Making Homemade Strawberry Jam

This past week, Deanna & I, made our first batch of homemade strawberry jam! I remember making jams and jellies with my grandmother when I was a little boy, but I forgot how easy it actually is!

Crush the Strawberries………….

Crushed Strawberries

Add pectin & Sugar…………

The sugar we used

 

Boil, ladle into jars, & water bath process them!

This is the recipe that we used:

Makes about 8 (8 oz) half pints
Strawberries, lemon juice, Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin and sugar combine to create this homemade strawberry jam. Try out this recipe, then make it your own as you discover new twists to this favorite canning recipes.
LEVEL OF EASE: Easy
PRESERVING METHOD: Waterbath Canning
YOU WILL NEED:
  • 5 cups crushed strawberries (about 5 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp Pectin
  • 7 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 Half pint jars (8oz) with rings and lids

DIRECTIONS:

  1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  2. COMBINE strawberries and lemon juice in a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
  3. ADD entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
  4. LADLE hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
  5. PROCESS in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
Deanna testing the Jam

 

Make sure you check out the jam making video on the Save Our Skills YouTube Channel

Additional canning and dehydrating supplies:

Jar lifter, sure tight band tool, regular mouth jar storage caps, wide mouth jar storage caps, regular mouth lids and bands, wide mouth lids and bands, Jelly Jars, wide mouth pint jars, wide mouth quart jars, Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, fruit pectin, non stick dehydrator sheet, Recipes for Adventure, mandolin slicer, ladle, magnetic lid lifter

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A Little Retreat from the Pennsylvania Winter

My parents have a place in Florida that they retreat to for the winter. Mostly my mother, however my father has been staying a little longer as the years progress. This year, my mother had asked two of my daughters to drive her car down and she was going to fly in. Somehow, that turned into a mini family get away for most of us.

My daughters drove their grandmother to the airport and continued their journey to Florida, three days later. my wife, Deanna, flew down to Florida to visit her parents. A couple of weeks later I drove down with my father to “help him drive”. I didn’t drive one inch of the trip! I got in the truck at 5:20 AM, we stopped once for gas and a couple other times for restroom breaks and arrived 15 hrs later!

Dad sticks around for that extra 2 weeks because we still have deer hunters coming in for muzzle loader season. During those two weeks he closes down his house and we winterize the hunting camp after the last hunters leave. We also load the truck with about 400 board feet of lumber. Dad places ads in the Florida papers for lumber and takes orders to be delivered, he says it pays for his trip to Florida.

Sorting lumber to be taken to Florida

My daughters flew back from their trip a few days before dad & I took off. It worked out perfect! They were able to get my moms car to Florida and visit with her for a few days, visit with their other grandparents, spend a little time running around Disney World, and make it back home to take care of chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs and be here for their brother, Sawyer.

After arriving in Florida, I spent a few days with my parents and then met Deanna and headed down to her parents to spend a few days. Deanna’s mother, Betty, has been going gangbusters canning and dehydrating! She bought us a 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator for Christmas and I can’t wait to get started!

Excalibur 9 tray food dehydrator

Betty has been canning chicken, ground beef, meatloaf, hamburger patties, beans, pie fillings, jams, and jellies. She usually had a water bath canner, two pressure canners and two dehydrators going at once.

Pressure canners
Canned Potato
Jelly that Deanna made

 

I’m not sure what brand of pressure canner she uses, but I have a couple of All American pressure canners that we will be using.

She also had this cool old utensil to pry off the lids from canning jars. It’s called a “pry-a-lid” and I believe she bought a few from ebay.

Pry-A-Lid

When Betty is dehydrating, she stores all of her dried fruits and veggies in quart and half gallon mason jars. She uses a FoodSaver machine with a jar sealer accessory to take the air out of the jars and secure the lid. What’s nice about that versus the bags is that you can reseal & reuse the jars over and over again.

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer

Deanna and I helped out a little and learned a lot. I think Deanna is excited about getting started on the canning and dehydrating.

I also helped my father-in-law, Terry, rebuild the gate going into their back yard. The old gate was very heavy and mounted with hinges that were too small, so it had sagged over the years. The new gate uses the type of hinge and pin we use on the farm, lag bolt style gate pins. We also used an Adjust-A-Gate gate frame that Terry had purchased. I have to admit, I was a little leery of it, but it worked great and looked good too!

Installing 2 adjust-a-gate gate frames
Almost done

 

Putting on the finishing touches

All in all we had a great time visiting family in Florida, but now its back to the grindstone. I have a lot to do around the farm this winter!

 

Additional canning and dehydrating supplies:

Jar lifter, sure tight band tool, regular mouth jar storage caps, wide mouth jar storage caps, regular mouth lids and bands, wide mouth lids and bands, Jelly Jars, wide mouth pint jars, wide mouth quart jars, Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, fruit pectin, non stick dehydrator sheet, Recipes for Adventure, mandolin slicer

Be sure to check out and subscribe to the Save Our Skills YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/SaveSkills
Follow us on Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/104557873869303516382/+Saveourskills1/posts
and Like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/saveourskills
.
Some links are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase from these links. Thanks for your support in this way.

New Video Posted to the Save Our Skills YouTube Channel

Setting Fence Posts
This the second support video to the blog post Building & Mending Fences (pt. 1)
http://saveourskills.com/mending-fences-pt-1
Be sure to check out and subscribe to the Save Our Skills YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/user/SaveSkills

Rabbit Hutch v2.1

By ebonearth

So after several versions, I believe this is the best model that will work for my broods’ needs now. It is quick to build (approximately 3hrs) and the rabbits love the pasture, not to mention having a built-in den. I am going to read the handholds from v2.0 as that makes rotating them around the field much easier for a single person to do, especially now that v 2.1 is 8ft long rather than 6ft. I am also going to see about adding a layer of something to keep out drafts in the thick of winter since we used the galvanized steel roofing for the den segment.

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