Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Canned Jam and Nobody Died

Did I mention I am afraid of canning?  Well, I am.

Canzillas convinced me that I would kill everyone with botulism if I can use my deep stockpot to can jam unlike the other cooks I know and trust who have successfully canned without a lot of fancy specialty canning doodads, besides new lids of course.

Last summer's freezer jam
It’s not that I can’t afford it, it’s that I don’t have a lot of room to store it in my small kitchen. Although I was tempted to take Cooking With Caitlin up on her offer when she joked that we could have bake sale to buy me canning equipment. I love those girls to bits and will make any excuse to hang out with them.

I had several packages of Natureripe blueberries leftover from making blueberry yogurt Popsicles I wanted to use before they turned to mush. I know! I’ll make blueberry freezer jam!

Until I checked and found that I didn’t have room for it in the freezer.

Time to face my fear and can blueberry jam instead.

I had new lids, rings, and a box of jelly jars. After checking with every experienced canner I know, I used what I had to can Alton Brown’s Spiced Blueberry Jam recipe.
My new favorite kitchen tool is my iPad

Why Alton Brown’s canning recipe? Because he gives the science behind his recipes, didn’t make canning seem intimidating while still making sure I did it safely, and he’s funny. I likes me some funny in my chefs.
  •  I made the recipe in a regular pot on the stove.
  • I sanitized everything in the dishwasher.
  • I ladled jam into the jars instead of pouring it through a canning funnel.
  • I put a potholder in the bottom of a stockpot I had instead of buying a special canning pot and jar rack.
  • I used silicone oven mitts instead of a jar lifter and magnetic lid wand to maneuver items in and out of the hot water. 
The moment of truth came when I took the lid off the pot and removed the jars. I counted five little “pops” – all my jars sealed!

I canned jam people!
Canning jam took about an hour and results are delicious!

I think I’m hooked on canning.

Maybe.

Eep!

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This post is part of the preserving food Green Mom's Carnival hosted by Farmer's Daughter on Monday 7/18/11.