Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jam-Beyond Toast and Some Canning Tips

Hey everyone! I've had jam/jelly on my mind recently. I guess it's a combination of "making hay" do it now while the fruit is fresh (or in the case of the cranberries-to use it up), and planning ahead.

What we can do with jam/jelly besides spread it on toast, bagels and PB&J's:
  • Salad Dressing-Just add a touch of mustard and thin it out with a splash of cider vinegar, add some oil and shake.
  • Jelly Rolls-oh Momma! Click HERE for my G-Mom-B's jelly roll recipe. Just make the cake and slather it with jelly/jam and roll it up.
  • Use it between the layers of cakes.
  • Top pancakes, French toast or use in crepes.
  • Jam Thumbprint or bar cookies.
  • Add it to the center of cupcakes.
  • Salsa, use it as the base, thin with lime/lemon juice or vinegar and add onions, peppers, spices, etc.
  • Glaze for meats/poultry.
  • Christmas, House Warming or Thank You gifts, ready and waiting in the pantry:@)
Canning tips and thoughts:
  • It's hot out! While things like peach, plum and apricot jam are best made immediately, you can use your freezer for some things...
  • All berries freeze very well. This season as I gathered strawberries I washed and cored them and tossed them in the freezer until I had enough to make jam. In years past, when really thinking ahead, I would crush and measure them, then freeze them. I could then make the jam when I wanted to.
  • I prefer to make jelly with extra seedy berries like mulberries and they take up less space in the freezer if you make the juice now and freeze it to make jelly in the fall or winter. It takes about 4 cups of juice to make a batch of berry jelly. I'm gathering mulberries now and plan to make juice soon.
  • I've had luck mixing berries for jam. If you don't have enough raspberries, add in some blackberries, blueberries, mulberries, strawberries, etc. I call these mixes "Backyard Berry Jam". This works fine as long as you are using pectin. 
  • Love the new jars of pectin that Ball put out this year, you can find them at Walmart and supermarkets. We can now make as few as 2 jars of jam. That's great, I've always been a fan of small batch canning.
  • If you're canning a small batch think about using smaller pots for your water bath. How about the asparagus pot, it should work for anything up to a quart jar. I just processed 3 half pint jars in my deep 3 quart pot. If you're worried about them hitting each other place a folded kitchen towel between them. I'll be looking for skinnier, deeper pots at yard sales.
  • The easiest way to make the fabric covers for the jars is to use a compass set to 2 3/4". That way you know exactly where the center of your pig, er, design is.
  • Last thing, I have to stress again the importance of labeling your jars! Grab that Sharpie and write on the lid what it is and the date you made it. Believe me... you'll be staring into the pantry one day getting ready for your nephew's second B-Day Hot Dog B-B-Q wondering "is that the extra hot relish with jalapenos??? And haven't I made that the last three years in a row, how old is that jar anyway..."
Any tips or thoughts you'd like to share?
Have a happy day:@)
A few posts for inspiration:
Orange Marmalade
Pomegranate Jelly
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Strawberry Dried Pineapple Freezer Jam
Cranberry Jelly
Zucchini Relish
Spiced Peaches
Blueberry Jam from one quart of blueberries
I'm Joining:


  1. I want a jar with Earl's face on it!! I am going to try making some jam this year. xo,

  2. Me too! I want Earl's face on my jars too! How cute is that piggy fabric? Love all the canning ideas. I love canning. I do have to say the labeling is the most important. I do love using the freezer. It's great since it seems that I get just a bit of this and that. Hopefully next week we will be hitting the orchard to do a bit of picking. I can't wait to get out there!

  3. I think Earl's Jelly could be a best seller!

  4. When at my mom's I found my G. Grandma's recipe for Cranberry jelly, but I didn't jot that one down. Now, I want to call my mom and have her give it to me. I don't have fresh cranberries, though. If you're interested, I'll send you a recipe for jalapeno jelly...that's a TX creation unto itself : )

  5. Lots of great tips here, thanks. I didn't know about the small batch pectin, that will be wonderful. xo

  6. I too am a jelly/jammer from way back when. LOVE the piggy fabric on the jar - priceless! I make a lot of my jams in the winter months or on rainy days with frozen berries that I harvest in the hot summertime. My fish cooker kettle makes a great hot water bath for the half pint jars. I can get nine or ten of them in there at a time, and the basket works great for keeping them from sitting directly on the bottom:)

  7. yep it's that time of the year where your mind wanders to canning! Love the piggy fabric!! So cute!

  8. Canning used to be an overwhelming process for me (and many others I'm sure)until I came across a book called Small Batch Preserves. Love it. I can come home after work and can a few jars after dinner. Easy peasy.
    I posted my Bluebarb Jam recipe from there. Thumbs up.

  9. Thank you for sharing your great tips...I am new to canning and have not ventured into jams yet, but be assured when out 13 pear trees are dropping their loads I will be making some from them.

    Blessings Kelsie

    PS: love the piggy lids...hmmmm

  10. I am an avid canner and jam maker from way back....did not know about the small batch pectin, will look for that!!! Great tips, thanks. When using a pot other than my canner, I put a dishtowel on the bottom and rest the jars on top. And yes, the labels are sooooo important!!! I have an awesome recipe for cranberry/banana jam that tastes just like strawberry jam, will have to post that Earl on the lid....hugs...cleo

  11. Hi Lynn, Your canning tips are terrific. I love making jam but I have not ventured into much else. I do help my sister can tomatoes but she knows what to do. I just follow her instructions. I love your piggy jar cover.

    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs, Jeanne

  12. You are so kind to take the time and share with us. My mom canned some and I never learned the art. I think maybe my Sweets and I will give it a whirl! You could have a best seller on your hands! Happy weekend! Anne

  13. Great tips! Thanks for the links, spiced peaches, YUM!
    Earl's jammin'!

  14. Your pig jelly jar cracks me up. That zucchini relish sounds great.

  15. Great tips, Lynn. I love homemade strawberry preserves. HEAVEN!

  16. That piggy jar cover is too cute...
    Love your tips. I love making jams and jellies, too.
    Xo bj

  17. You never cease to amaze me with your interesting, inspiring and often humorous posts!! I loved this one so much. After spending an afternoon with my buddy last fall making Cranberry Chutney, I now so appreciate the efforts that go into creating canned jams and jellies.

    Your end products are super tasty, I'm sure....and I adore the piggy fabric!!! :)

    Hope you are having a great weekend!! We had an amazingly wonderful weather day in KC, MO.....but it's supposed to rain and storm tomorrow!! Typical midwest stuff!


  18. I never thought about using the mulberries for jams. I have a had time getting the jars to seal correctly. I was thinking about buying a pressure cooker just for canning.
    I love the pig fabric ~ only you would have something so cute.

  19. YUM! My mouth is watering. Thanks for the great tips! Happy Seasonal Sunday!

  20. I forgot I used to have a pig cutting board! Too cute. I have one of those chef pigs that holds the menu board and it is now above my fridge but used to be on the counter and my husband's saying to the kids was "You know what I always say, fat pigs love to eat!" He still says that all the time. We just love piggies and every time I see them in the store I think of you and your fun loving blog! I saw a pig shaped flash drive at Staples yesterday!

    What a fun bunch of tips for jam. I love the idea of being able to make smaller batches, I will check that out and I am also going to have to try adding some to salsa, great idea!

    So nice to be able to open Blogger Comments again! I will finish my trip from home.

  21. Delicious jams...but the best is your wrapper on that lid!
    Have a wonderful week!

  22. Great ideas and tips regarding jams and jellies Lynn!

  23. Lynn,
    I do enjoy canning, though don't do much anymore. I'm the only one who eats jelly or jam.
    I have a great recipe for Corn Cob jelly, but I've really been thinking about berries......

  24. You have some great tips here. I just picked about three gallons of strawberries, and that was just the first picking. I'm going to have enough berries to make more jam than I know what to do with!

  25. I definitely enjoy home canned food. I have had my days at that. No more.

  26. I just slap some on a cracker and it's delish!

  27. I made jam for the first time last year. I was surprised how east it is. Orange marmalade sounds wonderful!

  28. You always find a wonderful way to crack me up. Your blog is an inspiration and a safe place to visit when you are low or riding on a cloud.
    Fantastic recipes and it all looks so yummy. I can't help but laugh at the pig fabric, those would make great jammies!!!
    Thanks for the visit, Char

  29. I've only made strawberry jam before but I's love to try some of your other recipes as I love jams and jellies. I love the cute pig fabric you used for the jars and your cool USA cutting board!

  30. I dump a couple of spoons of jelly in the pan when I'm cooking skinless chicken. The sugar helps make a lovely brown coating/glaze on the chicken.
    Be sure to stop by my blog. I'm having a giveaway!

  31. Hi Lynn, thanks for stopping by my Panicale post - it was truly a fantastic day! I loved reading your post about making jam - and your tips about making things in stages and using the freezer were great! Sometimes you just have enough fruit for 2 jars of jam - and making a few jars at a time definitely adds up at the end of a season. Combining berries must make a yummy jam. We have a large mulberry tree alongside our pond but I've never used the berries to make anything - it seems the birds have taken over that tree once the berries ripen. Ciao, bella! xxoo

  32. Thanks for the tips and being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  33. This is a great post. I am going to look for the pectin in a jar. I don't always have time/or ingredients to make a huge batch of jam. I really appreciate these tips.

  34. I have never made jam but really would like to give it a try this year! I don't have a water bath thingy, though, so I guess that limits me to freezer jam, right?

  35. We make our on yogurt so when the boys want it flavored we just add a spoonful of jam. This year I have made raspberry and blackberry. Planning on blueberry this Friday. Love that I can make small batches. I am really thinking I need to get the asparagus pot you mentioned.

  36. Lynn, You're such a good cook! I don't do any canning although I do enjoy baking. I used to make grape freezer jelly as a teenager. Seems I'm too busy now...I don't know how I got this busy but it might have something to do with the upcoming garden tour! :-)
    I will be baking with the Pillsbury doughboy this week - thanks for hosting!
    Hugs, Beth
    Blessings, Beth

  37. I have never canned anything. I would love to try!

  38. I love mixed berry jams! I think I'll stick my fruit in the freezer and can when it's cooler.


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