ball book title last night as one they recommended. I believe the ladies said to bring the water to 180 then drop the lids in and remove from the stove. I do need to get the jar gripper. Also, I need to makeshift something to use in the bottom of my stock pot so I can sanitize the jars for preserving. I don't have the extra funds or space for a canning pot.

From: [identity profile] uberreiniger.livejournal.com

When Helter Skelter comes down canning will be a vital skill set. I applaud you guys' preparation :)


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